europe trip day 06: a good vintage

Where next.

East this time, to Alsace. Yes, another country, this time France, less than 2 hours and we were in Colmar. Really, French drivers are not as nice as Swiss drivers.

Headed straight to the tourist information office to book accommodation — a booklet lists available accommodation along the wine route and the lady at the desk will help us call and collect the payment. All very convenient. We stayed at a simple b&b at Ribeauville, typically small French rooms but comfortable. No aircon but a ceiling fan, which served its purpose neatly.

The Alsace region consists of a vast collection of tiny villages, more like hamlets, scattered along the hillsides. Strasbourg to the north, Colmar in the centre and Mulhouse to the south. Get off the main road and drive along the windy smaller roads and all along the road are vines, lots and lots of them.

We stopped at a secluded spot and tried some of the grapes, very sweet, really nice. Mostly they produce white wine — Tokay Pinot Gris, Muscat, Riesling, Gewurztraminer. The red — Pinot Noir — was really bad, worst than plonk. But some of the whites were great, we liked Gewurztraminer the best, sweet, easy to drink, and very very pleasant.

What you do, go into a winery or shop and they will let you try out their wines, take your time and taste and then buy. Some proprietors are more knowledgeable and friendly than others. We bought a little, added bread, pâté, cheeese, had a really great indoor picnic dinner in our room. Nothing to watch on French TV, went to bed quite early.