France’s Alsace Wine Region, Postcards To Remember

The French Wine Region of Alsace is a beautiful patchwork of forested rolling hills, valleys filled with quaint picturesque villages and hillside vineyards watched over by medieval castles. This charming wine growing region in the northeastern part of France lies in a valley along the Rhine River that separates France from Germany. While this small region might not be as well known as Champagne, Burgundy and Bordeaux, its vineyards are some of the oldest and highest quality found in France.

Riquewihr, France

Time and again, I’ve been asked about the photo that tops Back Road Journal. It was taken high on a hill at the edge of one of the vineyards in Alsace on a misty day in September. You can see the beautiful patchwork of colors the vineyards create in the fall in the photograph that I mention below.

Alsatian Vineyards Create A Patchwork Of Colors In The Fall

The colors of fall in the vineyards not only add to the scenic beauty of the area but it is also a wonderful time to visit Alsace. The grapes are ready to be harvested and after the harvest, the villages all celebrate with special wine festivals.

Click on any photo in this article to enlarge and see a slide show.

The Alsace Wine Road runs south from Strasbourg, with the Rhine river that borders Germany to its east and the Vosges mountains to its west, and continues down towards Colmar and just beyond. The wine route passes through beautiful villages, some with their medieval walls still surrounding them. Off in the distance, you often see ruins of a castle perched high on a hill top. Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle, one of France’s most widely visited castles has been completely restored and should not be missed when in the area.

Cobblestone streets are lined with colorful half-timbered shops and homes that are laden with flowers giving the villages a look which will remind you of the fairytale books you read as a child.

Enjoy local region cuisine in one of small local bistros or winstubs where you might want to try one of the region’s specialties such as tart d’oignion, tarte flambee, quenelles de foie or the ever popular choucroute garnie with sauerkraut, sausages, ham, bacon, and potatoes. It is usually a very large serving and is hard to finish unless you share it with someone. We have eaten several times at Winstub au Rouge d’Ottrot in Ottrot. It is a very popular place with the locals from the surrounding area. If you would prefer a multi course fine dining experience and we have had them, head to one of the 30 or so excellent Michelin starred restaurants in throughout the Alsace region. Some consider the cuisine of Alsace to be some of the best in Europe because it has been influenced by  not only the cooking of France but Germany as well. All I know is that it is delicious.

When you’re not tasting wine or having lunch, take time out to wander through the village’s winding little streets before heading to the next ancient village, some considered the most beautiful in France. Keep an eye to the rooftops where you may even spy a stock standing next to its large nest.

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You can see why the wine growing region of Alsace, France is a place my husband and I have returned to year after year. We love the delicious food, wonderful wines and memorable sights. The majority of the well known Alsatian wine road lies between beautiful cities of Strasbourg and Colmar, making them or any of the charming towns in the area a good base for not only exploring the region but also the nearby countries of Germany and Switzerland which Alsace borders. I hope you will get a chance to visit this wonderful part of France someday. Picturesque villages tucked into valleys sometimes with a castle perched high up on a hill…that is what travel dreams are made of.

Bon Voyage

 

 

 

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

124 thoughts on “France’s Alsace Wine Region, Postcards To Remember

  1. This post has all my favorite things in it – Travel, wine and food 🙂 The photography is stunning! You’ve described this part of France beautifully Karen, I’m making a mental note to explore it on our next trip to France. Just beautiful!

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Loretta, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post and photos from Alsace. I agree with you and think you would enjoy visiting the Alsace region as it is a lovely part of France.

    1. Thank you Linda, I’m glad that you enjoy my travel posts. I feel the same about yours as well. All’s well with us, enjoy your time in Maine.

  2. Oh, my! By doing my genealogy I have learned I have people from that region centuries ago but it’s not a spot I’ve ever been. Photos like this make me think I must visit sometimes (even if I didn’t have a connection.) They ar beautifully executed and your subject matter is divine!

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment Lisa. Our favorite time of the year to visit is the fall as the grapes are being harvested, there are wine celebrations and the weather is perfect.

  3. Alsace is probably my favourite region in France and we have been there several times. All these villages are chocolate box pretty, like Kayserberg and Obernai, where we spent a couple of Christmas holidays, making it even more magical. I also love Guwerstraminer wine, but I fear I drink it all too quickly. I always buy it for my birthday. And don’t gorgeous the wonderful storks, the symbol of the area: simply stunning!
    You have very nice photos here, Karen, and have captured the spirit of Alsace wally well. 👍❤

    1. Hi Fatima, I remember you travels in the Alsace during Christmas. We have spent two Christmases in Europe and love all the markets and special celebrations. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and photos.

      1. Oh dear! I’ve just seen how autocorrect changed what I wrote! 😣I wrote ‘don’t forget’ the wonderful storks and ‘very well’ at the end, not ‘wally’. Sorry about that. 😢

    1. I agree Ingrid, The flower laden half-timbered buildings with an occasional castle does make the Alsace region one of France’s loveliest.

