Wine sippin’ in an Alsatian village

Wine sippin’ in an Alsatian village

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

The picturesque region of Alsace, France lies to the west of the Rhine River on the German border. It is home to fairytale towns with colorful half-timbered houses, flower-laden boutique fronts, macaroons galore and vineyards as far as the eye can see. The village of Barr, located at the foothills of the Vosges Mountains between Strasbourg and Colmar, is the wine capital of Alsace.

If you’re a wine connoisseur or even just like to sit on your couch in sweatpants and enjoy a glass from time to time, this is a great little area to visit for the day (but ditch the sweatpants). There are multiple wineries within walking distance that are sure to satisfy your craving for Rieslings. What’s the best part? The village is just off the beaten path and people’s travel radar. Enjoy being almost completely alone during intimate wine tastings and ask as many questions as you want. However, the answer to the question, “Do you have anything very sweet and sparkling?” is always an unfortunate no. Pair your wine tastings with some fabulous food in between stops and you’re in for one of the most relaxing days of your life.

First stop of the day- Domaine Hering. This family-owned winery has been in business since 1858. You can see the vineyards directly behind the store that produces wines like Sylvaner, which is a dry and light wine to accompany daily meals. Try one or all the different wines here, then purchase your favorite and carry on. Next up- a sweet treat!

A seemingly unlimited choice of baked goods are available for your delight at Patisserie J. Oster. The stunning array of pastries in the window is sure to draw you in! The exterior, lovingly decorated with red shutters and flower boxes, is almost as wonderful as the interior, where you’ll find cakes, tarts, bars and everything in between on display. Order a cup of cappuccino to sip while you savor your heavenly treat for the perfect intermission between wineries.

After you’ve indulged in all the sugar, head to Leipp-Leininger. This winery is located in a 18th century house where wine production began in 1760. The current owners took over in 1911 and have since been growing the business. Per their website, the goal is to create wine that will “communicate a joie de vivre and captivate the consumer who will appreciate it.” For a taste of something light and fruity, try the Crémant d'Alsace Rosé. After you’ve tasted to your heart’s content, consider grabbing lunch and putting more than just grapes in your stomach.

For a delightful Alsatian lunch, head to Restaurant Le landsberg. Here you’ll find the local specialty flambé pie (flammkuchen). The home-cooked cuisine here is delicious and includes pot-au-feu meat salad, veal liver dumplings, veal kidneys and much more. Since you’re already on a wine tasting journey, you might as well have another glass with lunch. Finish with some crème brûlée for the perfect meal.

For your third, and possibly final winery, head to Klipfel. By far the biggest location of the three mentioned, this winery is in the old cellar of Klipfel House, which was built in 1818. Consider doing a cave tasting and discovering the deliciousness of Alsatian wines and even staying for some food. If you’ve had enough wine and are wanting to branch out a bit, you can also sample whiskey here.

After visiting the wineries and having a few treats in between, consider taking a nap before going to dinner at Hotel Restaurant Le Brochet. This restaurant has been in business since 1514 in the heart of Barr. Since you’re in the area, you might as well try local specialty filet of pikeperch with Riesling sauce, Sauerkraut and steamed apples. Finish the night off with some ice cream and then wander maybe 15 feet to the hotel next door to crash.

For a luxurious evening after a day full of wine tasting, spend the night at 5 Terres Hotel & Spa. This four star hotel is nothing short of amazing, with massive rooms featuring exposed wooden beams and a waterfall shower that is sure to take your relaxation to the next level. The best part is that it’s centrally located and every restaurant, winery and attraction is within walking distance! Drink to your heart’s desire, then wander back to the hotel. Get an amazing night’s sleep, wake up and utilize the spa area to start your day. Take a dip in the pool or sweat out the toxins in the sauna. Massages are also a must do before you carry on your Alsatian adventure!

Add the village of Barr to your Alsace region travel to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and tourists. You won’t regret it! Good wine, great food and a luxurious hotel await you there.


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