Articles avec #alsace tag
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.
The first time I went to Ribeauvillé I was a teenager. I have stayed several weekends there and I have enjoyed discovering this town.
After so many years it has not changed and is still so picturesque.
Ribeauvillé is situated on the route des Vins d'Alsace (Alsace wine route), so is surrounded by vineyards and has castles just above it. The town has kept old houses from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The main street is full of small shops of all sorts. Of course some are offering souvenirs for tourists but there are also common shops to go to during your daily life.
In spite of many trips to Alsace I am still surprised by the colours of houses. It makes the town very lively.
A walk in April in Ribeauvillé was a good idea as it was not crowded. And the restaurant at lunch time offered good Alsatian food. No regret on this day, only happiness.
In Lorraine we don't see a lot of Easter decoration outside. Children sometimes make some at school but they don't put them in the streets. It has never been part of our tradition.
So I was surprised to discover Easter decoration in Alsatian villages, three weeks after Easter.
I missed one picture of a beautiful garden full of eggs and Easter hares in one village. In Lorraine bells bring the eggs, in Alsace Easter hares bring them (the tradition says hares, not rabbits) !
In Ribeauvillé houses and shops still showed decoration so I had plenty of time to take pictures. I forgot to ask when they take them off and what they put instead.
A pleasant tradition to discover.
It is easy to decide to have a weekend in Alsace but not easy to choose where to go as there are so many pleasant places there.
On our way to the hotel we stopped in Kaysersberg to have a walk but also to have a drink. It was a grey day but not raining, so it was better to go around without an umbrella.
We had an Alsatian "five o'clock" and each time we enter a tearoom in Alsace I am surprised by the size of cake or pie pieces. They are... huge ! So we enjoyed a huge blueberry pie piece with whipped cream for one and a huge apple and almonds pie piece for the other, with generous warm drinks. After this good break, we were ready to walk again.
In spite of several visits to Kaysersberg, we had never noticed rue des Forgerons (Blacksmith street). There is no blacksmith there but a potter shop and this narrow street is typical.
As there were only a few tourists around on this Saturday of April, we managed to look at houses quietly. The atmosphere was very peaceful and we could only hear the noise of the river (la Weiss). I also read on the bridge that it was built in 1514, so a very old one
We were told we should come to visit the local Christmas market next time. Maybe.
I heard about the shop in Riquewihr where Chrismas is celebrated all year long several years ago, but had not time to go till last summer.
We discovered Riquewihr and its typical streets first, "picturesque" as it is written on postcards. Then we easily found THE shop. The sign, the decoration of the shutters show you the way.
When you enter, you see all sorts of Christmas ornaments made with wood, plastic, metal, fabric. They are small or big, classical or modern, unusual or not. And the colours... Once you have decided which colours you want on your tree and in the house, you only have to choose. On top of red, gold, white, blue, you can have a lot of other colours like purple (not as common), clear (uncommon here), white with feathers (I liked the angels a lot) or crystal (a bit fragile).
It was a bit puzzling to discover all these things related to Christmas with 30°C outside. But it was also very tempting. I felt like buying everything.
It is not like walking around a Christmas market. The atmosphere is different without cold air, people wearing winter clothes, mulled wine and all the things on sale for presents. It is just as if you were a child in a toy shop. You find all incredible reasons to buy something for your home and tree for Christmas. You "absolutely" need it. Only the cost makes you stop your shopping in the end.
(Cameras are not allowed in most of the shop, so I was only able to take a few)