Sunday, March 26, 2023

Touring the Alsace Wine Country

Alsace consists of rolling countryside, much of it covered by vineyards, dotted by breathtakingly picturesque villages and towns. We’d enjoyed touring here with friends in 2014, and wanted to see more.

After some research, we found our guide, Cédric Schuhler, the young owner of Detour Alsace.

He was only available Sunday, which proved fortunate, due to our departing Colmar a day early in hope of missing the major strike projected for Tuesday.

Cédric spent several months in Chicago as a Marriott intern, so we already shared a liking for deep-dish pizza. We criss-crossed the area, visited one charming village after another, and engaged in some serious wine tasting at two locations with the owners - there are over 300 wineries in Alsace.

This is a white wine region that highlights Crémant d’Alsace, Riesling, and Muscat, among others.

We visited Domaine Edelweiss in the morning. Sylvie, who with her sister has taken over the winery from their father, poured a tasty selection of Crémants and Rieslings for us.

This Riesling is named in honor of her young son, Olivier.

This winery is organic and female-run. Most important, the wine is excellent, and we bought a bottle to enjoy later.

We visited the second winery later in the afternoon and enjoyed chatting with the owners, with a little translation assistance from Cédric.

Winemakers are invariably nice people. That’s a rule of the universe.

We had to buy another bottle to take along. Before, in between, and after, we wandered through some of the most beautiful little villages we’ve ever seen.

Colmar itself is the birthplace of  Fréderic Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor behind the Statue of Liberty, so we drive by the second foreign duplicate of Lady Liberty that we’ve encountered within the past two weeks (the first being in Japan). Now that is a coincidence of sorts.

We also saw Colmar’s Little Venice.

Despite some rain later in the afternoon, the weather was generally good and there weren’t the throngs of other tourists we would have seen later in the season.

It was a terrific day, and we thank Cédric for showing us around.

There are few restaurants near our hotel, but we found a cute little order-at-the-counter pizza joint next to the train station, where we shared a pizza and an Alsatian Tarte Flambée, featuring mild white cheese and onions.

And early Monday morning we were awakened by a large police-escorted  military convoy passing below our window.

Let’s hope that’s of no particular significance. Cédric tells us there’s a large military base in Colmar, so it was probably just a coincidence.

Several hours later, and our train is about to arrive at Metz.

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