Silvaner/Sylvaner

A white grape of uncertain origin that is planted in Alsace and more widely in Germany. In Alsace where it is known as Sylvaner, it is gradually being replaced by Pinot Blanc and Riesling - what is left over usually ends up being blended with other varieties and labelled Edelzwicker or being bottled as AC Alsace.

In Germany it represents around 10% of the total plantings and for years and  it had a reputation for high acidity, neutral wines, low in aroma and fruit. However today much better wines are being produced through selection of better sites, lower yields, and crucially through harvesting at optimum ripeness - if unripe Sylvaner makes an exceedingly green and mean wine. The very best examples are from Franken.

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