March 29, 2011

Un petit voyage en France, Part Zwei

...wait, that isn't 'two' in French.... The second part of our mini wine and cheese vacay.

Somehow or another, we managed not to indulge in too much wine during our stay in Strasbourg. Which is a good thing. The last thing you want to do before a day of wine tasting is being hung-ditty from the night before.

Saturday morning, while not nearly as beautiful as the day before, I awoke with a full agenda of things to do. After a super quick stop in the local Sephora - which, btw, they do NOT have in Germany and I was running super low on so many things. Life saver! - we were headed about 50 km south to the Alsace Tour de Vins.
The hubs did not get a shot of me coming out of Sephora, but I probably looked like this, but with more crazy eyes. (source)
The hubs kept asking 'Where are we headed?' and my answer was 'Oh I dunno, some town that people kept saying was really cool on the internet'. He should know better by now to even ask.

I am the queen of finding random spots and towns online. And thankfully I am lucky enough and they usually turn out to be interesting, off-the-beaten-path kind of wonderful places. 

One of the beautiful streets in Riquwihr

This one was no different. After a short drive on the highway, the GPS lead us off the main road and back through meandering rows of vines. I don't think the hubs was convinced we were actually going some place in particular, that is, until the absolutely picturesque town of Riquewihr was right upon us.

If you thought Strasbourg looked like a movie set, Riquewihr was straight out of a Disney film. Despite the region of Alsace getting pretty blown up in the war, the tiny medieval town was spared. And has somehow stayed more or less the same as it was in the 16th century. 

The clock tower framing the top of the town.
The town, which is built on the side of a steep hill, is jam packed with little wineries and tasting rooms. Seriously, just one after the other of Cave and D├ęgustation (cellars and wine tastings) We asked one of the proprietors, and she guessed that in the tiny, sleepy town there were around 25 wine cellars in the city. Boozing comes easy here, I'd say.

And don't worry, we didn't hit them all up. Don't think I would have had the stamina or liver to even accomplish that in a week!

Ok, maybe a week, but it would have to be one heck of a bender!

We picked out a places along the main drag that we wanted to visit and sample their wine. By far the coolest one was Maison Zimmer, which was literally in a cave-like cellar. Cold, damp, musty smelling, and away from the tourist bus full of snow birds from Florida, it really did feel like we descended those stairs and traveled back in time.

Maison Zimmer wine tasting cellar
And holy begeebus, was their Riesling to die for! So good. While I wanted to buy 20 bottles to take home, I reluctantly only purchased two. Damn the hubs and his 'common sense'. 

How good was it? It's been called the songbird of it's generation. That good.

Sorry, blackout there, what happened? Anyways, the idea is to bring back a bottle so we can enjoy it at home, in Texas. Yeah, we will see if that happens! 

How do you manage to look so smooth all the time?! Lol
I asked the lady working there if anyone ever falls down the steps. She said it didn't happen very often, but people are always falling up the steps. Now that is how you know you had a good time wine tasting!

Medieval looking stairs leading back into the sunlight
Besides walking the streets to people watch and eating yet another meal filled with melted Munster goodness, there wasn't much else to do in the town. But really, with architecture and an atmosphere like that, what more do you need?!

If you ever find yourself along the French-German border, you have to check out this area. Wine lover or teetotaler, you will not be disappointed in the beauty of the French countryside!

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  1. Aaaaah, I love the little villages with the cobblestone streets! I want to go there!

    We went to the southern French countryside last summer, and it was so beautiful. Everything looks so different than it does in the U.S. You really don't need to do anything more than walk around, letting it all soak in.

  2. So very charming, just love the photos!

    That Wine Cellar...I'm imagining myself being there....and falling up those steps, lol.

    When are you going back????

  3. LOL How on earth people fall up steps, I'll never know! Maybe I never drink enough wine...I gotta try that for next time.

  4. Amazing!!! And I wouldn't have know that wasn't French...I'm American, and I speak one language. LOL!

  5. Awesome! Adding it to my weekend trip list since I'll be living on the border, keep the tips coming!

  6. @Amanda - no kidding! Walking around and just being there is the best :) I would love to visit the South of France. Will have to put that on the to do list for sure!
    @Slidecutter - haha, me and you can fall up the steps together! Glad you liked them :) I don't if we will head back this year, but maybe sometime next season for sure!
    @An Irish - haha, guess you haven't had enough then, lol. To be fair, that last step was a little higher than the rest. Tricky tricky after a few. PS LOVE your post today!
    @Andrea - haha, oh all of us Americans that speak only one language. I will fool you and just start throwing out random jibber jabber and call it French, haha.
    @IFs - it is a must! Glad I can help you plan your weekend trips. I will think of some more for ya!

