An Alsace Wine Tasting Tour From Basel Switzerland

Alsace-France-Wine-Tour

As we climbed out of the van the rain had lightened up, but not stopped. It had been raining on and off all week. It didn’t bother me too much today because I was about to embark on a fun wine tasting tour, one of several Basel day trips.  I have been in Basel Switzerland for a week house and pet sitting. I was lucky to be there for the Fasnacht Carnival (one of Five Fantastic Festivals in Switzerland) and now it was time to enjoy some great wines in the area. Although Basel is in Switzerland, the city borders France and Germany. We got into the van in Basel city center and about 45 minutes later we exited in the Alsace region in France. Our guide for the day was Colin, an award-winning wine sommelier.

woman walking through a winery in france

Alsace France

Alsace-France-Wine-Tour


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Alsace is a historical region in northeastern France on the Rhine River plain. The Alsace Wine Route crosses 53 different wine districts and is one of the oldest routes in France. The famous Alsace grapes found throughout the French wine regions here are freckled with Instagramable villages and medieval towns. These vineyard vines are home to some of the most sought-after grapes(Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Riesling) around the world. I wasn’t going to let the rain dampen my mood, I knew we were in for a great Alsace France wine tastings tour.

Our Alsace Wine Tour Itinerary

The wine tour included 4 different wineries sampling various French wines at each stop. In addition to a one-hour lunch break in a medieval village.

The First Vineyard

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Our tour began at a vineyard representing the 6th and 7th generation of a family. The vineyard has perfectly exposed hillsides with steep slopes. Half of the splendid terroirs and terraces supported by dry stone walls have been classed in Alsace Grand Cru appellation. This vineyard has been farmed with the same passion and dedication for over 2000 years. Complete production is done here. From growing to harvesting, to bottling, inserting the wine cork (no twist-off caps here), and adding wine labels.

“As winegrowers, we exclusively vinify our own harvest. As we do not buy either grapes, juices, or wines. This enables us to have complete traceability as well as a sustained quality of our production.”

Additionally, nothing goes to waste at this vineyard. After the wine production, spirits are made and the remaining byproducts are sent to the medical companies in Basel.

Their wine cellars contain 120 century-old oak casks and 80 thermal controlled stainless steel vats used for a strict selection of wine and rare vintage wine. Their wines include:

  • Alsace Riesling
  • Alsace Pinot Gris
  • Alsace Muscat
  • Alsace Pinot Blanc
  • Alsace Pinot Noir
  • Alsace Gewurztraminer
  • And more

view of the best vineyards in alsace france

The Second Vineyard

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The second winery we went to is located in one of the many beautiful villages in France, Riquewihr. With over 70 hectares, this family winery has been growing grapes since 1574 to produce Alsatian wine. At this winery, we learned how they became the pioneers of the marketing of wine in stemmed bottles.

“In 1913 this vineyard owner was the first to have the idea of commercializing wine in stemmed bottles, the elegance of which, even to this day, distinguishes Alsace wine from other wines.

This ‘invention’ was not easily accepted. In order to combat reticence and to prove the perfect conservation of bottled Alsace wine, he wagered that his bottles would be able to support the journey from Alsace to Australia and back.

The demonstration was so brilliant that the jury of the Strasbourg Exhibition awarded him the highest possible distinction – the silver medal with the inscription ‘for a particularly successful achievement’.

This little revolution meant that Alsace wine could set off to conquer Paris France and… the rest of the world. As proof of its supremacy, the enterprise became suppliers to all the great steamships and long-distance mail boats.

In 1972 his idea was given support by the issuing of a decree which made it obligatory for Alsace wine to be bottled in the region in which it was produced”.

Crémant d’Alsace is their main product. It is a special sparkling wine of the Alsace wine region in France. They also produce the following white wine:

  • Riesling wine
  • Pinot Gris wine
  • Muscat wine
  • Pinot Blanc wine
  • Pinot Noir wine
  • Gewurztraminer wine
  • And more

The Third Winery in Alsace France

Alsace-France-Wine-Tour

Our third winery has 13 generations of family tradition at their vineyard. This family-run estate owns 30 hectares of land in the Alsace region. They also buy grapes from another 100 hectares by a partner grower. The hand-picked grape varieties throughout the vineyards are up to 35 years old. Their production averages 100,000 cases of wine per year. Ninety percent of it is exported to over one hundred countries around the world. Here was the only Alsace red wine tasting we had.

“This family drafted the legislation to govern the production of late-harvest Alsace wines, Vendange Tardive, and Selection de Grains Nobles. They also revived Gentil, a traditional blend of Alsace noble grapes”.

