Sunday, January 17, 2010

French Wine Country and Randy from Michigan, Part Deux

So continuing on my European adventure, after we left Colmar, France we headed 7 miles down the road for nearby Riquewihr. A popular tourist town, this area is known for its wines (apparently most notably the Riesling--thanks Wikipedia). Because it was largely spared the destruction of WWII, it looks more or less as it did in the 16th century.

Since we were in French wine country, we had decided we wanted to do a wine tasting. Doing our due diligence, we had looked on the Internet before and come across this little recommendation, written by one Randy from Michigan. Randy was responding to a question someone had asked about good restaurants in town.

"Sorry I can not help with the restaurant problem, but if by some chance you wanted to do some wine tasting you might go see Franck Mittnacht. I was there about a year and a half ago with my French vineyard owner friend and he introduced me to Frank, we had a nice wine tasting and purchased a couple bottles of his great wine.

Franck Mittnacht
Domaine Mittnacht-Klack
Vins d'Alsace
8, rue des Tuileries
68340 Riquewihr

If you do go, tell him that Randy from Michigan suggested that you stop to see him. I think he might remember me."

We were so excited to find a personal recommendation of a vineyard! So, duly armed, we set out that afternoon to track down the Mittnacht Vineyard. No one in town seemed to know where it was or the road it was on, which should have set off a few warning bells, but determined, we pushed on.

We left the town center and kept walking along a residential road. Each time we were about to give up, we kept remembering those golden words of Randy's, "We had a nice wine tasting and purchased a couple bottles of his great wine." Fortified, we finally stumbled across something that looked like an old barn with a house attached to it.

We determined that it was the right place, but it didn't look open for business. We figured we had come all that way, so we went up to the front door of the house and rang the bell. Planning to shout out that Randy had sent us, I froze at the last minute when the person answered the intercom in French.
Laura from Belgium had to do all the talking and finally someone came down. A long conversation in French ensued and...

All we have to say to Randy from Michigan is, "Thanks alot. For nothing!!!"

The woman had NO CLUE who Randy was, didn't speak English (which is fine but she wasn't that nice either) and the place smelled a little like old cheese. Not to mention it was freezing in there and we were scared to even ask if we could use the bathroom.

About the only nice thing she did was take a photo of us pretending to do a wine tasting, since she insisted we could only taste if we bought the bottle.

We were thinking about telling her to forget it, but she had gotten out of bed or something to answer the door (she was wearing an outfit that looked suspiciously like French pajamas), so we bought a bottle to go.

The whole walk back to town, we were cursing ol' Randy from Michigan and his lame recommendations.

We really were, but we were also cracking up about the whole thing. If I ever do one day meet Randy from Michigan, I think I would give him a hug.


  1. haha why did you guys take a picture? Was it even a winery/vineyard, or just some lady's house? Sometimes the journey is better than the destination!

  2. truthfully, I have no idea if it is a winery or just some lady's house. lol, but you're right, we had a great time :D

  3. This story is priceless! Glad you have a great sense of humor about this! I hope one day Randy from Michigan will follow up on this for other recommendation-followers, in case there was a typo in the recommendation ;-)

  4. Alsace is a wonderful wine region. Thank you for sharing your French wine experience.
    Lucky you !