Explore rural France with wine themed mini-break

Exploring Mittelbergheim’s vineyards by bike on a section of the Alsace wine route

As vignerons across France reap this year’s grape harvest. Samantha David selects some of her favourite wine regions to explore on holiday. There is something for all wine lovers...

One of the delights of France is its wine, and as a major wine producer, there are vignerons all over the country doing magic with grapes and producing more wines than most of us will ever taste.

In fact, there is so much wine, it can be hard to know what’s what, and where it comes from. But even if your interest in wine is fleeting, these regions are wonderful places to explore. We look at a selection of wine regions from the north of the country. Look out for another article in the spring, exploring some more wine-producing regions!

Alsace

Being so close to Germany, wines from Alsace are different from other French wines. They are mainly fragrant dry or fruity white wines with a pale colour, in the German tradition. Some of the best-known are Riesling, Sylvaner and Gewürztraminer. Alsace vineyards are situated on the lower eastern slopes of the Vosges mountains in the Rhine Valley between Strasbourg and Mulhouse.

Strasbourg is one of France’s most beautiful cities; the historic centre (La Petite France) on the Grande Ile is surrounded by the Ill river and the Canal du Faux-Rempart meaning that with its half-timbered houses, cobbled streets and multiple bridges over the water, it is often compared to Venice.

The Hospice of Strasbourg claims to own the oldest bottle of wine on the planet dating from 1472, which you can see on a free visit to their wine cellars. Get details and a map from the tourist office (it can be tricky to find) and while you’re there, ...

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