Wine tour to Alsace: aromatic, elegant wines, classic gastronomy and charming picture-book villages
— Alsace has its very own style both when it comes to wine, food and architecture. It is easy to fall in love with this wine region where the picturesque village lie on a dotted line along the route du vin. They have many different grape varieties and many different wine styles. You can find everything from bone dry and crisp to the sweetest of sweet wines. The wines are a perfect match to the local cuisine. A riesling to a choucroute, or a gewurztraminer to a munster cheese, or a pinot gris to a foie gras.
Alsace is one of the northern-most wine regions in France but it is protected from rain by the Vosges Mountains. It is actually one of the driest wine regions in all of France.
In early September the weather is still warm of the lingering summer. Some of the grapes have probably already been harvested. The harvest is an out-drawn affair in Alsace. It depends on what type of wine the grapes will be used for, dry wines, sweet or perhaps even sparkling.
During this tour you will experience several extensive and instructive wine tastings with all the great Alsace grapes: riesling, pinot gris, gewurztraminer and muscat. There will surely be some pinot noir too. The red wines from Alsace are becoming a match for some Burgundies!
Colmar is right in the heart of Alsace, some 70 km south of Strasbourg, and Colmar will be our base during this trip. It is a charming town with its half-timbered houses, geraniums everywhere, and the canals criss-crossing the centre. There are many restaurants of course. We can give you our favourite address for the best tarte flambée, an Alsatian super-thin version of the pizza.
Alsace has a very rich food culture and tradition. There is the hearty country-style food such as the choucroute served with delicious sausages and pork, the charcuteries and the cheese and more haut-cuisine dishes like foie gras.
Strasbourg is by many considered to be the capital of the foie gras, the fat goose or duck liver, ever since the first paté de foie gras de Strasbourg en croute was created by the chef Jean-Pierre Clause in 1760.
You will have ample opportunities to try how the Alsatian specialities go with the different wines at our gastronomic meals on this trip.
Alsace is one of the classic French wine regions. It is calm on the surface. But appearances deceive. Today it is a wine region with an active discussion among wine growers, and with wine drinkers, on where the future lies. Should there always be the name of the grape variety on the label? Or should more emphasis be put on the provenance, the vineyards or the villages? The soil, the terroir, in Alsace is incredibly complex and varied and it can have a direct impact on the style of the wines. So does the soil and vineyards sometimes have more impact on the character of the wines than the grape variety? We can promise you many interesting discussions with the winemakers on these subjects!
It is easy to get to Colmar from for example Paris. There is a high speed train, TGV, that takes you to Colmar in less than three hours from Gare de l’Est. There is even a train from the Charles de Gaulle Airport (with a change in Strasbourg).
The tour is led by one of BKWine’s wine and travel expert guides.
More travel information
Here are some useful pages and guides about this travel destination:
Even more info
We have written a lot about Alsace and about wine touring in the region, what to do and what to expect.
Here you can find more about travelling in the Alsace wine region.
You can also find more information on the wines from Alsace on BKWine Magazine.
Program — Wine Tour to Alsace
This is a sample program, an example. Every wine and food tour that we organise is different and specially adapted for the season and the circumstances. Details in the program, e.g. which producers we visit, will be different each time.
Contact BKWine for more details.
- Day 1, Wednesday — Arrival in Colmar
- Day 2, Thursday — Ribeauvillé and Bergheim
- Day 3, Friday — Riquewihr, Scherwiller and Barr
- Day 4, Saturday — Pfaffenheim and Eguisheim
- Day 5, Sunday — Heading back home
Wednesday, day 1 — Arrival in Colmar
Arrival in Colmar at your leisure any time during the day and check-in at our charming centrally located hotel.
The hotel, a renaissance building from 1543, is right in the centre of the city on the edge of La Petite Venise, Little Venise. The modern interior is an interesting contrast to the old details of the building, the exposed beams the old exterior.
