January 15, 2010

So Many Vineyards, So Little Time!

Today is Friday the 13 of November, and it is an absolute perfect day to drive along "The Route des Vins d'Alsace".

The route begins in Strasbourg and extends nearly 70 miles to the south. We are in that southern part of the route and so we decide to start our drive by leaving Riquewihr and head north along the route for a few miles and then circle back to our starting point.

But first there is a market this morning in the center of town in one of the little side streets. So while Stijn gets the car I take a look at what the vendors are selling this morning. Fresh flowers, fresh cheese, meats and sausages. And even some grape vines should you want to try your hand at having your own vineyard.

We take the back way out of Riquewihr and while driving along the slopes of the Vosges Mountains, we find ourselves surrounded by vineyards which have taken on the golden colors of fall. Along the way there are plenty of opportunities to stop and read about the grapes that are grown to produce the Rieslings and Gewurztraminers of this region. However, you will need to know how to read French, unless you are very lucky like me and have someone with you who can.

Driving along this route, there are so many Kodak moments, you will certainly put your driver to the test of patience when he has just barely shifted into second gear and you say "Oh stop honey, look at that!"

One of those such moments was when we saw up ahead of us three castles nestled in the trees alongside a mountain.

We must have a closer look of these three castles, Ulrichsburg, Girsber and Hohrappoltstein! This takes us into the town of Ribeauville. Much like Riquewihr, Ribeauville has it's half timbered buildings but also has the added medieval touch of castles peering down on what is one of the most beautiful wine-producing villages of the alsatian wine route.

Leaving here we start up a winding road that leads us to the mountain village of Thannenkirch.

Thannenkirch is well preserved in it's authentic character and simplicity. Here we make a stop at the church and take a walk through the cemetery.

It's just about noon and time to start thinking about some lunch. Looks like we will be having lunch in a castle!

There are more pictures of our morning at "Where's Debbie" Just click on the album "Alsace France - Part 3

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