If you would like to go on a mini-trip this summer and you are short of ideas, we have the perfect one for you: after our article on holidays for wine lovers in France, here is one that tells you about the Alsace Wine Route.
The Alsace Wine Route: by bike and by car
You read that right: in Alsace, one of the most renowned French regions for grapes and winemaking, there is a Wine Route. It is a path that crosses the whole region for 170 km, travelling through characteristic villages often animated by awesome events dedicated to the world of wine and also rich with vineyards and wineries. Those who take this route, embark on a unique adventure dedicated to wine, a journey unique in the world among wine tastings to discover the most famous wines of the region, including Riesling, Sylvaner, Muscat, Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer.
This itinerary for wine lovers can be completed in a few days or, to visit all the villages and not miss even a vineyard or a castle on the way, it can be tackled calmly within one to two weeks or so.
One of the peculiarities that make it much loved and famous all over the world is also the fact of being able to choose how to travel through it: the most classic way is by car, but for the more adventurous and nature lovers there is no shortage of places to rent bicycles and pedalling between one stage and another, fully enjoying the landscape and architectural wonders of the area.
The main stages of the Alsace Wine Route
As mentioned above, the Alsace Wine Route can be tackled in different ways and with various timing: the 170 km route crosses a large number of villages and places of interest, so there are plenty of stops not to be missed. However, whatever the length of the holiday you have available, here are the stops you should not be missing:
Stage 1: from Wissenbourg to Cleebourg
The first stage begins in the northern part of the itinerary: here you can visit some historic vineyards while enjoying the beauty of the Northern Vosges Regional Natural Park and within it the Gothic abbey church of St. Peter and Paul.
Stage 2: from Marlenheim to Obernai
Going south it is impossible not to appreciate the so-called Paths of Bacchus. Pinot Noir is grown and then produced here and throughout the area, so don’t forget to book a tasting.
Stage 3: from Obernai to Dambach-la-Ville
The village of Obernai is a visit not to be missed: a charming, tipically Alsatian village on the slopes of Mont Sainte-Odile. From here it is possible to reach the villages on the southern route and discover the typical Klévener grape, and then meet Barr, famous for its wines, and the fascinating castle of Andlau.
Stage 4: from Dambach-la-Ville to Ribeauvillé
Continuing to move south you enter the heart of the Wine Route: here almost every village boasts its castle and at every corner, you can enjoy truly enchanting medieval views. If you are lucky and you get there at the right time, among the enchanted architectures of Ribeauvillé you might find the Minstrels festival.
Stage 5: from Ribeauvillé to Colmar
This stage is one of the most fascinating and unmissable of the entire Wine Route. Starting from Hunawihr, considered one of the most beautiful villages in the whole of France, up to Colmar, the Little Venice so-called for its romantic canals. And in between these two points a wealth of typical and characteristic villages where you can taste glasses of wine in among castles and unspoiled nature.
Stage 6: from Colmar to Rouffach
Leaving Colmar it is time to get immersed in the vineyards and be enchanted by the countless castles that dot this part of the itinerary. Among these, don’t miss the Castle of Hohlandsbourg and the three in Eguisheim. Arrived towards the end of the route, if you are lucky you will find the traditional Pfaffenheim wine festival.
Stage 7: from Rouffach to Thann
The last stage is dedicated to the discovery of the Grand Crus trails: here, moving towards the southernmost vineyard in Alsace, namely that of Thann, you will encounter enchanting and characteristic villages that will undoubtedly remain in your memory.
Go on a wine adventure in Alsace
The Alsace Wine Route seems like the ideal holiday for any wine lover. What if you are stuck home? Do not worry, we will help you to enjoy all the genuine flavour of Alsatian wines thanks to our catalogue of natural French wines. Which one will you start with?