Alsace Route De Vin

I have always wanted to visit Colmar ever since I "liked" a Facebook travel post of this quaint French city. We stayed at the Hotel Turenne for 90 a night. It was a pretty, historic hotel and the rooms were clean but tiny. It was pet friendly which for us was the main attraction.

After checking in, we walked to La Petite Venise. Little canals meandering through the city make it so charming, which is why Colmar is crawling with tourists.  

No doubt the city is super cute, however after seeing it I would have gladly stayed in a neighboring village and spent a day walking around Colmar. It was very touristy and we were there in April, I can't imagine August. 

The sun finally came out the morning we were leaving, glad I got to snap this photo.

My fascination with small villages continues, so we decided to get out and explore the Alsace Region. As we drove along the Vin Route there were vineyards for miles and miles. It was a sight to see, pure bliss! We absolutely had to to do a couple tastings. 

There are two castles that loom over the valley so we made our way up there. We actually drove to the top. You can also hike it but we were not dressed appropriately and the walk is pretty long and steep. We followed Google directions and came upon this barricade. There were no signs forbidding us to proceed so we raised the arms and drove onward for about 20 minutes. 

The castles are very close to each other and connected by a path about 300 meters long. Ulrich Castle behind us. 

Saint Ulrich was built in the 11th century. Can you imagine how hard it must have been to construct this place??

The views were amazing, all vines and villages below. Tour buses don't come up here and no entrance fees collected, it is completely off the beaten path. We didn't know that we would have the place pretty much to ourselves.

This is great place for a picnic. 

After the castle, it was time for lunch and we descended to the village of Ribeauvelle. It was a walled medieval town with cute and charming alleys like this. 

I had researched a great restaurant called Mouton. The decor was amazing with exposed original wood beams and wide plank wood floors, yet it hung edison lights with exposed filaments, it all blended together elegantly. 

I have always loved escargot even as a kid and was excited to try it in Alsace since they pride themselves in making it. It was absolutely delicious, super tender and of course the baguette dipped in the butter and parsley was just as good. 

I wanted to try another regional dish and the Le Coq Au Riesling caught my eye. It was a lot creamier than I expected in a good way. It was a pleasant dish. Spaetzle is my new favorite German dish and it was prepared simple and tasty, just tossed in a bit of butter and salt.

Luke had the steak and it was great. Perfectly cooked and super tender with a nice pepper crust and au jus for dipping.

We had a face off with another fur ball, a curious Chow Chow from across the way. Who was going to win the staring contest? 

Amalfi gave up when she got a piece of steak.

I had a nice Pinot Blanc at lunch that was made 100 meters away so we decided to taste more of their wines. Jean Sipp at Jean Sipp did our wine tasting, he's the fourth generation wine maker, that's pretty cool!! They have wonderful Grand Cru Rieslings mostly under 25. This was our view from the tasting room, the wines we tried came from the hill in background in this photo. It was one of those magical wine moments ;-)!

We also stopped by Domaine Paul Blanck in Kienzheim. His Grand Cru and Old Vine Rieslings are well known. We enjoyed our wine tasting with the winemaker. 

The Alsace region is a great place to explore and get lost in time. The French people were very friendly. They take their food and wine very seriously, and I love them for that! À bientôt Alsace . . .