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Visit one of the oldest white wines in the world
Want to take an unusual little break from strolling around the Strasbourg Christmas Market? What about visiting one of the oldest white wines in the world a stone's throw away from the Grande Île?
A cellar... in a hospital!
It seems incredible, but you will find one of the oldest white wines in the world in Strasbourg. Unusual? Yes, and even more so when you learn that it is kept in a hospital... The Historic Cellar of the Strasbourg Hospices dates back to the Middle Ages, when different legacies and medical expenses were paid in kind, especially vines. The hospital thus produced wine and stored it on its premises. This is no longer the case today, but the cellar has been preserved to the great delight of Strasbourg residents and visitors!
The oldest white wine kept in a barrel in the world
With its magnificent vault and impressive wooden barrels, the Historic Cellar of the Strasbourg Hospices is worth a visit. All the more so as it houses the oldest white wine in the world kept in a barrel! It dates from 1472 and still has all the chemical characteristics of a real wine. A bottle was extracted from the barrel to show visitors the color of this exceptional wine, which is remarkable... It's not often that you see a copper color of this kind!
This incredible wine has only been tasted three times: in 1576 to thank the people of Zurich, who proved that they could quickly come to the aid of the people of Strasbourg if needed, in 1718 to celebrate the reconstruction of the hospital ravaged by a fire several years before, and finally in 1944 on the liberation of Strasbourg.
The best Alsatian Wines
Nowadays, the Historic Cellar of the Strasbourg Hospices is not only home to this exceptional wine but also some of the best Alsatian white wines. In fact, Alsatian winegrowers bring some of their wine (only wines meticulously chosen during a blind tasting) for it to age in the Historic Cellar's old wooden barrels. These wines are then bottled on site with the name of the winegrower and the cellar's label.
The Historic Cellar of the Strasbourg Hospices is open, in addition to its regular hours during the week (Monday to Friday from 8.30 a.m. to noon and 1.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.), on Saturdays, November 30 and December 7 and 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.