Welcome back to France! If you missed part one of my blog on touring Eastern France this fall, make sure to catch up there. From the charming Alsatian town of Colmar, we travelled south-west for the ‘route du vin’ beginning with the town of Kaysersberg. Our first stop of the day was the massive, renovated medieval castle of Château du Haut Kœnigsbourg. The château sits atop a mountain 2,500 feet above the Alsatian plains, perfect for a white-knuckled bus-ride!
The château truly transports visitors to another time with a full retinue of original medieval furnishings and decor. The dreary weather certainly added to the medieval effect!
After the Château we wound our way down the mountain to the extraordinarily quaint village of Kaysersberg, replete with more Alsatian half-timbered houses and, yes, a medieval castle and vineyard right there in the center of town.
Kaysersberg possessed charm in spades, so much so that it was voted Le Village Préféré (the favorite village) by the French people in 2017! Thankfully the sun emerged during our lunch break and I had a wonderful time simply wandering the twisty, cobbled, streets.
We spent the afternoon a short bus ride away at a beautiful hill-top winery. There we took in the view, and sampled the local rieslings. The vintner, Jean-Clause led our tour of the vineyard. The rieslings tasted very different from those we’re accustomed to in the US. Instead of being cloying or sweet was very dry and crisp.
We spent the next few days operating out of Beaune, the wine capital of Burgundy. I took advantage of our downtime to do some recharging and, sadly, work. The highlight of our time in Burgundy was a visit to Château de Rully, a working castle and winery from the 12th century.
We were graciously given a tour of the castle by the current count! Many of the rooms still have their historic furnishings in tact. Unsurprisingly I found it difficult to keep my hands to myself in the library.
Pictured above: the family crest. I think this is what the 2000’s are missing–kickass family seals. Thankfully unicorns will never go out of style.
We finished the tour in the historic kitchen were we sampled their beautiful wines. I also stuffed myself with way too many gougères–I simply can’t resist those tiny french cheese puffs. Following the tour we picnicked on the grounds with plenty of cheese (sensing a theme?), and ended with macarons!
I’m very excited for the next installment of this series! After Burgundy we headed to the alps where we stayed in Chamonix in the shadow of Mount Blanc.