La Petite Venise is the part of the old town where the old tannery water canals criss-cross between the houses. It is less than a stone’s throw from our hotel. Today you can take a gondola on the canals (flat bottomed boats is perhaps a better description), or you can just stroll around in the old town. There are cobble stone streets, many exceptionally well preserved half-timbered houses, and of course many cafés and restaurants to explore.
Evening is free to get a first taste of all the exciting things in Alsace.
Thursday, day 2 — Ribeauvillé and Bergheim
Our bus picks us up in the morning at our hotel. We head north on the beautiful route du vin, to villages with names like Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé and Bergheim.
There seems to be innumerable picturesque villages in Alsace, as if taken straight from a children’s story book. We will se several of them today.
We will start with a morning visit at Domaine Gustav Lorentz in Bergheim. Domaine Lorentz is famous for its Grand Cru wines from the Altenberg de Bergheim and Kanzlerberg vineyards. We will have an extensive tasting with some ten wines, including some older vintages and a vendange tardive. And a visit to the winery of course.
We will stay in Bergheim for lunch, at a charming bistro that has both traditional Alsatian classics as well as more modern cuisine on the menu. And a superb wine list. Or perhaps we should call it a winstub or wistub? Alsace has its very own language! Maybe this can inspire you to some unexpected wine and food pairings?
After lunch we continue to Ribeauvillé where we have a visit to another famous wine producer: the ambitious Domaine Louis Sipp. It is a wine producer that some years ago converted to organic farming and winemaking. We will inspect the almost ripe grapes in the vineyard, the extensive wine cellar with its impressive barrels and taste a good selection of wines from the many labels this domaine produces. From the tasting room you have a beautiful view over the village and the vineyards.
Late afternoon we are back in Colmar at our hotel. Evening is free for more gastronomic adventures, or just to relax.
Friday, day 3 — Riquewihr, Scherwiller and Barr
Our bus picks us up in the morning and we head for Riquewihr, perhaps the most picturesque of all.
Riquewihr is a small village that has not changed much, it seems, since the 17th century. The town has miraculously been saved from all the wars that the region has suffered over the ages.
In Riquewihr we will visit one of the bigger, famous wine producers. They put a lot of emphasis on choosing the best grape variety for each specific plot of land, according to soil and exposition, to achieve maximum quality. They have a new wine cellar where you can admire both the big oak vats, the foudres, as well as their stainless steel and concrete vats. They choose different types of vats for different wines.
We continue further north and arrive at the small village of Scherwiller where we find Paul Dussourt at Domaine André Dussourt. He will tell us, among other things, of the difficult art of making vendange tardive, luscious sweet wines from late harvest grapes.
The estate was founded in 1964 by André Dussourt and since 1994 it is run by his son Paul. In 2000 they renovated the winery and installed several small stainless steel vats in order to be able to vinify each grape variety and each plot separately, which is needed, for example, if you want to make vendange tardive.
Domaine Dussourt also runs a restaurant where we will enjoy lunch that will be a selection of the local specialities. You will get a challenge for lunch too: can you tell the difference between foie gras from duck and from goose! The most common type today is actually from duck.
We will finish the day with a visit to Domaine Jean-Daniel Hering in Barr. Jean-Daniel is the fourth generation winemaker in the Barr village. He makes several different wines, for example some very elegant, mineral and long-lived Grand Cru from the Kirchberg de Barr vineyard.
Late afternoon we are back at our hotel. The evening is free. Perhaps it is time for a choucroute or a tarte flambée?
Saturday, day 4 — Pfaffenheim and Eguisheim
Our bus picks us up at the hotel and we head out for a day that will, among other things, show you what goes on in organic winemaking.
If you have not yet seen any storks today is the day to lift your gaze to the roof-tops. The stork is becoming a more and more frequently seen bird in Alsace and there is even a research centre for its reintroduction.
In the morning we will get to know in detail biodynamic farming. We will visit Domaine Humbrecht in Pfaffenheim where Pierre-Paul Humbrecht is winemaker assisted by his young sun Marc. Both are just as passionate about biodynamics, and of making wines full of personality.
