Taking a barge trip in France is one of the most captivating ways in which to see the country. This kind of travel provides a tranquillity that you can only find on the waterways and allows you a glimpse into the subtle interactions of humans and nature. |
There are a number of lovely parts of the country where the stunning scenery is on show, but perhaps none better than Alsace. With its castles, architecture and customs, this region is perfect for barge trips. In France you’re never far from a fantastic vineyard and Alsace is no different in that respect. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy this area’s spectacular wine from the water.
Distinctly different, the white wines of Alsace are unlike anything you’ll find in the rest of the country, or the world for that matter. Here are some of the top ones to try.
For lovers of sweet wines, the Vendanges Tardives are produced with the four ‘noble’ grapes of the region, a mix of grapes that provides the subtleties of honey flavour. For real connoisseurs, different producers take very different slants on this variety and you’ll find different bottles that are each distinct and different in their taste and production.
The Pinot Gris D’Alsace is full bodied and a gorgeous coloured white. A lot of the subtle textures of this bottle come from the nose, and there are numerous fruity and natural notes throughout. It’s a real standout and could well be a highlight for wine lovers on barge trips in France.
Gewurztraminer D’Alsace is a typically German grape but made with the techniques and methods associated with the region. It’s full of tropical fruit notes and is floral in part. It’s wonderfully decadent and pairs well with a variety of foods.
The Land and the Grapes
One of the most interesting things about barge trips in France is finding out about the region while being right in the heart of it. You’re sure to enjoy learning about the dramatic scenery of the Alsace and Lorraine regions, which produce their wines in such a distinct way, partly due to the terrain and the location. Situated right between Germany and France, there are a number of Germanic influences, including some of the grape varieties. However, they are produced here in a unique and fundamentally French way. With vineyards scattered all throughout the region, a trip on the water can be a great way to visit a number of them and see how the flavours change as the landscape does!
See the Country, Differently
No matter what you want to get out of a holiday in this delightful part of the country, the winding waterways are a great way to do it. Barge trips in France give you the opportunity to see parts of the country that just don’t look the same when arriving by road.
It’s definitely worth seeking a reputable tour operator to get the most out of your barging experience, as they can provide unique insight, expert knowledge and a real sense of authenticity.
Paul Newman is the Marketing and E-Systems Executive for European Waterways, the UK's most respected provider of all-inclusive, luxury barge trips in France. Part of a team of experienced barging aficionados, Paul is first in line to endorse the perks of a slow-paced barge cruise to anyone looking for a unique holiday experience
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