Alsace | A Rich Mosaic of Terroirs
Shielded by the Massif des Vosges, Alsatian vineyards enjoy the driest climate in France and a late-season sunshine, perfect for a slow and prolonged maturation of grapes. But they also benefit from the exceptional diversity of the vineyard soils, a mosaic of terroirs scattered over 170 kilometres. This is the Alsace wine route.
The beginnings of Alsatian winemaking date back to the Romans, in the first century B.C. At that time, water was rarely safe to drink, so it was less dangerous to drink wine…what a good excuse!
A favourable climate and soil are not enough to produce exceptional wines. Add to this a good dose of know-how and a ample amount of manpower! Alsace has always been a populated region, a crossroads of ideas in Europe.
Vineyard cycling tour of Alsace
This cycling route will take you to a multitude of postcard-worthy landscapes, and you will cross no less than fifty AOC Alsace Grand Cru terroirs. Above all, you will meet winemakers eager to share with you their history, their passion and their love of the land.
Alsace is the only vineyard in France to showcase its grape varieties, with stars such as Riesling (21.8% of the vineyard area), Pinot Blanc (21.2%) and Gewurztraminer (20.4%). The vineyard has 4 types of appelations: AOP Alsace, AOP Alsace Grand Cru, Crémant d’Alsace and finally for sweet and syrupy wines, the Vendanges tardives (VT) and the Sélections de grains nobles (SGN).
Alsatians will tell you, their wine qualifies as “angel’s pee” ! This Alsatian expression is used to signify a superb wine!
During your trip to Alsace, you will not want to miss the iconic city of Strasbourg, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the European capital, and its historic city centre. The emblematic gothic cathedral founded in 1015 was the largest building in the world for two centuries once its spire was built.
The foodie in you will not want to leave Alsace without having enjoyed sauerkraut in a Winstub (Win means wine and stub means heated room). A true Strasbourg institution, these traditional eateries will give you a true taste of the local culture. Why not pair it with a local craft beer? After all, Alsace is also the most important brewing region in France!