Before flying home from Zurich, Alsace was our final stopping point. This would be my 4th visit here in 20 years and I’m sure it won’t be the last. I’ve always been the tourist to this region nestled between the Vosges Mountains to the west and the Rhine River to the east, but maybe one day I’ll return, just to participate in the grape harvest. This photo of the popular village of Riquewihr, shows in the foreground, the famous Grand Crus vineyard of Schoenenbourg. Some of Alsace’s best rieslings will come from here.
If you are prepared to put up with some kitsch presentations in some of the shops, as well as the tourist hordes (I’ve been told that one one day 280 tourist buses pulled up!), you will find much to love. I will just mention my 2 favourite cellar doors. Firstly, Dopff Au Moulin which is easy to locate at the lower end of town. Winemaking by the Dopff family can be traced back to 1574. You will always be generously looked after at the cellar door. In addition to having wines from several grand crus available for tasting, Dopff have a wide range of the sparkling wines, referred to as Crémant d’Alsace. This style was pioneered by Julien Dopff in the early 1900’s.
Near the top end of Riquewihr you’ll find Frédéric Engel et Fils at 36 Rue des Remparts. Although the quality of the wines may not always reach the heights of the Dopff wines, you will certainly not regret your visit. The prices are certainly lower than they deserve to be. You’re likely to be served by Alain Engel (see photo) who is also a very talented photographer – witness some of his works on the walls.