After having seen the vineyards and wine cellar and tasted the Humbrecht wines we continue to Eguisheim, where we find Domaine Paul Zinck. On top of the winery, which is in the basement, they have a restaurant where we will stop for lunch. We will have time for a quick visit in the cellar and of course taste their wines for lunch.
Our afternoon visit this day is also in Eguisheim. It is a small wine producer that makes 22 different wines from his 11 hectares of vineyards. Some of his wines have excellent expression of the grape varieties whereas others are more marked by the vineyard and the soil.
This is the chance to ask all the remaining questions that you have not yet had answered since it is our last visit on the tour.
We return back to Colmar and evening is free. Considering the theme of the day, perhaps you can be tempted with a visit to one of the restaurants and wine bars that specialises in organic, biodynamic and “natural” wines?
Sunday, day 5 — Heading back home
The tour ends after breakfast. Departure.
Program may be subject to minor modifications.
Tour Details — wine tour in Alsace
Price per person: This is a sample program. Look in the menu “Our Tours > Scheduled Tours” to check what scheduled tours are currently on the program or contact us to discuss a custom made private wine tour.
Included in the price:
- 4 hotel nights, double occupancy, including breakfast, good quality mid-range European style hotel:
- Four nights in Colmar
- Meals as described in the program above (*):
- 3 gastronomic multi-course lunches including prestigious wines, at wineries or local typical restaurants
- Start and end point: Colmar
- Bus transport during the whole trip
- All vineyard and winery visits
- Private, high quality tastings at wineries, approx. 3 per day
- Interpretation from French as needed (some visits may be in English)
- Wine guiding and wine tutoring by an expert BKWine guide
(*) See below for more important information on our meals.
- Travel (flights) to the destination and back from your home location.
You organise your travel to the destination yourself. If you want assistance with organising your flight tickets etc, please contact us.
We warmly recommend that you plan a few extra days here if you have the time! It is a very interesting place and well worth some “non-wine” tourism too! We can assist you with booking additional hotel nights if you want.
Book This Tour
You book by contacting Britt Karlsson, BKWine:
- phone: +33 1 58 88 04 66 or +33 6 80 45 35 70 (+33 is the country code for France)
- Skype: “bkwine”. Call us on skype.
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
More on our wine tours
About the wine producers and wineries we visit
Our aim is that you shall experience some of the best and most interesting that the wine region has to offer, both of wine and food.
We put a big effort into finding and creating outstanding winery visits. Often it will not be the most “famous” and internationally well-known wineries that will give you the best and most unique experiences…
It is usually when you get to meet the winemaker or winery owner himself (or often herself) that the visits become really exciting. And perhaps we even meet the whole family at the estate.
You start discussing and start to understand what it is they do and why in the winery and in the vineyard. Maybe we will also have lunch in the winery or at their home. Need we say we invariably have private wine tastings at the wineries?
That is why our trips are not “jam packed” with visits at wineries. Nevertheless we often run short of time since the discussions – and the wine tastings – can easily become very engaging…
Our wine country tours typically include a mix of small family producers, exclusive boutique wineries and larger internationally well-known wine estates, all selected with great care so that it will give you a unique experience of the people and of the behind-the-scenes in the winery and a good understanding of the wine district’s characteristics, tradition and culture.
At the time of publishing a travel program not all visits have been finalised. We are continuously working on improving the program. The domaines / wineries / châteaux that we visit on a tour may therefore sometimes differ from what was written in the original program. Contact us if you want more details, or if you have any special requests.
On meals: food and gastronomy
Wine and food are intimately linked. That is part of our wine travel philosophy; wine is an integral part of the gastronomy.
A wine tour with BKWine will therefore also be a gastronomic experience.
The meals that are included in a tour with BKWine are on a gourmet level and of very high standard.
Sometimes we will have a meal with a winemaker, perhaps in the wine cellar or at the winery, or even in their home. This is a unique experience that is generally not open to other visitors to wineries. It is an occasion to experience exciting combinations of food and wine while discussing with the people who made the wine.
