Exploring the Alsace Wine Route

May 17, 2019

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The Alsace wine route spans 170km along the base of the Vosges mountains, beside the wide Rhine Valley. Over 70 towns line the wine route and its proximity to Germany mean there’s a mix of cultures which influence the architecture, cuisine and of course, the wine, which has been made in the region for over 1000 years.

It’s a great place to visit to try some of these delicious wines, to see the vineyards where they are grown and to find out the processes that make them. The region holds countless wine festivals that mainly coincide with the October harvest so there are plenty of tasting opportunities too.

Actively Exploring

For those of you who like to keep active whilst on holiday, how about following the Alsace Wine Road Cycle Route where you can cycle, walk or even rollerblade around a track closed to motorists, with entertainment, tastings and music along the way with a white dress code to honour the white Alsation wines? It’s a free event and bikes can be rented from most towns and cities along the route.

Another fast-paced way to enjoy the route is the Alsace marathon. Held every June, it is a marathon with a twist. Runners pass through 17 villages and a myriad of vineyards with wine and snack stops along the way.

Relaxed Route

The region is ripe with sights to see, towns to explore and wine to sip and for those of you who like a more relaxed holiday, there are some beautiful towns along the route which are easily accessible by car or public transport if you fancy a tipple or two.

Start in the regional capital of Strasbourg and take in the grand sandstone cathedral and imposing architecture while dipping your toe into the world of Alsatian wine.

Barr

Just 30 minutes drive from Strasbourg sits Barr, with an authentic old town centre with timber-framed houses, colourful porches and lively squares. It’s busiest during the mid-July wine festival when you can taste over 200 local wines in the town hall.

It’s also worth dropping into neighbouring town Gertwiller, which makes delicious gingerbread, the scent of which fills the streets.

Venture south through the beautiful town of Mittelbergheim before you get to Dambach-la-Ville, a medieval city of wine trades which offers a tourist train and vineyard trail to thirsty tourists seeking some sustenance.

Ribeauville

Located between the vineyards and mountains, at the half-way point between Strasbourg and Mulhouse, Ribeauvillé is an attractive town of 15th – 18th century buildings with a stunning backdrop of the Three Castles of the Lords of Ribeaupierre on the surrounding hills.

Free guided tours of the old town and Town Hall are organised daily from May to October and the annual wine fair is held at the end of July. The vineyards which have been producing wine since the Middle Ages, offer visits to their cellars and tastings of some of the best regional wine including Grands Crus, Geisberg, Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé and Osterberg.

Riquewihr

Nestled between the peaks of the Vosges mountains and the Plain of Alsace this medieval town is right in the heart of the Alsatian vineyards. Its cobbled streets are peppered with winemakers’ shops and tasting cellars ready for visitors to sample the local wines – be sure to try a famous  Schoenenbourg wine named after the hill which towers over Riquewihr which is home to several of vineyards.

Colmar

Situated just east of the main wine route, Colmar is a colourful, historic town, with half-timbered houses lining the cobbled streets and canals. A visit to the 13th century Eglise Saint Martin church is a must as well as venturing to the local vineyards which specialise in Riesling and Gewürztraminer wines.

Mulhouse

The large, cosmopolitan city is a contrast to the various rural towns and villages on the Alsace wine route. However, Mulhouse offers plenty to do for tourists including a classic car museum, gothic church and famous farmers market. It is also well known for its nightlife which would provide a perfect opportunity to try all those wines you’ve sampled along the Alsace wine route!
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Exploring the Alsace Wine Route – Lucy Chambers

February 09, 2020 10:00

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