Cleebourg is a co-operative, founded in 1946, in the picturesque Alsace region of France. France's wine industry was devastated by the Second World War, and the only way for most areas to rebuild was to form co-ops with the few vineyard owners who'd survived. Today, Cleebourg is 190 owners strong with nearly 500 acres of grapes.
Alsace is one of the most unique wine areas in the world. It may technically be in France, but its soul is in Germany. That's because it has been the property of both Germany and France for over 500 years. The towns, people and grapes are mostly of German heritage, and it's very close to the current German border.
The climate should also be much colder than it is, here. But because the area is protected from cool eastern winds by the Vosges Mountains, the grapes here are bright and vibrant. Muscat is a relative "newcomer" to this region, as it was planted a mere 500 years ago - or about 600 years after the first grapes were seeded in Alsace.
Muscat itself is an ancient grape, thought to be the first grape ever made into wine, some 8,000 years ago. It was probably a favorite because it was relatively sweet and lasted longer than most, considering there were, in those days, no corks and no refrigeration.
Ours is a classic off-dry rendition, with massive flavors of peach, apricot, musk oil and spice. It's the traditional accompaniment to the legendary sausages and charcuterie of the area.
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