The many mediaeval castles and the Renaissance houses lining the flower-bedecked roads of its picture-postcard villages are what make the Alsace Wine Route the best-known of its kind in France. It was officially recognised as a tourist route in 1953 and in 2013 will be celebrating its 60th anniversary, offering visitors a unique experience of traditions and wines.
The Wine Route offers many places of interest along its 170 km length, running through a multitude of valleys and hills, from Marlenheim to Thann. With some 1000 producers along the way, the Route offers a magnificent perspective of the region and its winemakers. It also includes a separate section around Wissembourg, at the northernmost tip of Alsace.
The Wine Route also includes five areas which have been awarded (or for which the label is pending ) the Vignoble et découverte (exploring the vineyards) label:
- Heart of Alsace, halfway between Strasbourg and Colmar, between the Mont Sainte-Odile and the château of Haut-Kœnigsbourg. www.pays-de-barr.com
- The Region and Wines of Colmar, around Colmar. www.pays-de-colmar.fr
- Wissembourg and its region (Cleebourg). www.ot-wissembourg.fr
- The Vineyards of Strasbourg, from Marlenheim to Molsheim. www.ot-molsheim-mutzig.com
- The Wine Route of Southern Alsace, around Thann and Guebwiller. www.tourisme-guebwiller.fr
The vineyards cycle route was set up to celebrate the 60 years of the Alsace Wine Route and runs from Marlenheim to Thann. The route is clearly marked out and takes cyclists through some of the most spectacular parts of the Alsace Wine Route, with plenty of sightseeing opportunities and restaurants along the way. There are a further 2000 km of cycle routes to enjoy throughout Alsace and its vineyards.
Explore the vineyards on horseback, along clearly-marked riding tracks.
Geocaching and treasure hunts
Geocaching is a great way of exploring the hidden secrets of the vineyards. Armed with a GPS, you go from one waypoint to another in the search for a hidden geocache container.
- Treasure hunts
Come along with all the family and look for "treasure" hidden around local villages and along the Wine Route. It's a fun way of exploring the region and you can get a free booklet and game instructions from local tourist offices.