Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fall Exploration of the Alsatian Wine Road

Fall is a great time to explore the wine road of Alsace.  You will enjoy the picturesque countryside of rolling hills covered in rust colored vineyards and picture-book villages. After the  summer trafic jams the scenic country roads of Alsace regain some peace and quiet to be  left for you to discover at a leisurely pace in pleasant Indian summer temperatures.

Alsace is situated in the northeast corner of France  on the west bank of the Rhine River and shares borders with Germany and Switzerland.

The famed Alsace wine road runs 170 km from north to south passing through seventy wine-growing villages, many being considered to be the most beautiful villages in France. Starting in Strasbourg , the capital of Alsace and ending in Colmar , its wine capital,  your journey along the scenic road will let you  explore historical sites, pretty villages, meet winegrowers,  taste their wines as well savor the many  local specialities that make Alsace a top gastronomic  destination.

Strasbourg makes for a great starting point for its easy access by air, train and roads.  In Strasbourg discover the picturesque historical center where stands for some 800 years the gorgeous gothic cathedral Notre Dame constructed from the pink-sandstone quarried in  the nearby Vosges Mountains. You will be charmed by  the picturesque neighborhood of la Petite France lined with flowered timber-framed houses and you will  delight at the many inviting squares filled with cafes and winstubs where you can sip a local beer or glass of wine and feast on Alsatian specialities like Choucroute,  baekeoffe or tarte flambée.

Historic sites and monuments
Just 40km southwest  of  Strasbourg  you can stop at Mont Saint Odile.  Named for the Patron saint of Alsace  this hill top is the site of a convent which has welcomed pilgrims since the  16th century.  You can visit the convent with its chapel and cloister and  enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding Alsace plains and  mountains.  

Further south you will find the Chateau du Haut Koenigsberg.  This red sandstone medieval castle stands on top of a rocky promontory  over 700 meters high. The original 12th century fortress has been dismantled and rebuilt a number of times over the centuries in a land that had been bitterly contested. The present castle was rebuilt in the early 20th century by King Willhem II in the medieval style with turrets, towers, battlements, drawbridges and moat. There is plenty to explore inside and around the castle. 

 Picturesque Villages
 On your journey along the wine road, you will be beckoned by many picture-postcard worthy villages with their characteristically Alsatian  geranium-bedecked timber-frame houses. Villages considered the prettiest  of Alsace include Obernai, Barr, Dambach, Ribeauville, Riquewhir, Eguisheim, Kaysersburg , Turkheim just to name a few. Meander the villages'  cobblestone lanes to  explore their unique architectural heritage of ancient gates, medieval walls, churches, town halls,market places and attractive Medieval and Renaissance houses.


Meandering along the Route du Vin you will pass rows after rows of well tended vineyards.  Alsatian wines use specific variety of grapes; their AOC bear the name of the grape variety.
Alsace counts seven AOC  grape wines;  Six white wines:  Gewurtztraminer,  Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris,  Sylvaner, Muscat, and Pinto Gris;  and one red or rose wine: Pinot Noir.  In autumn during the harvest many wine related events take place and visitors are welcomed to visit cellars to meet the wine growers and sample the fruit of their vines. 

A must-see on the wine route of Alsace is the charming town of Colmar, considered to be he capital of  Alsace wine. You will be enchanted by its old town lined with colorful houses, particularly in the picturesque neighborhood of La Petite Venise alongside the River Lauch.  Not to be missed is a visit of the superb Unterlinden Museum where you can admire a masterpiece from the 16th century-- the Isenheim Altarpiece

For travel planning to Alsace visit Enchanted France - call 323 9311769 or email

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