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Luxembourg Visit to Alsace

November 6, 2011

The programme of the tour included:

- Visit the village Mittelbergheim, classified among the "most beautiful villages in France"
- Presentation of the local vineyards by the Winegrowers’ Association
- Aperitif at the Town Hall
- Lunch at the Hotel-Restaurant "Au Bœuf Rouge" at Niederschaeffolsheim
- Tour and wine-tasting at Domaine Loew at Westhoffen

Visit to Mittelbergheim
Mittelbergheim is a small picturesque wine village classified among the 152 most beautiful villages in France. It is located on the Wine Route in the heart of Alsace, equidistant from Strasbourg and Colmar. Near the top of a hill the village, surrounded by the lush vineyards and with its two towers and ancient roofs, presents an image of being a remarkable site. A walk through the village streets reveals the rich heritage. For example: winegrowers' houses from the 16th and 17th centuries, the listed building that is the Town Hall dating from 17th century, a vegetable oil mill, wooden wine presses.


Mittelbergheim Wine Reserve
Renovated by the Winegrowers' Association this is a treasure hidden in the beautiful vaulted cellar of the Town Hall. Behind a wrought iron gate, is a collection of wines from vineyards in the village. The cellar can hold up to 5,400 bottles. Each year, a blind tasting is organized to select the wines most structured and most suitable for aging. The oldest bottle in stock is a Zotzenberg Sylvaner from the 1959 vintage.



Wild Tulip
A rarity grows in the vineyards around the village of Mittelbergheim: the tulipa sylvestris. This plant belongs to the lily family, is about 30 cm high and has golden yellow flowers 3 to 5 cm in diameter. It usually flowers in April, hence the choice of its common name "pre-Easter". It especially likes the vineyard soils as well as those of clay or clay loam.

Hotel-Restaurant "Au Bœuf Rouge"
The Chef of Au Bœuf Rouge, François Golla, is Vice-Conseiller Culinaire of the Bailliage of Alsace. He offers an excellent cuisine without abandoning tradition, and gives pride to his creations, innovation and open-mindedness. A worthy successor to his father Paul, François also has a love of fine quality and excellent produce. Whether it comes from the locality or further afield, the produce gains in stature in passing through the hands of the Chef of Au Bœuf Rouge!

One should not be surprised to see the menu change often. For François Golla it is the produce which, by its freshness, quality and appropriateness for the season, dictates its use and inspires the Chef to use it. Afterwards, it is the artist that plays his part.

Situated not far from Strasbourg, Haguenau and Saverne, the Hôtel-Restaurant Au Bœuf Rouge offers an elegant, quiet setting far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Here, everything is done to make each visit one of perfection. The setting, welcome and service contribute, along with the exceptional unique cuisine, to the feeling of a unique and unforgettable experience.

François regaled us with this gourmet menu:

- Consommé of chanterelles, with ravioli, powdered chanterelles, and a dice of foie gras

- Fillet of lemon sole seared in salted butter, with hazelnuts from Piedmont and lemon foam

- Rump of veal served pink, cannelloni au gratin, and some mushrooms from the woods

- Santa Claus’ delicacies

- Petits fours and sweetmeats


Domaine Loew
At the heart of this wine estate, Etienne Loew, Vice-Echanson of the Bailliage of Alsace, encourages a respect for the environment, vineyards and wine. Respect for the land is achieved through this policy by combining the best of its geology and climate with the requirements of the grape variety.


Respect the vine: means it is cultivated according to the strict rules with a detailed knowledge of its ecosystem. Respect the wine: means the grapes are harvested by hand simply when they are at their peak, thus refusing to be swayed by winemaking hype.

Heir to a family that has been in Westhoffen since the 18th century, in 1996 Etienne inherited the wine traditions of his ancestors. Full of passion and projects, he is anxious to preserve the best of the past from the legacy that has been handed down him.

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