The Alsace Wine Route winds its way from north to south for 170 kilometres, below the wooded foothills of the Vosges. This delightful route runs across undulating hillsides, occasionally quite steep ones, through pretty villages with narrow streets of half timbered-houses and flower decked balconies, clustered around the church steeple.Traditional inns and cool, inviting wine cellars pay tribute to the importance of wine locally.
A few steps from the Wine Route, signposted vineyards paths invite the visitor to discover the work of the winegrower and the diversity of the grape varieties.
Numerous traditional festivals and wine fairs are held between April and October, for example : Colmar (week of 15th August), Ammerschwihr (April), Guebwiller (Ascension day), and Ribeauvillé (late July) are the best-known.
Wines of Appellation d'Origine Controlée (A.O.C.), both Alsace and Alsace Grand Cru, are generally named after the grape variety from which they are produced, and are always presented in the traditionnal, slim Alsace "flute" bottle. They should be served chilled but not iced, at 8 – 10°C.
Considered as one of the finest white wines in the world, it is vivaceous, distinguished and delicately fruity. Riesling is perfect with fish, shellfish and seafood, but also with white meats and of course the famous choucroute of Alsace.
Renowned for its exceptionnally aromatic character, with a fruity, floral and spicy bouquet, it is a full-bodied powerful and well-rounded wine. Gewurztraminer is ideal as an apéritif, with exotic cuisine (Asian, Mexican, Indian) with cheese and with dessert.
Light and refreshing, discreetly fruity, it is particularly recommended with seafood, charcuterie and salads.
Fresh yet nicely rounded, it represents an ideal happy medium in the range of Alsace wwines, harmonising with a hoste of dishes (poultry, fish, hot or cold starters…).
TOKAY PINOT GRIS
A powerful, rich wine with complex aromas, it can often advantageously replace a reed wine with white meats and game.
Inimitably fruity, its aromatic yet dry character makes it a wonderful apéritif. Also recommended with aspargus.
The only rosé or red wine of Alsace with a typically fruity, cherry-like bouquet, it makes a perfect match for charcuterie and red meats.
The Crémant d'Alsace is reserved for sparkling wines made by the traditional methods, as in Champagne.
THE HARVEST IN ALSACE
In Alsace, the harvest generally takes place from mid-september to mid-october ; the date varies each year depending on the maturity of the grapes. During this period, it is advisable to check in advance if cellar visits are possible, as these may be interrupted due to pressure of harvest work.
The powerful beauty of sumptous automnal colours in the warm sunshine, and the joyful exuberance of teams of harvest workers, enhance the fascinating charm of this season, when the land yields its most noble fruit.