Kessler is an Alsace Grand Cru vineyard in the village of Guebwiller in Alsace, north-eastern France. It is among the more southerly of the 51 Grand Cru sites dotted along the eastern slopes of the Vosges Mountains.
The quality of the local terroir has been known for many centuries and Kessler is one of several Grand Crus in the immediate area. The vineyard shares the lower slopes of the Unterlinger hillside with its immediate neighbors, Saering, Spiegel and Kitterle. It is separated from them by a natural spur of granite jutting out from the foot of the hill. Kessler covers 72 acres (29ha) of the higher eastern slopes.
The majority of the Kessler vineyard has an ideal south-easterly aspect, although a natural depression in the topography means that the northern edges of the site curve around from due south to due east. The slopes are not as steep as those of the Kitterle site just over the spur, but they are precipitous enough to require sporadic terracing, climbing from 1050 to 1320ft (320–400m) in a very short distance.
The climate of the area is of continental type with marked low rainfall – a result of the rain shadow cast by the Vosges. The mountains also provide protection from the prevailing westerly winds, making the Alsatian summer one of the driest and warmest in the northern half of France. At the other end of the temperature scale, the winters here are cold; it is not uncommon to see Alsace vineyards lined with snow. Because it is located higher up, Kessler is not as prone to the spring frosts which affect Kitterle and Searing.
Apart from a few notable exceptions, all Alsace Grand Cru wines are varietals and may be made from Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris or Muscat. Riesling is the most-successful variety as far as Kessler is concerned, producing wines with noticeable minerality and balanced acidity.