Straddling the foothills of the Vosges Mountains west of the Rhine Valley, the Alsace wine road connects a succession of charming old villages. Starting south of Sélestat (28 miles south of Strasbourg), the Upper Alsace Route du Vin wends through the wine regions of Bergheim, Mittelwihr, Kientzheim, Turckheim, Eguisheim and Gueberschwihr before ending in the area of Rouffach.
The two most popular stops are Ribeauville (the medieval market center for Trimbach wines) and Riquewihr (an enchantingly preserved 16th-century walled hamlet that also contains the well-respected wine houses of Dopff “Au Moulin,” Dopff & Irion and venerable Hugel Père et Fils, founded in 1639). Also worth touring: Kaysersberg (the birthplace of Albert Schweitzer, filled with a wealth of 16th-century stone and half-timbered dwellings) and Colmar (the Haut-Rhin’s prosperous wine merchant city with an engaging old quarter).
En route, purchase the helpful Recta Foldex tourist map of Alsace, which outlines the Route du Vin and briefly describes the communes, festivals and sights to visit along the way. Be forewarned, the circuitous wine road is not especially well-signposted and can sometimes be frustrating to follow.
Family-run modern hotel in the northern Vosges Mountains, 40 miutes from downtown Strasbourg, complementing L'Arnsbourg, the three-star restaurant of celebrated chef Jean-Georges Klein.
Le Chateau d'Isenbourg
Hilltop medieval château-hotel overlooking vineyards and the ancient village of Rouffach in a charming corner of the Alsatian wine district.