Today it’s a sunny day. So what shall we do? Let’s go for a drink or…for many drinks across the Route des Vins of Alsace!
It isn’t the first time that we visit the area, but generally we tend to stop quite close to Mulhouse; this time we decided to go a little further and visit Riquewihr. Before reaching the village we stopped in Beblenheim. For what? Of course, for a drink!
Just outside Beblenheim, at the roundabout, there is Cave Covidal, where one can taste and buy some wine. There is also some space for sitting outside and having a glass of wine, while eating a Flammeküche (or a tarte flambée, as it is called in French). After this refreshing stop, we continued towards Riquewihr.
The Route des Vins is wonderful, you see vineyards on both sides of the road and, in spring, yellow daisies and other colored flowers peer out from the green meadows.
We arrived in Riquewihr at 14:00, we parked our car in a paid parking space just outside the city-walls and we started our walk. Through a narrow alley, we encountered a small square and then, following three people before us, we could reach the center of the village. The sight of very colorful buildings made us say: “Wow”. Actually, the center is very small and with just a glance you can almost see it all.
Riquewihr is a fortified village owned by the Duke of Wüttemberg. Nowadays, it appears as it used to be in the eighteenth century. The wealth of this village is represented by its wine, which several times in the past saved Riquewihr during difficult times. Dolder Tower is the symbol of the village. It is a medieval stone building erected in 1291, and then restored in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. The tower was the gate of the city, belfry and warding tower. Nowadays, its four floors host the Museum of Local History.
The village, and the whole area, is famous for its wine. In particular, one can taste the Riesling, the Gewürztraminer, the Pinot Noir, Blanc and Gris, the Muscat, the Sylvaner, the Crémant d’Alsace and the Edelzwicker. Furthermore, the village is also known for its gastronomical products, such as the “macarons“, cookies with different flavors; the “pain d’épices“, a sweet cake made with spices, such as cinnamon, cardamom, anise and clove; and the so-called “Kugelhopf“, a traditional cake typically baked in a bundt pan. According to the local legend, the Kugelhopf was donated by the Three Kings (or Three Magi) to Mr. Kugel in exchange for his hospitality, when tired from their trip from Bethlehem to Cologne they stopped in the Alsatian village of Ribeauville and were accommodated by the local man. The cake was called so after the name of the hospitable man and after the noise of his wooden leg “hopf” heard by the Kings, while he was doing the housework during that night.
We walked around the village for a while and then, we decided to take the car and drive a little more on the Route and gaze at the colored meadows and vineyards. At around 19:00, we stopped in Ribeauvillé, where we had dinner at Bierstub Ville de Nancy (7, Grand Rue, 68150 Ribeauvillé), then drove back to Switzerland after a really nice day out!