The Alsatian Wine Route is one of the most popular destinations among wine lovers on private tours of France. Running from Thann to Marlenheim for 170 km, it takes travellers through the area where wine has been made for thousands of years. Apart from excellent local wines such as riesling, gewürztraminer, sylvaner and pinot noir, the region has a lot more to offer with its picture-perfect medieval villages, cultural and enogastronomic events and friendly locals.
|Alsatian Wine Route|
100 villages are scattered along the Alsatian Wine Route, one more beautiful than the other. Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, Ribeauvillé, Turckheim, Eguisheim are among the most popular which means they might get rather crowded in summer and during harvest celebrations. If you like quieter places head to Saint-Hippolyte, a sleepy village near a grand castle, Haut-Koenigsbourg. The village of Bergheim has well-preserved medieval walls and the imposing gate with a fortified tower that has been used for many centuries as the entrance to the village. The brightly painted half-timbered houses have not changed much since the 15th century creating a charming atmosphere that takes visitors back in time. The capital of Alsatian wine, Colmar, is filled with flower-bedecked half-timbered houses, museums and wine cellars offering degustations to visitors.
The Alsatian Wine Route is famous for its wine and food festivals loved by tourists and locals alike. In August Eguisheim hosts the annual Wine festival with open wine cellars, village dances and traditional feasts. There are great wine festivals in Mittelbergheim and Bergheim in July. In Autumn, many villages celebrate the grape harvest with wine tastings, parades, concerts and traditional meals.
Apart from fine wines, you can enjoy hearty Alsatian cuisine. Locally made foie gras, classic choucroute cabbage with tasty sausages, jambonneau pork knuckle, veal tripe braised in Riesling and baeckeoffe slow cooked meat stew. Every village has at least one Winstub, a traditional Alsatian restaurant that serves great wine and simple local dishes.
Photos via Flickr by: Travis Nobles, Tjeerd Wiersma, Francois Schnell.