Fellow Travellers

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Alsace June 30 to July 3

Alsace July 1/09 - Happy Canada Day!

Alsace stretches a mere 170 KM’s from the north, Strasbourg, to the south, Colmar, however the area is suffuse with charming villages and delicious wines. As our trip was quite short we decides to focus our attention on the southern region and based ourselves in Ribeauville.

Alsace produces white wines in a Germanic style with their main grapes being Riesling and Gewürztraminer. I won’t drivel on about the region as you can all read that online. I did a little research the area producers for Riesling in dry styles rather than sweet and also to note organize producers. We also were excited to pay a visit to Domaine Humbrecht as we had a very memorable tasting in Calgary attended by Olivier Humbrecht. He made quite an impression on us with a rose scented Gewürztraminer and another that gave off an overwhelming aroma of perm solution. Mary Frances, do you remember those wines?

Our first tasting was in Bergheim at Domaine Marcel Deiss. This producer has a different approach to blending then others. He plants different grapes on a section of vineyard and then blends those grapes into the different bottlings. This captures the essence of the terrior. It was a wonderful introduction to Alsace and a unique experience to taste his wines. We loved the wines from the Rotenberg and Altenburg areas and purchased a few bottles to enjoy with some Dutch seafood back home.


We had an unusual dinner that evening at the chic chic side of the Le Chambard, Winstub in Kayserberg, a wine bar is called a winstub in Alsace….thankfully there are many! It was a gourmand restaurant and we ordered the menu of the day. I will tell you the food was delicious however I am not certain that seafood on a bed of grey foam looks appetizing.


Alsace July 2/09
- Wine Adventures

To celebrate our heritage we devoured macaroons and chocolate croissants with large café lattes in Ribeauville. A lovely French (Canadian) breakfast! Our travels centered around finding Humbrecht and Trimbach domains. It took several trys to locate Humbrecht and although they were open tastings were only by appointment. That said we purchased a few bottles (again for the Dutch seafood – really there is a lot of seafood here) and made our way to Trimbach.

Trimbach is located in Ribeaville so we could park the car to enjoy a few sips…. Our favorites included their Riesling 01 CFE, the Pinot Gris 02 and the Gewürztraminer 01. Yes this years are right….you can age white wines of this quality. The hostess was not quite as enthusiastic as others but we tasted some fabulous wines non the less!


We enjoyed a delightful dinner at the Winstub de Sommelier in Bergheim that evening. The weather was awesome so we sat on the terrace in the company of a solo diner who after polishing off a bottle of wine to himself serenaded the diners with his whistling. We enjoyed a delicious bottle of Riesling selected by their Sommelier that completed the traditional charcuterie and a mushroom risotto. A lovely evening so we lingered as the last diners.


Alsace July 3/09 – On the way to Trier, Germany

We completed our Alsace experience with a visit to Riquewhir to enjoy this picturesque town and taste the wine of Hugel & Fils. The town is quite touristic but with very good reason, it is very lovely. The residents take great care to infuse the streets with flowers and well kept buildings. We enjoyed meandering through the streets before our wine tasting and recommend this little village.

We were informed on our visit that Mr. Hugel the patriarch of the family had died two weeks previous therefore they were featuring some of his last bottlings. We enjoyed our tasting being the only ones in the small salon but overall the wines were not to the quality we had enjoyed. Perhaps the selection for the tasting they offer is too average but I can’t say we were too enthusiastic.


Onward to Trier…..

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