Riquewihr, an unmissable medieval city in the heart of the Alsatian vineyard, invites you to stroll between half-timbering and shimmering colors.
Half-timbered houses from the 13th to the 18th century
This “Most beautiful village in France”, the origin of Crémant d’Alsace, owes its name of “Pearl of the Alsatian vineyard” to its preserved heritage. Riquewihr is surrounded by classified grand cru vineyards : Le Schoenenbourg and Sporen. The city with its perfectly preserved surrounding walls reveals its half-timbered houses from the 13th to the 18th century, closely adjoining, as you walk along the main street. From the house of the gourmet to the oldest barrel in the world, the vine, already exploited in the 8th century, has shaped the city. Richo’s villa, “Richo villare” was a vast wine estate, originally from the town of Riquewihr Omnipresent in the landscape, on the slopes with steep slopes which rise to attack the hills under the Vosges, the vine is both the setting and the treasure of Riquewihr. It has always ensured the prosperity of the village.
Developed in the Middle Ages
If its origins seem to date back to Roman times, it was in the Middle Ages, thanks to viticulture, that Riquewihr developed. To protect intramural farms, ramparts were erected in 1291, when the city was elevated to the rank of town. Until the 16th century and the Thirty Years War, the activity experienced its golden age in Alsace and became a lasting part of the heritage of Riquewihr. The Dolder, a 25-meter-high belfry tower, the so-called “Thieves’ Tower” or the Renaissance castle of the princes of Württemberg-Montbéliard, were built during this period, as were the rich merchants’ residences, with their high colorful facades. half-timbered and their richly flowered balconies. Behind the large porches opening onto splendid interior courtyards, the fifteen or so active winegrowers produce some of the best Alsace AOC wines !
Magic of Christmas in Alsace
It is an understatement to say that Riquewihr does honor to the reputation of Alsace in terms of Christmas traditions and festivities. Every year, from the end of November and throughout the month of December, the village is adorned with an atmosphere that is both warm and magical. The streets, lit up with colorful garlands, then give way to the Christmas market and its many activities (Christmas treasure hunt, concert, visit of Saint-Nicolas, etc.). Typical of the Alsatian region, this unmissable event attracts many visitors to Riquewihr who, in the scent of mulled wine and gingerbread, discover the local gastronomy. In the spotlight, of course, wine (always in moderation!) but also many savory or sweet pleasures: foie gras, pretzels, kougelhofs, small Christmas cinnamon cakes… Craftsmanship is also well represented on the market. , and in particular the creations around Christmas decorations. They also have a dedicated shop in the main street of the village, a magical place that has become emblematic of the fervor of Christmas in Riquewihr.