Straddling the foothills of the Vosges Mountains west of the Rhine Valley, the Alsace Wine Route connects a succession of charming old villages. Starting south of Sélestat (28 miles south of Strasbourg), the upper Route des Vins d’Alsace wends through vineyards and pretty wine towns such as Obernai, Bergheim, Turckheim, Eguisheim and Rouffach. Two of the most popular stops are Ribeauvillé, the medieval market center for Trimbach wines, and Riquewihr, a 16th-century walled hamlet that also contains the well-respected wine houses of Dopff au Moulin, Dopff & Irion and the venerable Hugel & Fils.
Also worth touring: Kaysersberg, filled with a wealth of 16th-century dwellings, and Colmar, with its picturesque old quarter and colorful floral displays. Favorite small wineries include Vincent Stoeffler, Domaine Wach, Domaine Weinbach and Jean-Baptiste Adam (make appointments for tastings in advance).
En route, purchase the helpful Recta Foldex tourist map of Alsace, which outlines the Route des Vins and briefly describes the communes, festivals and sights to visit along the way. Be forewarned: The circuitous wine road is not especially well-signposted.