Haut-Rhin, Grand Est
Dawn overlooking snow-dusted rooftops. In a few hours, sunlight will reveal bright colours on the tall facades of this Alsatian architectural gem, and visitors from all over the world will crowd into one of the region’s most famous Christmas markets. Amidst the vineyards for which it is also famous, Riquewihr belongs to those who rise early.
© Jean-Luc Krebs
Dubbed the “Pearl of Alsatian Vineyards,”, Riquewihr, home to Crémant d’Alsace, flaunts a preserved heritage in the heart of a hilly landscape covered in vineyards. Becoming a town in 1291, it has never stopped developing. Its rich Renaissance heritage is still appreciated to this day. Its imposing half-timbered homes, the Dolder, a 25-metre belfry tower, the “Thieves” Tower, or the Renaissance castle of the princes of Wurtemberg-Montbéliard illustrate its prosperity. As can be seen in the gourmet’s house or the oldest barrel in the world, grapevines, which were already being cultivated in the 8th have truly shaped the city. Today, the fifteen winegrowers who are still active produce some of the best AOC Alsace wines. A superb compendium of Alsatian living, this “loveliest village in France,” Riquewihr is an invitation to discover the history of each winemaker’s house, to stroll its lanes and push the doors to vast porches which open onto splendid indoor courtyards. It is a town where the surrounding nature and the quality of its local products make it an ideal destination all year long.