Alsace’s unique climate comes from the fact that its terraced vineyards at 200m-400m altitude lie in the rain shadow of the Vosges mountains. For Olivier Humbrecht MW of Domaine Zind-Humbrecht: ‘Dry is a better expression of Alsace Riesling most of the time.’ Biodynamic farming has led to healthier grapes and earlier harvesting. Diverse, well-drained soils are ideal for imparting a wide variety of alluring characteristics to Alsace’s perfumed and deliciously full-bodied, textured, dry Rieslings: smoky wines from volcanic Rangen (see p98), citrussy wines from Schoenenbourg, for instance. There is also sweet vendange tardive, and lusciously rich sélection de grains nobles. Alsace’s best producers include Boxler, Deiss, Domaine Weinbach, Hugel, Josmeyer, Léon Beyer Ostertag, Schlumberger, Trimbach and ZindHumbrecht. vineyards lie over a patchwork of ancient and more recent soils. Pfalz’s predisposition towards dry Riesling combining full body, substance and richness of fruit (sometimes described as yellow fruit) with finesse and minerality, is aided and abetted by a beneficial ripening climate. Today’s roll-call of top producers extends from traditional names such as Bassermann-Jordan, Bürklin Wolf (pictured left) and von Buhl to Christmann, Dr Wehrheim, Knipser, Koehler-Ruprecht, Okonomierat Rebholz, Philipp Kuhn and von Winning.