Known for Rieslings, rolling hills, and its medieval walls, Riquewihr is the gem of Alsace. Here’s how to make the most of an afternoon in this charming village.
Riesling is what this region is all about, so you need to stop at a vineyard or two if you are passing through. We chose to visit Famille Hugel. Having operated in the same house since the 1600s, you can literally smell the history as you walk through its halls.
Starting in the bottling room and ending in the cellars, we toured their whole facility, which has been producing some amazing wines for generations. And of course we had to do a tasting, but we decided to take a little break for lunch.
In order to prepare for an afternoon full of winetasting, we walked down the street to a local gastropub, D’Brendelstub. Housed in a 14th century townhouse, this restaurant is an architectural treasure as well as a culinary one. Upon opening the menu, we knew we needed to try the Tarte Flambée, a traditional to the region. When we visited, rhubarb was in season. We enjoyed a refreshing rhubarb dish for dessert!
When we returned to Hugel, our host informed us that we would be trying a “couple” of wines, which turned out to mean 20!
We went from dry to sweet—yes not all Rieslings are sweet! In fact some of the most popular in this part of the world are dry!
After learning about each wine, we headed up the road to the vineyards themselves to see where the grapes are actually produced. Here is a map of the different plots of land that the Hugel family cultivates, in addition to some aerial footage of the town and the vineyards:
Can it get anymore picturesque?
Luckily, Riquewihr was not badly damaged during World War II so most of the village is still 300 or 400 hundred years old.
Just strolling through the city is such a pleasure; it is of no surprise that this is officially one of the “most beautiful villages in France.” The half-timbered houses speak to the German influence, while the warmth of the people and the haute cuisine scream France.
Only about 45 minutes south of Strasbourg, it is the perfect pit stop en route to Switzerland or southern France. Plan on parking outside the medieval walls, no cars on the cobbled streets!