The Alsace Wine Route – Photo Essay

With vineyards on rolling hills that stretch into the horizon, small medieval villages scattered in the region and castles and forts perched on top of small mountains, the French Alsace is among the world’s most picturesque wine regions.

When I first arrived in Alsace I couldn’t believe my eyes – the scenery and towns were the kind I didn’t think existed anymore; pastel colored half-timbered houses line the sides of cobblestone alleys with basement restaurants serving wine from the surrounding vineyards.

It’s like a storybook, only difference is that it’s actually real, and authentic. Unlike many places in the world that have become open-air museums, the towns of Alsace are real and alive.

During WWII many towns and cities in Europe were burned to the ground, and historic beauty was rarely a good enough excuse for a town to be spared.

Colmar, however, was an exception, and the American and British military were careful not to bomb the quaint cobbled town – while other villages in the Alsace region were destroyed, many are still intact and lovingly cared for to continue preserving its medieval beauty.

Today, Colmar is thriving, and the surrounding villages continue with their wine business as they have for hundreds of years already. Time really does seem to stand still in this part of the world.

The quiet atmosphere and pastel colored houses with overflowing flower boxes by every window make these little villages the perfect places to sit down and enjoy a glass of wine, harvested literally from around the corner.

Two very picturesque villages that are located close to the larger Alsatian town Colmar are Eguisheim and Riquewihr, but there are dozens more to choose from.

I’ve always been a red wine kind of girl, but since I was in the white wine capital of France I knew I should at least try some, and turned out loving the Riesling and Gewürztraminer, they were spicy and refreshing.

They do make one red wine though, Pinot Noir, which I highly recommend tasting!

The easiest way to get around is by car, but there is a bus going from Colmar to Riquewihr a few times per day so it is possible if you do some planning in advance (the ride takes 30 min, €6 return).

Alsace’s unique culture mix is one you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world, and I highly recommend you take some time when traveling in France (or Germany for that matter!) to check out the quaint Alsace region.

11 Responses to The Alsace Wine Route – Photo Essay

  1. Travel Videos June 20, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    Great article Sofia! I would love to invite you to visit our Travel Videos site and write something about it!

  2. Scott June 20, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    Those are some amazing shots! That looks like a beautiful place, I would really love to visit it some day.

    • Sofia June 28, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      Thanks Scott, it’s a beautiful place :)

  3. Dean June 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Wine and picturesque towns. Sounds just perfect :) Great shots!

    • Sofia June 28, 2013 at 9:03 am #

      Thanks Dean, yeah it’s one of those places that are pretty much perfect ;)

  4. Audrey | That Backpacker June 22, 2013 at 5:11 am #

    I haven’t spent a lot of time in Alsace aside from 2 brief trips to Strasbourg, but I have a feeling I would enjoy visiting some of the smaller towns. ;)

    • Sofia June 28, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      We never went to Strasbourg, but I would definitely recommend the smaller towns in Alsace next time you visit!

  5. Heather June 22, 2013 at 6:04 am #

    It looks like the setting for a fairy tale! Thank goodness some of these beautiful places were spared during the war.

    • Sofia June 28, 2013 at 9:04 am #

      I agree, it’s so wonderful that there are still places like these left, I truly hope it will stay that way forever.

  6. atravelthing June 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    Love the pictures! Going on a trip to visit different vineyards, trying vine and eat good food is a dream of mine. Amazing surroundings and nature!

    • Sofia June 28, 2013 at 9:06 am #

      Thank you! If that is a dream of yours you should definitely go to Alsace, it has all of it!