    1. Hi Pam, I do hope you get a chance to visit the Alsace as it is such an pretty region with lots to see and do. It really does look like something out of a fairytale…I know you would enjoy it.

  4. We’ve toured the Rhine region in Germany and experienced the October festivals, but have yet to make it to the Alsace area. Perhaps our next trip Southward we’ll make the tour.
    As for the food, I would be all over that Choucroute Garnie. Thanks for inspiring me to visit.

    1. Hi Ron, I believe you would enjoy the Alsace, it reminds me very much of the Rhine region of Germany. I think you and my husband have the same tastes when it comes to food. 🙂

  5. Is there actually time to site see when “you’re not tasting wine or having lunch”? Obviously there is by the number of beautiful photos you have posted. Again, thanks for taking me along.

    1. Loved your comment Debra, it gave me a big laugh. Oh yes, there is a lot of eating in our travels but that is while we are resting our tired bodies from all the walking and sightseeing. 😀 I always love having you follow along on our travels…thank you!

  6. Alsace is one of my favorite areas with their cute architecture, cobble stone streets, and fantastic food and wine. There are so many great restaurants and their Riesling is a great wine and so easy to drink. I have been going there for many years. If you ever get a chance Karen , make reservation at the Auberge de I’ll in Illhausen. It’s a three star Michelin but in my opinion one of the best restaurants I have eaten. They also have a hotel, it is very pricey.

  7. I LOVE traveling vicariously through your blog! You’ve taken me to so many interesting places. I’d love to visit here — so pretty. Wonderful post — thanks.

    1. Oh David, you and Mark would absolutely love visiting this area. It is so nice as you not only have France but the Black Forest is just across the River for day trips as well.

    1. Hi Roslyn, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post and photos of Alsace.

  8. Well, having lived for four years on the German side of the border as a child, so remember the Germans trying to lay ‘ownership’ to Alsace-Lorraine 🙂 ! Especially the wine 🙂 !! You show a fine collection of inviting photos . . . . I may not particularly care for the traditional food of the area but the rampant flowers grown in the short enough summer lead to pleasurable smiles for me . . . .

    1. Hi Eva, The flower laden buildings are a sight to behold. While both sides of the Rhine are similar in many ways, there are some French dishes that I enjoy in Alsace that you don’t necessarily find elsewhere. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, thank you.

  9. I certainly can see why you’d return every opportunity! The colors are what grab my attention, Karen. Stunning, indeed. What happy memories you’ve collected in this very impressive wine region. 🙂

  10. I just love your photos. Where I live, Karen, our population is growing by leaps and bound. Lovely old homes are being destroyed and replaced with concrete boxes called apartments.

    1. Thank you for your compliment Mary, I’m happy you enjoyed the photos. Historic buildings are constantly being restored in this pretty part of France…it is a shame about your area.

  11. As always, beautiful photos of the food and scenery of this lovely destination. This is where my dad’s grandparents came from (when it was part of Germany? I think). I hope to visit one day soon!!

  12. I used to live near Colmar but a had no idea about the winemaking heritage. The area is certainly very beautiful – like you say, the buildings could be straight from a children’s fairy tale.

    1. Thank you Darryl, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. It does have a magical feel about it, I’m sure Alsace has inspired a lot of writers and movie makers.

  13. Once again, I’m absolutely stunned by your breath-taking photos. I could never imagine such a beautiful place existing in real life, but I would give anything to travel there!

    1. I do hope you get a chance to visit Alsace one day Hannah, you would love it. Thank you so much for your lovely compliment, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post and photos.

  14. Interesting post and very enjoyable photos. We have made three road trips in Germany and we have driven alongside the Rhine River, but never on French side. One memorable route was 67 km long route between Rüdesheim and Koblenz.

    1. Thank you Sartenada, I’m glad you liked the post and photos about Alsace. There are many things about the region that will remind you of your trips to Germany. Think of this as a decidedly French twist with its good regional French food and slightly different landscape. 🙂

  15. What a beautiful place! I can certainly see why you guys go back time and again. Sadly, I’ve never been. Even managed to miss it when I was living in France… Will need to correct that mistake one day.

    1. Hi Frank, It sounds as though you were so close yet still far enough away to have never made it to Alsace. Hopefully you will have a chance to visit this lovely area someday.

  16. One of the prettiest regions in France, although there are so many. Such pretty photos, although it is hard to take a bad photo there, isn’t it?!!! Happy traveling!

    1. Hi David, I’m happy that my post brought back memories of your visit to this area. I do know that one of the specialties of the region tarte flambée is a favorite of yours as well as my husband and myself.

