Alsace Wine Road Villages, France

Grand Rue Colmar France
Grand Rue - Colmar, France
Street Riquewirhr Alsace France
Street in Riquewihr - Alsace, France
Alsace Wine Country France
Alsace Wine Country - France
Tarte Flambee French Cheese Alsace France
Tarte Flambee & French Cheese 
- Alsace, France
Wine Village Vineyards Alsace France
Typical Wine Village in Vineyards 
- Alsace, France
Petite Venise Colmar France
Petite Venise - Colmar, France
Obernai Alsace France
Obernai in Alsace, France

Alsace Wine Road & Villages (Route du Vin D’Alsace), France (6/12-14/2011) - Cute, cute, and then more cute! Pat says Alsace is cuter than cute. Do view all these photos.

The Alsatian Vineyard Route is primarily a rural route that includes 67 enchanting medieval towns and 119 wine producing villages situated on the slopes of the Massif des Vosges (foothills). 

Mostly perfectly preserved, each village in Alsace with its story-book cobblestone streets & courtyards, red tile roofs, abundant flowers and geraniums, medieval half-timbered architecture, and a pretty church rising up out of the middle is compressed within tiny defined boundaries surrounded by fields of crops, mostly vineyards.

The Alsace towns have names such as Obernai, Riquewihr, and Colmar (our favorites) as well as Ribeauville, Kaysersberg, Barr, Dambach-la-Ville, and Bergheim.

Each Alsace village is surrounded by wineries (caves) that offer free wine tasting and are famous for their Riesling and Gewurztraminer wines that were born here along with Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir wines. We stopped in for several tastings. We particularly liked the Alsace Pinot Gris. 

The French Alsace wines are specifically designed to pair with the foods of the Alsace area. Alsace is also home to some of the best beers in the world like Kronenbourg, Kanterbrau, and Fischer.

Alsace Village Village France
Alsace Village Village - France
Alsace is the smallest region in France but possesses the largest number of five-star chefs per inhabitant. And we continued our French food fest. One interesting dish is the tarte flambee, the Alsatian equivalent of pizza but much different (see photo). Traditionally, it is made of a thin layer of dough, covered with creme fraiche (light fresh cheese), cheese, onions, and bacon and then baked very quickly in an extremely hot oven so it gets crispy. We also loved the macaroons!

Riquewihr Alsace France
Riquewihr - Alsace, France
In mid-May, we had no difficulty finding places to stay the night in Alsace without reservations in Obernai and Colmar. One night we stayed in a maison (a house surrounded by a vineyard) near Riquewihr where we could see a small castle on the hill and we had breakfast overlooking the vineyards and the wine village - more romantic points for Wayne.

Chateau du Haut Koenigsbourg France
Chateau du Haut Koenigsbourg
We visited the hilltop 12th century castle Chateau du Haut Koenigsbourg and the Le Mont-Ste-Odile convent in the mountains. We enjoyed the ride through the pine forests on the way.

We ended our Alsace stay with a day visit to Colmar, the attractive capital of the Alsace Wine Road region. In Colmar, we loved our boat ride through the canals of Petite Venice (see photo), wandering more beautiful streets, and having the police escort us to our hostel because the streets were difficult to navigate.

Map of France and Alsace
Map of France and Alsace
Some history... Alsace is bordered on the east by the Rhine River (also forming the natural border between France and Germany). Through its history Alsace has changed hands between Germany and France on several occasions. The local culture is distinct. Alsatians have a very deep attachment to France even if the French Government has not always reciprocated. 

During WWI, all Alsatian men were sent by the Germans to the Russian front. Some boys managed to escape before being sent there and went to Paris to enroll in the French army. This came at a dire price as the family of those "malgre nous" would often be killed or sent to concentration camps.

Please see our other 10 travel posts on beautiful France:

Paris, France

Loire Valley, France

Mont Saint Michel & Saint Malo, France

Strasbourg - Alsace, France

Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux Wine Country, Saint Emilion, Paulliac, & Cognac, France 

Burgundy & Cote d'Or Wine Country, France

Chablis, Dijon, & Vezelay, France

Champagne Route, France

Reims (Champagne Capital), France

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