When Sean and I decided to hire a car for our trip to Strasbourg, I immediately looked for things to do around the area. When I came across the Route du Vin, I knew I had the answer…wine tasting.
We chose Saturday, my birthday, as a full day spent wine tasting. I planned out three wineries and a stop in Colmar, so we started our day early and hit the road immediately, stopping at a rest stop for breakfast.
Driving in the day light was an incredible experience because the scenery was just gorgeous. I was honestly going crazy snapping pics through the car window trying the capture the moments. The pictures obviously don’t serve as a full representation, but you can imagine how beautiful the area was!
The first winery we stopped at was Domaine Bott-Geyl, where we tried so many wines I cannot keep track of them all! It was so interesting to taste the same grape, but at different quality levels. We learned a lot about the region and the popular white wines which were made there and left happily with some purchases.
The next stop was meant to be a winery in Riquewehr, however, as we started to approach the town we realized we were in trouble. People were parked everywhere, a good couple of miles from town. There were cars parked in between the vines of the vineyards, up in the mountain, on the roads – everywhere. We could barely drive through the town, let alone park and go wine tasting, so we ended up going straight to Colmar.
Colmar was equally as crowded, but we wandered through the Christmas markets. When we couldn’t find a place to eat (everything was full – surprise, surprise), we settled on market food. We had a mix of savory pretzels and hotdogs covered in cheese. It was all delicious. We spent a good amount of time walking around and exploring before hopping back in the car to head to the next winery.
Our final stop was Domaine Paul Blanck. This is a family run winery, and we had such a nice time tasting wine with one of the sons. He walked us through everything, let us taste as many of the wines as we wanted, and planned the order for us so we didn’t have to make any effort! He even knew a guy who lives in Izmir (where Mike and Sarah live) who happens to be dating a girl who runs one of their favorite wineries over there! We also found out his daughter married an English guy (lunatic, huh?) and they distribute the wine in Waitrose.
He asked us our plans for after the tasting and recommend we visit Kayersburg, a nearby village. We figured we would give it a shot, parked up closer, and walked into the town. Kayersburg had an authentic Christmas market which was lovely, but the best part was the mugs. All of the towns had cups for mulled wine and beer that they were offering on €1 consignment – if you returned it later, you would get your money back. They were for the most part plastic cups with Christmas scenes on them. In Kayersburg, we paid €2 for a glass mug that was the cutest thing ever! I honestly made a huge deal about getting two, but am so happy we have them back in London with us now.
We headed back to Strasbourg for dinner at a wine bar, accompanied by charcuterie and cheese boards. After, we went to a nearby microbrewery for a couple of drinks before going back to watch the Army-Navy game. Hey – you can take the Navy fans out of the country, but you can’t take the spirit out of the fans! Mike and I ended up being the only ones watching, but we sat there until the last second, huddled around my laptop, nail biting and all!
p.s. Sean had started working on the GCHQ Christmas puzzle before we left for Strasbourg on Thursday and it was driving him crazy to complete the puzzle and find out what the image was. Sean finished the puzzle this night and we couldn’t figure out the image…until we realized it was a QR Code (by realized, I mean googled). We stayed up trying to figure out all the rest of the parts but gave up. It’s still a mystery to us! TBC…