Under 16th-century buildings, in the heart of a medieval town is their cellars. Within this wine cellar is the famous ‘S. Catherine’ barrel. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it is the oldest working wine casks in the world, dating back to 1715.

pouring red wine made at the best wineries in france

The Fourth Vineyard

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This winery, situated on the Alsace Wine Route, has had a passion for wine since 1626. The 13th generation

“extols the virtues of all the Alsace grape varieties, their true passion lies with the Riesling. Its unequaled fruitiness, finesse, elegance, and pedigree make it the finest white wine in the world!”

The 50 hectares that make up this estate extend over fifty parcels and seven villages. The strictly hand-harvested grapes are meticulously selected for each wine. The combination of modernity and tradition are used with stainless steel tanks and old wooden casks. More than 85% of its highly sought-after dry wines are exported around the world.

Basel, Switzerland Day Tours

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Although there are several day tours you can take in Basel and visit Vineyards in Switzerland, there is no wine tasting tour like the Alsace region, right on Basel’s doorstep. Here you will not get mulled wine, sangria wine, port wine, or ice wine. You will be tasting wine from vineyards that produce some of the finest wines in France…. some say the world! Learn about which amazing vineyards these are and book this wine tour contact the award-winning wine sommelier, Colin at WineWeinVinoVin here.

I highly recommend this wine tasting tour when you visit Basel. The day was filled with a vast amount of information about the area, the wines, and several tastings in various wine glasses. Some of these wines at the vineyards are not available in wine stores, you can only buy a bottle of wine at the vineyard.

While in Basel, you should also go on a Swiss Chocolate Tour, get a Thai Massage, and stay at the Hotel Euler.


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25 Comments

  1. I believe every single person who is reading this blog post want to experience this aleast once.
    Great Post, Appreciation.

  2. Alsace wine tasting tour is an amazing trip. You are so lucky that you have seen the beautiful scenes on your tour. In my country, there are no vineyards it has just gardens. I like the apple wine in red colour. Your journey is amazing and I wish you all the best.

  3. I love wine (as you can tell from my blog name). I’ve always wanted to go on a wine tasting tour!!!! This one sounds amazing.

  4. I love wine (as you can tell from my blog name). I’ve always wanted to go on a wine tasting tour!!!! This one sounds amazing.

    1. Sally Pederson says:

      Yes, it was a great way to spend the day in France.

  5. Andrea Larson says:

    I have not been to Basel, I’ve just passed by it on the car and it looked a little too industrial to me. But I see that my initial impression was probably not complete. Basel looks amazing! 🙂 I would love to visit it one day.

    1. Sally Pederson says:

      You should definitely go. I’m sure you will be surprised by everything it has to offer.

  6. Though I dont drink but would like to share this with a friend who would love to go on a wine tasting tour like the Alsace. 🙂

    1. Sally Pederson says:

      It was a very enjoyable tour with a lot of information about the area as well as the wine tasting.

  7. Oh wow this sounds so fun! And like Stephanie, I would LOVE being behind the scenes in all these historic production facilities and the underground vaults and everything – LOVE that pic of all the casks!

  8. Wine tasting is very good, have tried once in India @ Nashik it was wonderful experience with my whole family…!

    1. Sally Pederson says:

      I’m sure it was a great experience. I never would have thought of going on a wine tour in India.

  9. Wine tasting tour that’s so much fun and cool. Wish I could be there.

    1. Sally Pederson says:

      It was a very nice day with some wines I have never heard of before.

  10. This sounds like such a fun trip! I don’t drink wine, but still enjoy tours to see the winery and how everything works.

    1. Sally Pederson says:

      It was very informative even without the wine tasting.

  11. How fun!! I love wine, and wine tasting tours are so fun! Maybe someday if I am ever there I can do that wine tour!

    1. Sally Pederson says:

      It really was a fun and interesting day. I learned a lot about the area and the wines there.

  12. The Alsace wine tasting tour sounds like my kind of fun! I’m a Riesling and Pinot Noir girl but am always looking those hidden gems.

    1. Sally Pederson says:

      I prefer red wine, but we only tried one red. However, they were some great wines.

  13. Kate Loves Travel says:

    I’ve never done a wine tasting tour but I’d love to… and this one sounds like it was great!

    1. Sally Pederson says:

      Yes, you should go on one. You can go almost anywhere in the world.

  14. I love Europe, especially Switzerland…so much history and it is fun to see how many generations of the same family have been continuing on, working the family business! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Sally Pederson says:

      Yes, it was a very interesting tour. Some of the vineyards have been run by 13 generations.

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