The French region of Alsace AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) lies to the east of the Vosges Mountains, which protect the vineyards from rain-bearing westerly winds. It is therefore one of the driest and sunniest wine-producing regions in all of France. The best vineyards are planted in the mountain foothills facing east or south-east to benefit from the morning sun. Long periods of uninterrupted sunshine extend the growing season long into the autumn, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and gradually. Alsace AOC is the most famous region for Gewurztraminer, where it produces some of the region’s highest-quality grand cru wines alongside Riesling and Pinot Gris.