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Why You Should Go to Alsace, and Then Head Straight to Germany

By Jessica Glavin


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A trip to France’s rustic Alsace region means sipping some of the greatest dry white wines in the world. As Jane Lopes, sommelier at New York City’s Eleven Madison Park, will tell you, the only way to improve on this is to take a road trip over the border into the rolling hills of Germany’s Rhine Valley.

“The Alsace region is producing exciting and unpredictable wines right now. In the same day, you can drink super-lean, low-alcohol wines at Trimbach and then break open some of Barmès-Buecher’s biodynamic wines, which are entirely different vintage to vintage.”

“Over the German border, Bassermann-Jordan should be famous for its powerful whites, but Americans don’t know it. At a tiny restaurant called Eselsburg, I got the ‘expensive’ carafe of white … for 4 euro. It was so bright, perfect for schnitzel.”

“Even at Dönnhoff Winery, one of Germany’s best producers, the riesling is super affordable. Spend the extra cash at nearby Bäderhaus, a no-clothing-allowed spa with a modern pool area flanked by back-in- time stone-and-wood steam rooms.”

“The wines at Spreitzer were so delicious, I filled my only suitcase with them. Try the vibrant, nervy Spätlese Halbtrocken. While there, don’t miss the Seilbahn Rüdesheim gondola that runs up a hillside by the Rhine. The view made my heart stop.”

For more drinking tips, check out our feature “How to Drink Anywhere in the World” from the May 2015 issue.

Photo by Allan Harris/Flickr.