Alsace wine tour info - moved from Wine board
We were planning a 3-4 day excursion to Alsace this summer and was wondering if anyone has information regarding wineries in the region or could point me in the right direction to seek another source. We plan to arrive/depart from Strasbourg and rent a car.
Anyinformation would be appreciated.
If you already feel that you know and like some producers, I would contact their distributor in your state and ask them to arrange a tour. Many of the most interesting producers aren't set up for regular visitation, but this can be arranged if you go about it in this way.
If you are in CA, let me know, and I may be able to arrange something for you at Boeckel, a very good producer in Mittelbergheim.
We found the Guide Hachette completely indispensable for wine tasting in the countryside of France. We found its star rating of the quality of wines to be pretty accurate for our tastes, it has maps that allowed us to navigate without GPS, hours, and basic descriptions of wineries.
The recommendation for Ribeauville & Riquewihr is a good one, those two towns are easily accessed and have many good wineries represented at easily walkable tasting rooms.
A few years on from our trip, I still have fond memories of the local tarte flambee, a sort of local pizza of creme fraiche, cured pork product, and onions that's worth eating every day.
In terms of wineries, our favorite by far was Andre Dussourt, owned by a very nice couple who also happen to speak good English. We found their wines much more consistently good than at other wineries, something I attribute to Mr. Dussourt studying winemaking and viticulture first at the college in Burgundy and then in California at a few great wineries. He seems to have achieved a nice balance between modern methods and respect for traditional varietals. I'm somewhat sensitive to excess sulfur in wines, which was a common problem almost everywhere in Alsace, but I didn't have any trouble with Andre Dussourt's wines, I believe because he's more proactive and careful in the vineyard than many other producers. They also make a few amazing Eau de Vie, such as Mirabelle, that at the time were shockingly affordable for the quality.
We also liked some of Silvie Spielman's wines, and were utterly bowled over by her fantastic honeys, which are much easier to bring home than cases of wine. Hopefully Obama will relax carry-on liquid rules in time for your trip; we managed to board our flight home with 5.5 cases in our carryons, trying not to look like we were carrying excessively heavy bags.
A web search for 'Alsace Wine Tour' turns up the following:
I visited the Alsace towns of Ribeauville & Riquewihr about 8 years. I was amazed at the number of wineries that seemed to be in even the smallest towns. Riquewhir, a village of no more than a few thousand people, easily had more than a dozen wineries.
As I recall, the wineries there operate tasting and sales rooms within their villages rather than out in the countryside (as the wineries in Napa & Sonoma do). In each village, you should be able to visit the tasting rooms of 3-5 wineries.