Alsace harvests, another new discovery

Do you know about “Indian summers”, where summer lasts right up to winter? In Alsace they have “Alsace summers” instead, which make autumn quite enchanting and only add to the region’s charm, with fair weather days lasting until harvest time.

They provide a wonderful opportunity to learn more about working with the vines and extend your time in Alsace until the very final harvests!

Anyone who has been a student or a tourist in Alsace will naturally have discovered its roads which snake from one village to the next such that you have the impression you are sailing through an ocean of vines. Others will have gone further, even trying their hand at harvesting the grapes themselves.

Each year, smaller producers hire the most determined applicants and some vineyards even offer the chance to become a “grape harvester for the day”. The experience is worth going out of your way for…

A romantic spell

As well as finding out more about being a wine-grower and learning some wine-making secrets, vineyards provide a setting for some lovely walks. Like us, you’ll have bought some bread, a few little local meats, some fruit and vegetables and some cheese in the villages you’ve travelled through. Then you’ll take a stroll through the vineyards of your choice.  You’ll sit down in a field and take some time to have a picnic where you’ll feel at one with the landscapes surrounding you.

Enjoying the last rays of the sun on your face, you’ll find the bunches of grapes tempting… You’ll wish you had the wines there instead – Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Crémant – which you will drink the following year.

You’ll take out your iPhone and immortalise the moment, share it and feel as happy as a clam.

Final piece of advice: find a winstub (wine brasserie) which lets you try fresh walnuts, a little bacon and “Nejer Sisser”, the Alsace name for new wine. This is also what the harvest is all about.

Two friendly recommendations

–          Discover Alsace’s wines: The Alsace Wine Trade Council (CIVA) has a website where you can learn more about all Alsace’s wines and their secrets.

–          A variety of vineyards allow you to try their wares. I’ll share six here:

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