Tardy? In laid back Alsace this is viewed as something of a plus point. The Vosges mountains which make the area so striking also ensure that all the clouds dump their rain before getting near the region - result - despite being up north it's one of the driest areas in France. Canny producers take advantage of the long warm autumns to leave the grapes to get super-ripe before harvesting. The riper they are, the more sugar they have giving a luscious bottle of liquid honey with peach and pear notes.