Sometimes we will have a luxurious meal at a gourmet restaurant. At other times it may be not at a prestigious luxury address but at a local restaurant selected for its presentation of local gastronomic specialities, its atmosphere and its quality – a place where locals go. Or perhaps it will be a buffet lunch made at home by the winemaker and his wife. In all cases we want to show you local gastronomic specialities and the local food and wine pairings.
Do not expect a picnic with salad and sausage from the supermarket and wine in plastic mugs… Think instead of a wine-and-dine experience with specially composed menu with three or four courses and delicious wines.
A wine tour with BKWine is also a culinary experience both for the wine enthusiast and for the gourmet. A gourmet wine tour!
Why travel with BKWine?
We are experts and specialists in wine and food tours and wine tourism, but also in wine in a broader perspective.
No other tour operator has a comparable knowledge and experience of wine, wine regions, wine tours and gourmet travel as BKWine.
We have organised hundreds of wine and food tours. This is what we love to do, because it is fun and exciting. What we want more than anything is to share with you all these wonderful experiences.
It does not matter if you are “a total novice” on wine and food or if you have a life-long experience in the wine sector. We will give you a very special experience, in a way that no other tour operator can do.
We write in specialised wine magazines and one of our books has won the prize as best wine book in the world. We are regularly called on to be part of judging panels in wine competitions.
We personally visit some 300 vineyards every year. We have organised several hundreds of wine and food tours with an experience going back more than twenty years. We are invited as speakers at wine tourism and culinary touring conferences.
We choose our tour destinations and winery visits with great care. Not because a winery happens to be carrying a “famous name” but because they will give our guests — you! — a unique and special experience. You may be looking for a short wine week-end holiday or a longer wine vacation; in all cases you can be confident that you will get a top quality tour, an experience of a lifetime. Or at least one that will last you until the next time you come on a wine tour with BKWine. Many of our travellers are returning clients.
A wine and food tour with BKWine is always guided by a knowledgeable and experienced BKWine guide and tour manager, someone who knows the ins and outs of wine, of the local gastronomy, of the culture and who speaks the language.
Some accolades we at BKWine and our wine and food tours have received:
- “World’s Top Wine Tours” by Travel + Leisure Magazine, the world’s biggest travel magazine
- “Best wine tasting holidays”, AOL Travel’s list of top wine tours
- “Recommended Wine Tours” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- “World’s Best Wine Book for Professionals” as well as “Best Wine Book of the Year” in Sweden 2010 for the book The Creation of a Wine
- “Best wine book for Professionals” again in 2012 in Sweden, as well as silver, runner-up, as “World’s Best Educational Wine Book” for the book Wine and the Environment
- “Wine Personality of the Year” by Munskankarna, the world’s biggest wine tasting and wine appreciation association
- On the Wine Media Power List by Wine Business International Magazine (Britt, 2012)
Read more on why to choose BKWine for a wine and food tour.
Read more on what previous travellers have said about our tours.
Our groups are always small. The group size may vary, sometimes maximum 8, sometimes 20, but always of a modest size (we do not do “minimum 20, maximum 45”). Check the details in each program. This is important since it guarantees a quality experience and a personal welcome at the wineries we visit.
BKWine is a Swedish registered travel organiser. BKWine has a bonded travel guarantee deposit so that you can feel safe when booking with us. We fully comply with European and Swedish travel guarantee regulations. British travellers may be familiar with the ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) protection scheme which is a similar model. BKWine follows the code of conduct and financial safeguards defined by the Swedish Consumer Agency and The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (“Kammarkollegiet”, with a history dating back to 1539). Read more about this in our Booking Terms and Conditions.
Read the BKWine Booking Terms and Conditions here. They are important to you!
You organise your travel independently to the destination for most of our tours but on location we take care of everything.
For more inspiration
Read our wine travel blog. And also:
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- There are thousands of pictures from previous trips on BKWine Photography
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We also do custom wine and food tours if you want to choose different dates or if you want something different than what we currently offer on our scheduled tours – for individuals, companies, professionals, wine tastings clubs etc.