Alsace is one of the smallest regions in France located on France’s eastern border and on the west bank of the upper Rhine adjacent to Germany and Switzerland. The region is full of beautiful castles and absolutely adorable villages as Riquewihr, Eguisheim, Mittelbergheim or Bergheim.
The position in northern France makes this the perfect stop for travelers from Scandinavia. Spend two nights in a colorful medieval town, join the winetasting (winemakers have their shops in the villages with free tasting), eat classic Alsatian food as Choucroute (sauerkraut served with potatoes, very thick slices of bacon and other smoked and salted pork meat, sausages, etc), Flammekueche (oven baked thin crust pizza with cream, onions and chopped bacon), Baeckeoffe, Bibeleskas, Escargots à l’Alsacienne or Munster cheese. Everything of course served with create Alsace wine.
Alsace wines are mainly white wines, but also red wines from the grape Pinot Noir occur. Over 90% of Alsace wines are made from white grape varieties. Aromatic and balanced with impressive acidity and structure, these wines are remarkably food friendly. The biggest difference between alsace wines and its German neighbors on the other side of the Rhine, is Alsace wines are traditionally allowed to ferment out completely and thus lacks residual sweetness.
Best 4 villages to visit in the Alsace region
1. Riquewihr. Winegrowing community on the Wine Route (altitude 300 m), Riquewihr currently has 1228 inhabitants and is a member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in France. It stands 4 km from Ribeauvillé. Many shops and boutiques, as well as hotels, restaurants and Winstubs, an intermunicipal campsite, bed-and-breakfast rooms and furnished flats. Many winegrowers offer guided tours of their cellars with tastings.
Several wine producers have their shop with tasting room in the village, e.g.:
- Dopff au Moulin – Great Crémant d’Alsace (sparkling wine).
- Daniel Wiederhirn – Taste their wine in a cellar from the 16th-century!
- Hugel et Fils – Historical wine cellar with the world’s oldest wine barrel which is still in use.
2. Eguisheim. Surrounded by vineyards, nestling in a fold of green hills, Eguisheim is a medieval village whose narrow, concentric streets highlight the architectural merits of its half-timbered houses, lovingly decorated with flowers. Since 1985, this passion has been rewarded with the “4-flower” rating of France’s National Floral Award. Discover in this unique village: historic fountains, tithe manors, a yellow sandstone church with a 13th century “Opening Virgin” statue. Stroll along its narrow streets and admire the broad spectrum of its coloured houses, where ancient inscriptions can be deciphered on the stone lintels. Fall in love with the personality of this most typical Alsace villages.
3. Mittelbergheim, one of the most beautiful village of France. This renowned gastronomic centre stands on the slopes at the foot of the Crax hill. Its remarkable location and architectural heritage have earned it the title of one of ‘the most beautiful villages of France’
4. Bergheim is a very pleasant winegrowing village on the Wine Trail, with a very uncommon past. It is one of the best preserved and most typical towns of Alsace. The Musée de la Sorcière (Witches Museum) shows an exhibition about the witch trials that took place in this town between 1582 and 1682. Many other sites deserve a visit : The ramparts with their towers. The Town Hall with its square and fountain. The pleasure garden and its famous lime tree of 1300. The gothic basilica…