A photo of The Best Wine Tasting Tours in Alsace

wine tasting tours and winery visits

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Why Visit Alsace?

The dramatically beautiful Alsace region boasts a rich patchwork of natural and cultural heritage, influenced by myriad different civilisations from the Romans to the present day. Officially established as a tourist route in 1953, Alsace celebrated the 60th anniversary of this occasion in 2013, and rightly so - this quiet corner of France has become an unmissable bucket-list region for lovers of wine, travel and food alike. Renowned for some of the most famous and popular wine routes in all of France, wine lovers can enjoy picturesque journeys through the luscious vineyards, breathtaking medieval castles, historic renaissance houses, and charming Alpine-influenced villages which transport visitors into another world. 

Start your journey through the region in Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace and formal home of the European Parliament. The city has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1988, and visitors will feel like they've walked into a magical fairytale world thanks to the stunning architecture, a rare and awe-inspiring blend of medieval, Renaissance, Romantic and Art Nouveau designs. The city is a cultural hub offering an abundance of museums, theatres, operas, and beautiful monuments to visit. The iconic Strasbourg Cathedral, with its incredible, intricate stained glass and famous Astronomical Clock, is a must-see inside and out. Foodies will also fall in love with the city for its large portions and hearty traditional meals. Strasbourg was the birthplace of foie gras in the 1800s and has always been known as a haven of culinary delights - the first stop on any culinary experience of the Alsace should be for a helping of traditional tarte flambée!

Once you've had your fill of city living, continue south along the Wine Route towards Colmar and discover a series of small villages that seem to have come straight from the pages of a fairytale. Riquewihr and Eguisheim are the prettiest of these villages, with the latter having been voted France’s favourite village. Colmar is the oldest town in Alsace, famous for its “Little Venice” area, and offers both the intimacy of a small town alongside the rich cultural heritage of a large city. The town is crammed full of typical Alsatian timber-framed houses, canals, and its city centre square is decorated with bright flowers. Something in the air here must inspire the inhabitants - not only is Colmar the birthplace of the sculptor Bartholdi (the creator of the Statue of Liberty!) it is also the hometown of Hansi, the most well known illustrator in Alsace.

Colmar is also the gateway to the heart of the Alsace's winemaking country - a landscape that is so similar to those just across the border in Germany that it can almost be impossible to tell the two apart! The best vineyards border the east slope of the Vosges River, running for around 100km through the centre of the wider region. Influenced by both river and mountains, these dramatically scenic plantings create wonderfully distinctive, confident wines from grapes including Riesling and Sylvaner. 


Plan Your Visit

Best Known Grapes

Alsace shares many similarities with its German neighbours, and this extends to the numerous grape varieties which are grown here. The region is unique in France, in that it is the only French winemaking region to prioritise the name of the grape above the producer or area of production on the label. The grape with which Alsace has made its name is aromatic Riesling. This is the most important and most widely planted grape variety in the region - followed closely by Pinot Blanc and Gewurztraminer - and creates wonderfully distinctive, balanced wines which so ofte perfectly strike the sought-after balance between flinty and floral, wet stones and white blossom. Pinot Blanc, meanwhile, is almost as prolific as its cousin Riesling but tends to be used for everyday drinking wines as opposed to anything more elevated. However, it is true that over the years, Pinot Blanc wines in the Alsace have evolved from something slightly dubious into eminently pleasant, slighly smoky still wines and also an important component of the region's hallmark sparkling wine, Crémant d'Alsace. In third place is Geuwrztraminer, gloriously exotic, pineapple-and-honey infused Gewurztraminer, which creates pungent, intoxicating, aromatic wines redolent with sweetness and tropical fruit flavours that provide an unforgettable introduction to the wonderful diversity of the wines of the Alsace. A number of other varieties can also be found here and there in the vineyards of Alsace, from Sylvaner and Chasselas to Pinot Noir and Muscat - however, as with all other French regions, there are numerous rules and regulations governing which varieties can be grown in which locations and how they are vinified. For example, only 4 varieties (Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer) are currently permitted in the highest-quality Grand Cru wines of the region.
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Best time to visit

There is no bad time to visit Alsace, with a landscape that evolves wonderfully throughout the seasons and a wine route which offers boundless possibilities for visitors all year round. However, perhaps the best time to take a trip to Alsace is during the winter months . From November onwards , this bucolic region is transformed into a magical winter wonderland, with gorgeous Alpine decorations and absorbing winter markets at every turn, from the smallest village to the heart of Strasbourg itself. An unmissable winter experience is a visit to the great Christmas markets of Strasbourg and Colmar, which were some of the very first Christmas markets in the world. The summer in Alsace is punctuated by fabulous wine celebrations, which can be enjoyed in atmospheric towns and villages all across the region. Some of our favourites include the wine festivals which take place at Mittelbergheim in July and the Crémant festival at Cleebourg in August.  
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How long to stay

The Alsace is a perfect destination for long weekend breaks, with  3 day/4 night visits feeling just right to gain a thorough appreciation of all the treasures of the Alsace from North to South. Enjoy a day and a night in vibrant Strasbourg, followed by a leisurely day or two meandering southwards alongside the Vosges river, indulging in wine tastings and tours and enjoying the wonderful culture of pretty villages and bustling towns.
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How to get there

Thanks to its position as the home of the European Parliament, Strasbourg Airport has excellent air links with most major cities in Europe, as well as some further-flung destinations such as the Middle East. A train from the airport takes just 9 minutes to transport visitors into the heart of the city, and is a bargain price at less than 5 Euro for a one-way ticket. If you would prefer to take a more scenic and environmentally friendly route, a high-speed TGV train connection links Paris with Strasbourg in just two hours. This is a particularly good option for visitors using the Eurostar - it's possible to make the whole journey from London St Pancras to Strasbourg in just half a day, whilst soaking up some wonderful French scenery and a glass or two of something delicious!
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