You can't imagine your life without a good glass of wine or even consider yourself to be an oenophile? Are you a fan of white wines such as Riesling and Pinot Blanc? In that case – Alsace is the wine region for you.
But, first things first – where is Alsace?
On the Eastern side of France lies the sunniest region in the country – Alsace. Alsace region borders Switzerland and Germany and follows the river Rhine through its long strip.
Colorful villages and prosperous ancient vineyards of the region have their own story to tell. The identity of Alsatians is a bit peculiar. Being partly German and partly French, seems to sum up in unique Alsatian wine, cuisine, historic mosaics, and language. They appreciate tradition, their cuisine is out of this world, and they produce the best Pinot Blanc in the world.
So, are you ready for the wine journey of your life? Here is Alsace – first-rate wine region with a fairytale wine route for all the wine enthusiasts.
Alsace wine route itinerary - Route des vins d'Alsace
If you want to meet the winemakers and taste the best Alsace wines, here are the villages and cities that have to be on your bucket list. Winemaking of Alsace region is a perfect excuse for countless festivals. One of them is a grape harvest festival that lasts from April till October – so hurry up!
Besides wine tasting, the villages and cities of Alsace also offer plenty for the eye. Their picturesque houses and lovely streets are unforgettable, and the people will make you feel welcome.
The Alsace vineyards are divided into two parts: the North part (or The Bas-Rhin) by Strasbourg and the South part (or Haut Rhin) in Vosges Mountains:
Strasbourg – starting point: A wine cellar from the 14th century with a barrel of the world's oldest wine will put you in the right mood to start your wine tour.
Obernai – Unmissable charming little town where you'll be able to meet the vintners and do a lot of wine tasting.
Barr – Stop here to discover the best white wines in one of the finest growing areas in Alsace. Award-winning commune by the National Council of towns and Villages in Bloom will bedazzle you.
Kaysersberg – aka Emperor's Mountain is another fairytale village marked by an ancient castle. Its local specialties are the wines from Pinot Gris.
Colmar – This romantic old town is an architectural pearl, and you need at least a day to explore its Petite Venise district, the Pfister House (from 1537) and Musee d'Unterlinden.
Guebwiller – picturesque medieval streets and open squares of this town are not to be missed. But we recommend you step out of your hired car and take a hike to the Guebwiller vineyards and explore the know-how of the Alsace winemakers.
Best wines of Alsace
Here comes the most enjoyable part of your getaway: the wine tasting
Wines of Alsace are unique as their region – dry, but full of flavor, complex, but fresh and fruity. Almost 90% of Alsace wines are white, but they are made for every style or taste. Here are our favourites:
- Gewurztraminer – spicy, intense, complex with a hint of exotic fruits. Spicy Gewurtztraminer from Alsace is an ideal partner for intense food – Indian, strong cheeses, figs, and dates.
- Alsatian Riesling is fresh and rich with aromas – such as grapefruit, lemon and pear. It is extremely food friendly – it goes well with poultry, Asian food, seafood and all sorts of cheese.
- Pinot Blanc from Alsace region will convince you with its fruitiness. Dry wine with medium acidity goes well with poultry and fish and it's our all-time favourite.
- Alsatian Sparkling Wine – Cremant d'Alsace – bubbly wine similar to Champagne that fits all cuisines and occasions is here to impress the ladies.
Grand Cru of Alsace
You can't pass the Alsace without hearing the name Grand Cru. This is a name given to the most celebrated vineyards in the slopes of Alsace (where there is more exposure to the sun, so the grapes absorb more solar energy). And the best fruits with the help of good winemakers produce the best wine in the region. Now you can find 51 Grand Cru vineyards in Alsace à Grand Cru List
Grand Cru or not – even without this prestige name, the wines of Alsace are splendid and they make no excuses.