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.

****

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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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
This entry was posted in food, lifestyle, photography, travel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

120 Responses to France’s Alsace Wine Region, Postcards To Remember

  1. Loretta says:

    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!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    I bet it’s fantastic at this time of year too!

    • Karen says:

      You are right Mad Dog, I know summer would a great time to visit the Alsace as well although we’ve only been in the spring and fall.

  3. Larry says:

    Such a pretty area. We spent a couple of days near Strasbourg several years ago.

  4. lulu says:

    I so enjoy seeing where you travel and what you eat and all is beautifully presented. Hope all is well.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  5. 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!

  6. This photography is beautiful! What stunning landscape and architecture. I can’t even begin to imagine the beauty in the fall.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  7. So beautiful! The colours on those photos are amazing! Thanks for sharing, Karen.

  8. 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. 👍❤

  9. Ingrid says:

    Absolutely beautiful countryside and I adore the architecture. I can see why this is a favorite!

    • Karen says:

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

  10. Karen, I haven’t been to this area, but your photos make me want to go. It looks like a fairy tale come true!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  11. Ron says:

    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.

    • Karen says:

      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. 🙂

  12. 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.

    • Karen says:

      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!

  13. 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.

    • Karen says:

      I totally agree with everything you said Gerlinde. We have eaten at the Auberge de I’ll but it was many years again…wonderful.

  14. Darlene says:

    So picturesque!! I can see why you love it there.

  15. kitchenriffs says:

    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.

  16. David says:

    I’ve only been to Strasbourg but your postcards make me want to return to explore the wine region! Lovely. Just lovely.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  17. RMW says:

    Very picturesque area and great photos. Thanks for the tour, now I feel like I’ve been there!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  18. We love France but don’t know this area at all. Need to change that!

  19. Beautiful area; great food

  20. Eha says:

    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 . . . .

    • Karen says:

      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.

  21. Debra says:

    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. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debra, The colors of Alsace do stand out don’t they. The pretty architecture, wine and great food are what travelers dream about.

  22. marymtf says:

    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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  23. Liz Berg says:

    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!!

  24. Such beautiful photos Karen, I feel like I’ve almost been there! I love traveling with you!
    Jenna

  25. Helen says:

    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.

  26. Lovely images. Looks like a magical place.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  27. 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!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  28. Sartenada says:

    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.

    • Karen says:

      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. 🙂

  29. 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.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  30. chef mimi says:

    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!

  31. Your photos totally remind me of our wonderful visit to this area last summer…now I want to go back again!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  32. Marcie says:

    These photos are so lovely Karen — I truly want to take a trip to the wine region!

  33. This post is perfectly timed for me, I will be traveling to Switzerland and driving to France this summer, now I know I’ll have make a stop in Alsace!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  34. Lovely photos as always, Karen! I always enjoy seeing your travel adventures (and food)!

  35. 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.

  36. It has been a place that I have been thinking to visit for sometime. You have just convinced me to do so. Simply gorgeous!

  37. Kitty says:

    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.

  38. Absolutely beautiful! I have not heard of this region of France before!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  39. Michelle says:

    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!

    • Karen says:

      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. 😀

  40. We did a barge trip[ through Alsace last year and I found it so beautiful 🙂

    • Karen says:

      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.

  41. grace says:

    oh, how beautiful! it looks like a fairy tale for sure! i didn’t know the place in my dreams actually existed. 🙂

    • Karen says:

      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.

  42. Every photo is post card quality! Need to this place in France on our bucket list for sure. Love all of your travels and so happy you put it in the blog so we can reference it for later.

    • Karen says:

      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.

  43. Eva Taylor says:

    What gorgeous photos, your post really speaks to the good life to be had in France,

    • Karen says:

      Yes “la belle vie”…the good life for sure Eva. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post and photos.

  44. This is one of those posts that makes me want to start looking for plane tickets Karen!! Every one of your photos is gorgeous!! thanks!

    • Karen says:

      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. 😀

  45. Such lovely photos. It’s true, it does remind me of some of the fairy tale books from my childhood. Love the architecture and those lovely window boxes filled with flowers!

    • Karen says:

      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. 🙂

  46. Miriam @londonkitchendiaries says:

    Beautiful images of the Alsace region – would love to visit one day!

    Miriam xx

  47. Sissi says:

    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!

    • Karen says:

      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. 🙂

  48. For the Love of Cooking says:

    What a magical place – great food, wine, beautiful scenery & architecture.

  49. nancyc says:

    This region looks so beautiful and quaint–thanks for sharing about it!

  50. Juliana says:

    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!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  51. France is so beautiful … we were there this time last year, toting my camera of course! 😃 And the food .. superb! Wonderful photos …

    • Karen says:

      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.

  52. I dream of Alsace! Especially with the hot weather here in LA a crisp glass from this unique region would be delightful. GREG

    • Karen says:

      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.

  53. 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!

    • Karen says:

      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.

  54. What a stunning region! It really looks picture perfect-it’s so tidy and there aren’t a lot of people too which makes for great photos 😀

    • Karen says:

      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. 🙂

  55. 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!

  56. Karen says:

    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.

  57. I have always wanted to visit Alsace and your postcard post only makes me want to go more!

  58. Karen says:

    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.

  59. Sheryl says:

    The pictures are wonderful. I enjoyed being able to visit Alsace virtually via this blog.

  60. Amy says:

    These pictures are fabulous! It’s way up there on my list, and you’ve just confirmed it!

  61. Gallivanta says:

    I visited Alsace when I was barely 20. I loved it but, looking at your photos, makes me realise how much I missed seeing.

  62. Oh, my, this looks like paradise. I don’t travel much, but I could definitely see myself going to Alsace.

  63. ladyfi says:

    Stunning shots of the amazing architecture.

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