Alsace, France – Wine Country with German Flavoring
Posted on July 19, 2016
Alsace is not a town but rather a department (state) within France with a very special character. Tourists visit in droves for good reason. The wine is fine, and the small villages of half-timbered houses are a delight. The people speak a dialect that probably drives Parisians crazy. The food, too, is fine, especially if you crave sauerkraut.
Alsace is just to the west of the Rhine River, the border between France and Germany. Over the centuries it has belonged to France and then Germany, then France and again to Germany so many times it’s hard to keep count. After WWII, many of its citizens wanted to rejoin Germany but it didn’t happen. We spent five days wandering around our home base of Wintzenheim and a few neighboring villages.
Wintzenheim is a no nonsense, frill-free village surrounded by well-tended vineyards with essentially no tourists. We found a very nice apartment there so it was a good home for us.
A mere kilometer away was Turkheim, where tourists were bursting its seams to experience a gussied-up village with all the usual souvenir shops selling plastic storks.
Later we spent a few hours in Kientzheim, also with storks, vineyards and wineries by the dozen.
A bit further north on the Route du Vin we came to Kaysersberg, a bustling tourist and wine town made famous as the birth place of Albert Schweitzer.