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Trying to decide between the Alsace region or Burgendy region for next September.

We love wine, hiking and bike riding. Have been to France numerous times, but never to Eastern France. We will have just spent a week in Switzerland, then on to France for another week. Any advice on which of these two wine regions to choose? I love white wines, but my hubby will drink just about anything.

Posted by
3342 posts

I loved everything about Alsace - except the wine! Alsatian wines are mostly sweet and white. Not to my taste. I've never been to Burgundy, but I much prefer its wine.

Posted by
531 posts

We were in both areas in September 2015. They are different but each wonderful in unique ways. I liked Alsace area best and my husband preferred Burgundy. I would recommend a car and getting out in the countryside in both locations. The Rick Steve driving tours are excellent.

Posted by
3803 posts

Burgundy, for sure. No doubt, lovers of Alsatian wines will disagree but for a wine lover, IMO, it's Burgundy by a mile. There are very fine white wines from the Burgundy region so you will be fine. I have been to the Alsace region and the wines are good and it is beautiful in a different way than Burgundy but as far as amazing wine regions go, for me and my husband, Burgundy is the better choice.

Posted by
3551 posts

U cannot go wrong with either location. I enjoyed both on the same trip.
However imo if the wine is most imp my vote goes to Burgundy, and also if castles are imp. HOwever if it is unique pictureque villages then alsace wins out. Of the 2 anchor towns of Strasbourg or Colmar , my vote goes to Colmar.

Posted by
25 posts

Have not been to Burgendy but LOVED ALSACE! I would base in one of the small towns (Kaysersberg was a fav) with a rental car. I am a red wine drinker, but really enjoyed the whites that we drank in the Alsace region. Maybe because it was very hot and we really like the cold refreshment of a nice Pino Gris!

Posted by
2029 posts

I have visited Alsace last week and Burgundy a few times and both have enough to offer for an enjoyable visit. There is not enough difference between the two to my opinion you will regret if you choose one over the other.

Posted by
8244 posts

Both are good choices, but we love Burgundy. This is an area where you can just drive around and follow tourist information signs to explore abbeys and chateaux and beautiful vistas.
https://janettravels.wordpress.com/category/burgundy/
I would rent a place in a small town, we chose Semur en Auxois and use it as a base. We hiked in the Jura mountains to sources of rivers (lots of short hikes on the michelin maps) and enjoyed the towns.

Posted by
10370 posts

I'm not sure why Matt says the weather is better in Alsace or hiking better in Burgundy. There are trails everywhere in France and weather in both areas is variable, but not too different. Winters are slightly colder in Alsace, but not noticeably. There is also slight variation between northern and southern Burgundy. The Juras are quite a bit east of most of Burgundy, not really a day trip, but more of a destination. The Jura wine, Vin de paille, is very, very special and worth the stop if you choose Burgundy.

Posted by
623 posts

Indeed - both regions are similar. My comments on the weather and hiking are based solely on rainfall totals and conversations I've had about the Jura. Dijon gets 775 mm per year and Strasbourg gets 610 mm per year and that I've heard people comment on enjoying hikes in the Jura (I've never been). If you take the Jura out of the equation - I would say the two regions are equivalent for hiking, as Bets noted.

-Matt

Posted by
52 posts

Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I guess I shouldn't have mentioned the wine, as that is such a personal preference. I'm mainly seeking thoughts on the two regions for biking and hiking, which some of you covered in your notes. I appreciate all the suggestions, particularly the one that mentioned quaint villages vs castles. I like that way of looking at the two options.

Deb

Posted by
2029 posts

You can combine ofcourse the picturesque part of Alsace with the Vosges moutain range, a very popular place for biking and hiking. I stayed last week near the road leading to Mont-Sainte-Odile passing many biking uphill to the top where the abbey offers a stunning view over the Rhine valley and the mountain range of the Black Forrest in Germany. You will have a similar view from castle Haut-Koenigsboerg.

For an impression: http://www.frenchydutchy.com/en/7-things-to-do-in-vosges-mountains/

Posted by
2916 posts

I've been to both regions extensively, and you really can't go wrong with either. As for white wine, while Burgundy has fantastic wines, it's basically one grape: Chardonnay (yes, there's some Sauvignon and Aligote, but very limited). On the other hand, Alsatian whites are very diverse, with 7 principal grapes. And they are not generally sweet, except for Vendage Tardive. Both have excellent sparkling wines also, and in that regard I'd give the nod to Burgundy. They generally use the same grapes as Champagne, and can be very Champagne-like. As to scenery and villages, in my opinion Alsace wins hands down.

Posted by
15686 posts

I enjoy wine but I only visited one tasting room in my 10 days in Burgundy and Alsace (June 2015). I stuck to one glass of "something" at lunchtime (alcohol limits for drivers are lower in France than in the U.S.) and then either by the bottle in the evening in my Burgundy studio w/kitchen or at dinner walking distance from my rooms in Alsace (Eguisheim and Strasbourg). I loved exploring both areas, found them delightful, interesting, scenic and, well, wonderful. They are different. If I had to choose, I could not say which I preferred.

Posted by
2466 posts

There are white burgundies and red burgundies...most of them are medium-dry.
Alsatian wines tend to be more sweet.
I would go to Burgundy.
Google the wine trail to Burgundy, you can't go wrong.