The storybook town of Colmar is an enchanting stop along the way. During the summer months, Colmar is packed with tourists flocking to see its picturesque half-timbered houses and Petite Venice waterway, as well as the famous Unterlinden Museum.
The off-season is much slower and while some shopkeepers take a well-earned break for the holidays, open doors aren't too hard to find.
"This is a good time to travel ... the people aren't tired of visitors," said Allen Dale Olson, a U.S. Elder Hostel tour guide. "Days are short, that's true. Weather's not bad; not too good. But you can get a seat in any restaurant you want to go into. The museums are not crowded; we can take our time."
Despite its name, the Wine Road isn't just for lovers of fine wine. Travelers who take the time to visit some of the smaller villages in the region will find the real treasure of Alsace is the warmth of the people.
Throughout modern history, Alsace has flip-flopped between French and German control. From 1940-1944 the region was held by Germany but was re-taken by French and American armies and again restored to France at the end of World War II.