Riquewihr and wine
Last year we found good wine in Riquewihr, so this year we decided to go back there to buy more for us and also to find the "medium dry" wine my English friend would like to taste.
Riquewihr is a pleasant town to visit because it is so typical, but there is also a big choice of wines. The idea for our day was to arrive to have lunch there and to do our shopping afterwards.
Before leaving home I tried to check what a "medium dry" wine would be in French but the explanation I got was satisfying only for champagne. So I was left with the idea I would have to ask when arriving at the cellar.
And the man there was so pleasant, he knew exactly what to propose : a Pinot Gris. I must say I had in mind I didn't like this wine, but it was a really good surprise, I like it. It is not as fruity as Gewurztraminer, but it is good.
As we were tasting the wines we were interested in, we were proposed to visit the place where they are made, just two houses away. It was nothing compared to big cellars in Champagne or Burgundy, but I found it was really interesting, a real place where you realize people are working and not organizing things only for tourists.
Some barrels were really old and the stairs to go there where quite steep !
These stairs made us think about the steep slope we had seen from the end of a narrow street of Riquewihr. We were told that, for these vineyards, no machine can be used. All the work before the crop is done by hand ! I wouldn't go there on a day the ground is icy.
Our visit in the cellar to choose wine was very interesting with all the explanations we got. We felt we knew more about what we were going to drink.
We were really reasonable with the tasting as we had the opportunity to choose between five sorts of wines (2 Pinot Gris, 3 Gewurztraminer) matching our request. There was no point in getting drunk so we took a sip of each and threw what was left in the special small bucket on the counter (thinking "what a waste!").
This place was the last one of our shopping walk as we didn't want to carry heaving things around. We could not resist in front of the gingerbread shop and also decided we could bring back home a few bottles of Alsatian beer.
Riquewihr is worth another visit next year to buy a few more bottles of wine.