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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Main towns and villages


This is the capital of the department of the Haut-Rhin, the southernmost of Alsace’s two departments. It has a wonderfully preserved medieval centre, some good hotels, restaurants and shops - and one of France’s driest, sunniest climates (the Tourist Office unfailingly reminds visitors that only Perpignan gets more hours of sunshine). The Musée Unterlinden is a must for Matthias Grünewald’s magnificent, multi-faceted Issenheim altarpiece.


Birthplace of Albert Schweitzer, this marks the bridge between the vineyards and the Vosges and provides the opening to the lovely Val d’Orbey. Several good places to stay and eat, and a magical, though terribly overcrowded Christmas market.


A village that is almost too good to be true, and definitely best visited out of season – in summer the coaches disgorge their passengers in their hundreds and the narrow cobbled streets are thronged with visitors. Several good, small hotels, good eateries – and famous winegrower Hugel is based here.


This village hugs its little hilltop and offers remarkable wraparound views of the vineyards, Vosges and Black Forest, a cosy little Bed & Breakfast and a couple of good growers.


Home of Trimbach, and of the Manufacture d’Impression sur Etoffes, famous for its luxurious table linen – their rich red Paisley print feuille de vigne (vine leaf) tablecloths grace the tables of many restaurants and winstubs (wine bars).


Entered through a magnificent 14th century stone archway, the village is beautifully protected by its medieval wall. A couple of excellent winegrowers outside the walls (Deiss, Spielmann), and a good winstub inside with typical food and an outstanding wine list.

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