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Alsace is famed for its wine, so much so that it is known as ‘the land of pure whites’ due to the cool and dry climate that allows white grapes to flourish in the region’s vineyards. Many winemakers dot the hills surrounding Riquewihr as a result, and an excursion to one of them can be eye-opening for a novice. Wine is not the only drink in town, however, so with this list we’ll be analyzing Riquewihr’s best watering holes of all varieties.
Hemmed in on all sides by winemakers, this brewery, the only one in Riquewihr, is more than holding its own. A beautifully designed establishment erected on the site of the former Hollbeer brewery, this place has nonetheless retained its rustic charm by incorporating wooden boards as a key design element. The new owner, Eric Halter, has been brewing here since 1998. Tours and tastings are available and a range of filtered beers in bottles, barrels or on draught can be purchased. A small restaurant terrace is also provided should you wish to enjoy a drop in the sunshine.
Address & telephone number: 8 Avenue Jacques Preiss, Riquewihr, France, +33 3 89 49 06 72
This family of winemakers are the most well-known in all of Alsace, with the products of their 30-hectare estate being exported to over 100 countries worldwide. Their cellar and tasting room is in the heart of Riquewihr, underneath a 16th-century building. Here, specialists will guide you on which wines to taste, their complete current range is always available, while older vintages can be bought if you wish. You may feel as if you’ve stepped back in time, as many of the large oak barrels are over a century old. One of them, the famous ‘S. Caterine’, dated 1715, is the world’s oldest working cask.
Address & telephone number: 3 Rue de la 1ère Armée, Riquewihr, France, +33 3 89 47 92 15
Although operating for less than a century as a dual venture, the château in which Domaine Dopff et Irion is based was constructed in 1549, and was the home of Alsace’s former ruler, the Prince of Wurtemberg. Their five estates are each dedicated to a certain noble grape variety, and you can try their wines from the last few years in their plush Riquewihr tasting room. Cellar master Alexandre will introduce you to their Rieslings, Gewürztraminers, and Crémants, among others.
Address & telephone number: 1 Cour du Château, Riquewihr, France, +33 3 89 47 92 51
Domaine Agapé was only established in 2007, but as they are a relatively new fixture on the winemaking landscape of Alsace, they have brought a very modern and technically accomplished method of operating. Their methods have led the company to be acclaimed by the 2010 Bettane and Desseauve Guide. They use both wooden barrels and stainless steel tanks, and produce a range of dry wines including Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, and Muscat. You can choose to be led on a guided tour of the cellar, located in a renovated barn, or to explore yourself.
Address & telephone number: 10 Rue des Tuileries, Riquewihr, France, +33 3 89 47 94 23
The Dopff family have been winemakers since the year 1574 and were the pioneers of the regional product Crémant d’Alsace. Their impressive, modern tasting room is open all year round and there are a number of choices when planning to visit Dopff au Moulin. Three different commented wine tastings, consisting of combinations of crémants and other wines, are available, and these will be accompanied by either a video presentation that details the wine-making and growing process, a trip to the vineyard, or a visit to the cellar. Salted pretzels, kougelhopf, cheese, and bread will be provided.
Address & telephone number: 2 Avenue Jacques Preiss, Riquewihr, France, +33 3 89 49 09 69
A family producer smaller than most in Riquewihr, Frédéric Engel’s facilities may be modest, but their wines are accomplished, and the reception given when visiting is friendly. Now run by the latest generation of Engels, Alain and Yvan, the vineyard foregoes the trappings of big industry and instead sells most of their wines first-hand to their customers. Tastings and guided tours are offered as with the other wineries in town, but walking through the Engels’ cellar is livened up by the presence of Alain’s impressive photography that is on display among the casks.
Address & telephone number: 36 Rue des Remparts, Riquewihr, France, +33 6 30 59 97 80
The Sparrs have been winegrowers since 1680, and now own 30 hectares on which to practice their trade. A respected family business, they have received numerous awards for their wine, including a commendation in the 2015 Hachette Wine Guide for a Crémant Chardonnay. Commented wine tasting by expert oenologists in the Sparr cellars are available, as are guided tours of their vineyards and even a chance to harvest your own grapes. Regional dishes like sauerkraut, Munster cheese, and plum tarts can be enjoyed in combination with a Riesling or Pinot Gris.
Address & telephone number: 8 Avenue Méquillet, Riquewihr, France, +33 3 89 47 92 14