My Travel Blog

Colmar, Grunewald, Schongauer, Wine and Cheese – This Is Living!

While in Strasbourg we took a short 40-minute train ride to Colmar. The town was very picturesque, but also very touristy. We especially enjoyed the Unterlinden museum.  The collection was not large, but well displayed and very diverse.  Make sure you go upstairs as we almost missed the best part of the museum. The Unterlinden is home to Grunewald’s stunning Isenheim Alter.  In the Dominican Church next door we saw Schongauer’s masterpiece Virgin in the Rosebush. For a small town to have two masterpieces was impressive.

“Timber homes in Colmar.”

Colmar is situated on a number of narrow canals lined with old timber homes.  As an easy side trip from Strasbourg it was well worthwhile, but probably not a destination on its own.

“A narrow canal in Colmar.”

“More timber homes and canals in Colmar.”

At the recommendation of our new friends Jan and Diana Meiser, that own the hotel barge La Nouvelle Etoile, we drove to the village of Mittelbergheim and visited the Albert Seltz winery. What a treat.  The Seltz family has owned the winery since 1576.  Albert Seltz greeted us at the front door with bubbling enthusiasm and his infectious smile. He is the 14th-generation Seltz to operate the winery.  We arrived just after noon so he suggested we go to lunch at a local restaurant, and then come back for a tasting.

“Here I am with Albert Seltz in his wine cellar.”

The restaurant was only a block from the winery. We sat in a lovely courtyard and had a wonderful meal.  The only thing missing was a bottle of wine.  If we didn’t have to drive I’m sure we would have had wine with our lunch.  To bad we didn’t take the train.  After an incredible meal we spent over an hour with Albert.  He was a wealth of knowledge and answered all our questions.  He was happy to enlighten us on which wines paired best with what foods. Lisa took copious notes. His wines were all delicious and reasonably priced.  It was a beautiful day and we left with 20 bottles of delectable Alsatian wine.

“Lunch in Mittelbergheim.”

“After lunch we went for a short walk to see the vineyards that surround Mittelbergheim.”

Jan and Diana also recommended that we go to a cheese store in Strasbourg.  We programmed our GPS with the address they gave us only to end up in a large industrial park.  We must have done something wrong, except when the GPS said we had arrived we were in front of the Fromagerie Tourrette. We walked into what turned out to be a cheese factory.  We asked if we could buy some cheese and they said no problem.  We now have a six-month supply.

“Inside the cheese factory.”

“Everywhere we turned there was cheese, and oh the smell.”

“An early morning view from our kitchen window.”

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave” – 
a Chuck Palmer Adventure novel


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.