  7. I would love to fall up those steps! And omg all the pics are amazing <3

  8. Thx so much for stopping by my blog today! I would gladly send a few cupcakes your way, but, I'm afraid they may not be so beautiful once they arrive! hehe!
    Cute lil blog you have here!

  9. That town looks beautiful, maybe one day I'll be able to afford to travel to these kinds of places

    ...maybe :x

  10. The buldings are so beautiful. (cottages?) You seriously wouldn't get any shots like that in the USA. Everything's just too new. I love hole in the wall type of places, but I rarely get there while looking for them. I just get lost and stay lost. (I inherited my mother's sense of direction. hah.)

  11. Awesome! What a fun trip!

    Oh, "The last thing you want to do before a day of wine tasting is being hung-ditty from the night before." Agree to disagree. Nothing like prepping the liver for what's coming.

    And was that a stepbrothers reference? I heart you +1 now. Which puts you at about 4. Very, very high.

    I like. It's nice.


    BTW does this make you the TexaGermaNadiaFrenchy?

  12. that winery looks amazing!!! And the little city looks so fun! Glad you had a fabulous time! I hope you drank a lot of wine for me. hehe

  13. Wow! What a fun winery!! Thanks for finding my blog. Looking forward to reading yours!

  14. @Marcy - well thanks! We had a great time there :)
    @Apfel - haha, I thought I was going to too, they are kind of tricky. Or maybe it was the wine...who knows!
    @Jess - haha, but who doesn't love moldy cupcakes?!? Thanks for stopping by too!
    @Colin - Euro trip in the future?!? :) Start saving and it could be here in no time!
    @Katie - No kidding, nothing like that in the states. Haha, you just need to get lost in the right places I guess!
    @Caleb - I am weeping a little right now. Of course it would be you to get the Step Brothers reference. I heart you +1 too. Let's runaway together and start a blog that is solely just SB quotes. Ahhh, if life could be just that perfect :) Haha. And sadly my liver just can't handle that kind of drinking anymore. You crack me up!
    @Mac - well thanks Mac!
    @Laura - haha, I had some for you, and next time we crack one of these bottles, I'll have a little for you then too, haha :)

  15. @Zeller - sorry, you jumped in there! No prob bob, I really like your site too. Glad you stopped by as well!

  16. Looks like you had a great time! My hubs has that whole common sense thing going on too. So annoying! lol

  17. Jealousssss. I love Germany and I love France (who doesn't? They're so loveable), so I feel like this place would be heaven.

    PS congrats on the nomination for blog of the month at FTLOB, you've got my vote!

  18. Wow! You definitely have a career as a travel agent.

  19. Oh, how fun! Love the pictures and that Riesling sounds diviiine!!!

    BTW - I have been known to fall up many, many a stair case in my day...

    Sober. True story.

  20. we stayed in Chateneuf du pape for a week last summer and most of the wine 'caves' look like that...ohhhh I need to go back!!!! I was a bit partial to some of the red wine there...oh...

    btw, congrats on the nomination on ftlob!!!

  21. There's just something about Europe, isn't there, that makes you want to keep going back. I haven't quite figured out what that is exactly, yet... :/

  22. Looks like a lot of fun. My wife and I plan on going to Europe sometime before she gets preggs. I'm getting some ideas here.

  23. What a gorgeous place! Looks & sounds like you had an amazing time! ♥

  24. @lesley - don't you hate how they just rub that in our faces, haha, too funny!
    @Jackie - Awww, thanks Jackie! You are so right, it really is the best of both worlds!
    @Copyboy - haha, well I really do like planning trips, but mine seem to center on drinking, think there could be a market there!
    @Yotes - soooo good. The hubs wanted to already crack a bottle last night. I had to say no, waiting is better. I have fallen up them too! THanks for making me feel better, haha.
    @Melody - Ohhh, that sounds awesome! We need to go back and try another region for sure! THanks Melody!
    @Tanya - haha, I think you can have some wine pretty soon here!
    @Alexis - Hmmm, just the atmosphere I think. Along with great food and delicious wine/beer (here in Germany) or maybe the fact that you can drive 3 hours or less and be in another country. Doesn't hurt!
    @Johnny - gotta do it! Ya'll would have a great time :)
    @thefancyflea - well thanks, we really did :)

  25. That cellar looks awesome. WAY cooler than the only basementish bar I've ever been in which was in college, smelled of pee and vomit, the lock on the women's restroom door didn't work AND I saw people in the dark corner pretty much having sex. I say pretty much because I'm not entirely positive because I didn't want to be all starey mcstarerson.

  26. Yes, falling up the steps is a definite sign of a good wine tasting. Like you, I'm the one that takes the family off the beaten path when we travel. Thanks for sharing more of your Asaltian adventures :)

  27. Lucky you - I would love to do a tour de vin in Alsace. Your pics are gorgeous.


Whoomp, there it is!