Camping in France is one of life's simple pleasures. Fantastic scenery, beautiful beaches around the coast and with swathes of countryside, you can feel like you are miles from anywhere.
France, of course, is well known for its food and drink and in this article, we explore some of the vineyards close to campsites you can book through Alan Rogers in the area of Alsace. France has arguably been the figurehead for wine production for many years. Still, with increasing competition from other countries, notably the South Americas, Australia and even home-grown efforts, France has had to shift and become more welcoming of wine tourism than ever before.
According to VisitFrenchWine.com, in 2016, there were some 10 million wine tourists all heading to find out what makes French wine tick. From experiences such as wine-making workshops, walks and hikes through vineyards, France is reaping the benefits of this influx of grape-lovers and long may it continue.
The Alsace vineyards, kept safe from harsh winds by the Vosges Mountains are collectively made up of 53 appellations. The mountains create an interesting environment as the soils vary from chalk to volcanic rubble and limestone. Each type of soil produces a wine with very different flavour although they are often sweet wines due to the long and warm autumn seasons this region enjoys.
From April to October, there is a grape harvest festival which celebrated throughout the villages.
Whether you prefer a Pinot Noir, a vibrant Riesling or a soft and delicate rosé, you will find something to love in the Alsace.
For all our campsites in this region, consult our Campsite in Alsace page. You can split out the results into two further areas, Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin which are the Higher and Lower regions of Alsace respectively. The Lower area is more populated though we have more campsites in the Higher region.
Here we list 5 to whet your appetite.
Camping Des Trois Chateaux
The Camping Des Trois Chateaux campsite is close to the Domaine Emile Beyer vineyard, nestled in the famous terroirs of the "cradle of the Alsatian vineyard".
This vineyard, dating back to 1580, has handed down its knowledge to 14 generations of Beyer family. With such a strong heritage and experience, their wines often score over 90 points by the winepress.
You can undertake a wine tasting session, take a tour of the vineyard and get to understand how they create their stunning wines as well as visit their cave dating back to 1583.
If that wasn't enough, you could also book a complete gastronomic tour with a wine tasting session.
Camping Pierre de Coubertin is a popular campsite just moments away from the stunning Jean Sipp vineyard located in the heart of Ribeauvillé. Dating from 1416, its old mansion is surrounded by vines at the feet of three castles. Wine-making here has moved on apace and has led to wines that stretch from tangy whites to complex and rich reds such as their Pinot Noir Osmosis.
Camping Municipal le Vallon de l'Ehn is a short 7 minute walk away from the Robert Blanck vineyard, this campsite is surrounded by beautiful countryside and close to Obernois town which enjoys a wide selection of restaurants serving wines from the local region.
The Robert Blanck vineyard is yet another example of the tradition that is French wine-making. Stemming from 1732, they stick firmly with tradition using tried-and-tested methods.
Predominantly making white wine with one red and of course Rosé, Robert Blanck offers a comprehensive tasing session and a well-stocked winemaker shop for you to fill your car.
Camping de Riquewihr is another campsite near the town of Ribeauvillé, close to the chocolatier Daniel Stoffel while also close to the Lous Sipp vineyard. With its roots at the end of the First World War, Louis Sipp bought the first vineyards while her husband was fighting on the Russian front.
Their wine tasting times vary, so best to check the website. They can accommodate particular wines that interest you and select them for you to try. Often scoring near 90 and higher by the world's wine press, they are well suited to informing you which wines best suit your palette.
There are, of course, many more vineyards in Alsace, and we would highly recommend a multi-campsite trip coupled with visits to various vineyards. The region of Alsace is so wide-spread in terms of flavour, one vineyard will only be a small sample of what you can expect.
Other attractions around this region include cycle rides partly following the Euro Vélo 5 long-distance cycleway. Although it goes without saying, mixing a bike ride with wine tasting is possibly not the most advisable thing to do!
At the heart of the Alsace vineyards are the wine cities of Andlau and Barr where you can hear the history of the Alsace region on a tour of the area provided by the Ateliers de la Seigneurie organisation.
Barr is well known by its fortified castles, steeped in history and well worth a visit. To find out more, we recommend the Barr tourist website: https://www.paysdebarr.fr
Russell has worked in the camping industry for over 28 years and was a director at Alan Rogers for many of them.
He now works for various tourism organisations as a marketing consultant but continues to write top-quality content for us. His content often covers European and worldwide travel, arts and culture, and history.
Among the most popular activities while camping are walking and cycling. Not surprising when so many campsites are rurally located, set amid glorious scenery with routes often starting at the campsite gates.