Difference between revisions of "Alsatian Vineyard Route"
Revision as of 12:45, 24 May 2010
The route is officially divided into four regions: going from the South to the North, Thann-Colmar, Colmar-Ribeauville (Rappoltsweilen), Ribeauville-Obernai, Obernai-Wissembourg.
The Alsatian Vineyard Route includes 67 towns and villages. For a complete list, see their web site.
Since Alsace used to be entirely German speaking until WW II, Alsatian German is still common. The stocks of German tourists in the area also contribute to the fact that you can get along everywhere with German. French is the only official language and is spoken by everyone, apart from elderly people who still prefer to avoid it. English is usually only basically understood.
Since the Alsatian Vineyard Route is a rural area, accessibility with public transport is highly limited. If you drive a car you will find the signs very helpful guiding you to the next stop along the route. The roads are small though and not lit, so avoid traveling in the dusk if you can.
You can get around on foot everywhere you go.
All wine villages along the route are medieval and were almost perfectly preserved. They are normally tiny, which allows you to go through such a village in about half an hour. Bigger villages are Ribeauvillé, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, Thann, Molsheim, Obernai, Barr and Guebwiller. Colmar is a city and requires an entire day.
You can tour the route for several days depending on how much of it you want to see. For one of the four regions specified above a day should normally suffice.
Alsatian food: Sour Cabbage, quiche Lorraine, tarte flambee, Kugelhopf, Black Forest cake and macarons.
Try local Alsatian wine, which is excellent! Unusually for France, the wine labels prominently feature the grape variety. Riesling ages well and takes on a minerally, almost petrol flavor over time. Gewurztraminer is a wine you will love or hate. Floral, spicy, and perfumed, it is an ideal wine for spicy food such as curries. Pinot Gris is the French name for the now unbiquitous Pinot Grigio of Italy. Pinot Noir is the only red wine widely produced in Alsace.