Exploring European Wines, One Vineyard at a Time: Alsatian Edition

Blog written by Diana Groom

In the Northeastern corner of France, located on the Rhine River, you will find a French region - Alsace. It borders both Germany and Switzerland, and because of its alternating control between those two cultures for centuries, this area reflects their unique and incredible mix.

One of many reasons to visit this area is - the wine. A white one that could change the taste buds even of any proclaimed red wine drinker.

The wine I am talking about is Gewurztraminer, and you will need to head to the Alsace region of France to try it for yourself.

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Full-bodied flavor

If you declare yourself solely a red wine drinker, maybe its a result of having tried some whites that people rave about but not finding one that changes your mind so far....until you meet the one.

It is indeed revolutionary, finding – a white wine that has it all; a full-bodied flavor with a punch at the end that leaves you wanting more. And if you are new to wines, you may be asking yourself what the heck is a Gewurztraminer wine? 

Gewurztraminer wine

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This type of wine is made from one grape varietal: the Gewürztraminer grape. Now I know I am a blend advocate, but every once in a while, there is the outlier that proves the rule. This is the case with Gewurztraminer wine. "Gewürz" means "spicy" in German. It is not the type of spicy you might think it is, but rather the spice when you imagine the flavor, allspice, incense, ginger, and most importantly, a punch at the end. Alsatian Gewurztraminer is a buttery, spicy, aromatic wine with all of those flavors above. It is what you would imagine for a delicious, full-bodied white wine - a bridge to white wines for us dry red drinkers.

So, I have intrigued you on Alsatian Gewurztraminers, but now what? Where do you start when the Alsace region spans multiple beautiful & quaint French villages?

TAKE A WINE RIVER CRUISE

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Whether you are a wine novice or an oenophile with your own wine cellar, board one of hundreds of river cruises dedicated to Europe's most celebrated wine regions.  These wine-themed European sailings provide a unique and delicious dimension to already enticing itineraries—with enhanced epicurean experiences included in the price of the cruise. 

Strasbourg, Alsace

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The capital of Alsace, Strasbourg, is this perfect city home base to set out and find the perfect wine with its Germanic influence and timbered buildings; this city is known for its picturesque Gothic cathedral overlooking its main square. Strasbourg has everything you need in a city and more: from its tiny French shops to its craft whiskey shop to the perfect cozy restaurants you didn't know existed.

Family-run vineyards

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Strasbourg is a great place to stay, but you will want to head outside of the city to find a local, family-run vineyard (one of the best reasons to visit Alsace!). Located just 40-minutes from the city, you can find a vineyard called Domaine Martial Dirringer in Dambach-La-Ville, France. The best part was that we could not have found them on a map if it weren't for our small group tour.

My husband and I love off-the-beaten-path places, and this vineyard was excellent in every way. It was a picturesque experience to sit inside the winery's cellar with the cheerful owner Catherine, who spoke great English. Catherine described their wines in great detail and spent time with us one-on-one talking about the winery, the Alsace region, and its colorful history. She was genuinely happy to share her passion for her life's work while we tasted all of their delicious wines. It is an experience that my husband and I will not soon forget.

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If your travels lead you to Alsace and you would love to tour an authentic family-run vineyard with the owner, contact us in Endless Routes Travel.

An opportunity to enjoy a private tasting or a delicious dinner in the cellars with an intimate wine experience is seldom found and will give you an amazing experience of this beautiful region.

So let us know your vacation idea, and then just sit back and enjoy the Gewurztraminer!

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About the Author

Diana Maria Groom is a first-generation American, born to Cuban parents. She is first and foremost a military spouse and mother to three children and currently resides in England, and previously in Germany where she has been stationed with her husband in the Air Force. She recently earned her introductory certificate in Wine Tasting and Sensory Techniques for Wine Analysis from UC Davis and is currently completing Level Two Sommelier Certification. Diana plans all of her European travel with wine tourism at the forefront!


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