France: Alsace

North of Colmar

The wines of the Haut-Rhin from Niedermorschwihr to Rohrschwihr
By Sue Style

This Guide was last updated on 14 March 2011
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Frequent, lively events are scheduled in the vineyard villages throughout the summer with wine, oom-pa-pa music and dancing (a favourite pastime in Alsace ) – some of the most interesting are listed below, but visit or for dates and venues.

Pique-Nique chez le Vigneron

Many independent vignerons (the Becker family in Zellenberg, the Bernhards in Katzenthal, Sylvie Spielmann in Bergheim) participate in this event every year on Whit Monday. Anyone can join the party – bring your own picnic; trestle tables, benches, shade (or shelter) and copious wine are all provided, plus visits to the caves and explanations of the house winemaking style. Piano accordions and dancing not unknown.

Useful information: Visit and look under ‘Nos Rendezvous’ for dates and participating members.


Foire des Vins d’Alsace, Colmar

Huge ten day event in the exhibition space/fairground in Colmar in the first half of August, part showcase for Alsace wines, part popular festival, with competitions, tastings, round tables and a series of world-class pop concerts.

Useful information: Go to for the programme.


Fête des Ménetriers/Pfifferdaj (Piper’s Day), Ribeauville

First Sunday in September, when music fills the streets, the fountain runs freely with wine and the party goes on well into the night.

Useful information: Details at


International Music Festival Colmar

World-class music festival held each July under artistic director Vladimir Spivakov with top soloists (e.g. András Schiff).

Useful information: 8 Rue Kléber, 68000 Colmar Tel: 03 89 20 68 97 Fax: 03 89 41 31 43
Email: Web: First two weeks in July.


Présentation-Dégustation des Grands Crus d’Alsace

Annual, early-November presentation and tasting of Grand Cru wines staged by CIVA in the Château de Kientzheim, home of the Confrérie de Saint-Etienne. A great opportunity to meet with and evaluate the wines of 70 growers with vines in Grand Cru vineyards.


Christmas markets in Colmar and Kaysersberg

Beautifully conceived and decorated market stalls selling classy Christmas ornaments and gifts (including edibles and potables). If at all possible, avoid weekends which are impossibly crowded and visit on a weekday evening, when the markets are less busy.

Useful information: Consult local tourist offices or visit for dates and venues - basically they take place for the month of December.


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