    1. I’m happy to know that this post came at an opportune time Fida. I do hope you add at least part of the Alsace region to your itinerary as I know you will enjoy it. Happy Travels.

  17. What picturesque landscapes! Those bright colored fall vineyards and the flower baskets hanging from the country houses feel like the perfect backdrop to enjoying some delicious cheese and wine.

  18. Oh Karen, your photos are just magical, and they do remind me of fairy tales!! I don’t know if I’ll ever get to Alsace, but thank you for taking me along a special tour through your post.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, If you plan another trip to France I hope you get a chance to visit this lovely region on its eastern border with Germany. It is so picturesque, I know you would love it.

  19. We spent a month in Alsace in 2008, coming home just as the economy was collapsing. It is a lovely area so full of history and, you’re right, the wines are fabulous. But our Eguisheim apartment lacked a proper oven (I cried when I realized it after we arrived) and I have to say that, after a month of restaurant meals and traiteur carryout: If I never see poulet au reisling or choucroute again it will be too soon. 🙂 Just kidding, really, but I did feel that way for quite a few years!

    1. Hi Michelle, Even without a proper oven I’m envious of your month in Eguisheim. You were just a few miles away from the delightful city of Colmar. I guess sometimes you can just have too much of a good thing. 😀

    1. Hi Tandy, I agree with how lovely the area is. I have friends who have talked about doing a barge trip now that they have done a river cruise.

    1. It is there Grace and it does look like it is from a fairytale. 😀 You would love Alsace as it is very lovely, has great wine and delicious food.

    1. I appreciate your kind words Bobbie, I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. Thank you for always following along on my travel adventures and I hope some day you can use them as a reference.

    1. The scenic surroundings of Alsace always make for an enjoyable place to visit. I’m like you, even when I see my own photos of places we have visited, I want to return. 😀

    1. Hi Susan, Doesn’t Alsace look like it is straight out of our childhood fairytale books. The quaint buildings dripping with flowers can’t help but make for good photos. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you. 🙂

  20. Alsace is such a charming picturesque region, isn’t it? And your photographs couldn’t show it better! They’re fantastic! I find cuisine in Alsace particularly heavy and as you say, portions are huge, though it’s usually delicious! My favourite is tarte flambée, probably the lightest traditional product one can get there and impossible to find equally good in any other place in France! Thank you for sharing your travels with us!

    1. I thought of you Sissi, when I was writing this post. Living in Switzerland, this is an easy area of Europe for your to visit. I totally agree with you about tarte flambée…it is delicious there. I can remember the first time I had it. We ordered one to share with friends and ended up ordering a second. 🙂

  21. Oh Karen, this is such an amazing post…I love all the photos…and yes, I just traveled with you…I hope to one day be able to visit…enjoy the rest of your week!

    1. Hi Juliana, such a nice surprise to hear from you. I’m happy that you like the post and photos. Thank you for your lovely compliment and wish, I hope you are well.

    1. Hi Julie, Along with your passport, it should be a requirement to bring a camera to France. It seems that so much of the country is so very photogenic. Thank you for your nice compliment and I’m happy that the post brought back fond memories of your own trip to France.

    1. Hi Greg, You would definitely have a great time doing wine tastings in Alsace. I’m sure you have had many of them yourself in LA. Hope your weather cools off soon.

  22. Karen – love this trip! Must visit the Alsace region one day. Photos are gorgeous as always. One thing I notice in every pic. is the amazing cascading flowers everywhere. Love the window boxes. Thanks for another great post where I get to travel vicariously!

    1. I’m always happy to have you follow along on the back roads with me Allie. Yes, I would say that you should add the Alsace region to your bucket list. Aren’t the flowers amazing, they are on almost every building you see…absolutely lovely.

    1. It truly is a lovely region Lorraine. While Strasbourg, Colmar and even some of the small towns like Riquewihr always have lots of people, other small towns have very few visitors. Sometimes I have to patiently wait to get the perfect photo without people. 🙂

  23. How absolutely stunning! A friend of mine was just asking me about travel, and I was telling her that there wasn’t anyplace I was really interested in going. I’d better call her and let her know that I’ve changed my mind!

  24. Hi Jeff, I don’t think you would be disappointed planning a trip to the Alsace region. What is nice is that you can make day trips across the Rhine into the Black Forest…another of our favorite destinations in that part of Europe.

  25. Hi Ksenia, I do hope on one of your trips to Europe that you will be able to include Alsace in your travel plans…I do believe you would enjoy the area. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  26. Karen, your posts always inspire me to pack my bags and visit places that I need to see! I love all of your photos and reviews. Keep ’em coming please! And now, I’m off to learn more about Alsace!

  27. We LOVE France! We’re just home from vacation there – two different locals: Pessac (Bordeaux region) and Les Sables d’Olonne. So lovely to see your photos from Alsace! We haven’t been there in years, but I do hope to get back there, too!

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