The fastest route between Strasbourg and Colmar, 68km (42 miles) south, is N83. But if you have time, the famous Route du Vin, the oldest “wine road” in France, established in 1950, makes a rewarding experience. It rolls through 60 charming villages and is flanked by the Vosges foothills, with medieval towers and feudal ruins evoking faded pageantry. The vine-covered slopes sometimes reach a height of 435m (1,427 ft.), and an estimated 20,000 hectares (49,400 acres) of vineyards line the road. Some 30,000 families earn their living tending the grapes.
Serious oenophiles will want to select specific vineyards to visit; however, the picturesque scenery and quaint towns are a highlight for any visitor to the region. The best villages are described below; charming Kaysersberg is a convenient place for lunch, while most overnights are done in the largest town, Colmar. The best time to go is for the harvest in September and October when there are festivals throughout the area (especially in Ribeauvillé). Useful additional information can be found at www.alsace-wine-route.com.