A unique blend of German & French culture
Wine: Riesling, Muscat, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris
Get to know Alsace
With a unique blend of German and French cultures, history and wine plus villages of brightly-painted, steep-roofed, half-timbered houses, Alsace feels more Germanic than French.
Originally German, Alsace was occupied by France at the end of the 17th century after war and plague ravaged the population. Since then, Alsace has been caught in a political tug of war, becoming German, French, German, then French once again!
The many different grape varieties which flourish here produce an incomparable range of rich and aromatic wines, from the driest and most delicate to the most opulent and full-bodied. It is also a stronghold for organic and biodynamic growers and a leader in the organic movement.
Map highlights major wine growing regions nestled around villages.
Pictured: Photo by Matheus Guimarães from Pexels
Alsace Wine Region
Tucked into the northeast corner of France, Alsace is one of the most northerly regions. It runs north to south as a slender strip of land 120kms long.
The Vosges Mountains provide a natural protection to the vineyards of Alsace. This mountain effect makes Alsace sunny, hot and dry and very cold in winter, which supports a variety of different grape. Among the many grapes the primary ones are Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris & Pinot Noir.
The 7 primary grapes here are Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Sylvaner and Muscat. 90% is white wine.
Most of the wine is still produced by family owned companies, and many as far back as 13 generations, passed on in an unbroken line from father to child.
The towns have an innate historical charm, blending architectures from multiple centuries and reflecting a few different cultures, creating an ambiance you won’t find anywhere else.
The Alsace Wine Route can be explored in many ways, and in any direction you like. We start our journey in Colmar and head east to Strasbourg.
Colmar is considered the capital of Alsatian Wine. It’s also famous as one of the most beautiful villages in France withcolourful timber-framed buildings, canal-side dining, quaint shops, and famous wine.
The many beautiful wine villages surrounding Colmar will also charm you. Most seem other worldly, full of colour and cobblestone streets with striking architecturenot seen elsewhere in France.
Many of the Grand Cru wineries are located within and surrounding the villages, and have an enormous variety of wines to try.
A UNESCO World Heritage site and capital of the Alsace region, Strasbourg is a good starting point for exploring the region and wine . Along with the beautiful architecture featuring white timber-framed buildings, there are colourful floral displays everywhere, and even a pink gothic cathedral.
For a wine experience in Strasbourg, visit Cave Historique des Hospices de Strasbourg. This was founded in 1395 and is renowned for its wines. There is a barrel there from 1492, which carefully holds one of the oldest known wines in the world.
From Strasbourg you can also visit many of the Grand Cru villages where you can equally enjoy the colourful villages and the Grand Cru and other excellent wineries dotted along the wine route.
Planning your trip
Alsace wine events
Alsace, a region strong in local character, hosts numerous wine festivals. These tend to take place in summer, in the villages along the wine route, and include colourful local costumes, songs and dances. Dates change from year to year, so best to consult the excellent Alsace Tourism website’s wine events section , which has an updated list of wine festivals.