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Desperate Help with Itinerary to Alsace/Alps/Provence

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Hello Fellow Travelers,
I have been trying to create a 3 week trip itinerary to Paris and the Eastern part of France. We visited Paris and the western section 4 years ago and are ready to continue our exploration of our favorite country.
There will be four of us and our interests are varied- wanting to catch everything -museums, food, wine, art, history quaint villages, outdoor scenery and generally lingering in cafes. We are interested in renting a car for flexibility and of course trains when they provide a more efficient use of time. We will be flying in and out of Paris and have already purchased our tickets for May 2016.
So far I have the following tentative schedule:
1) Arrive Paris and head to Alsace- stay 4 nights- thinking of Colmar as a base to tour all the beautiful villages on the Route du Vin
(do we take the train to Strassbourg or Colmar and rent the car there or begin with the car in Paris?)
2) Leave Alsace and head to Chamonix- stay 3 nights
We are interested in seeing the French Alps, Mont Blanc, maybe hike a little and perhaps visit Annecy
The route if we stay in France (trying to avoid crossing borders in case it is difficult now?) shows to be about 4-5 hrs. Is Chamonix our best base or should we consider something else in the Alps? We want to see scenery and enjoy the mountain air
3) Leave Chamonix and head south to either the French rRviera or Avignon area- if we begin in the Riviera we would stay 3 nights preferably in a smaller village and not Nice. If we head to Avignon area we would stay 6 nights.
We are interested in seeing the smaller beautiful villages, the Calenques and hill towns. Prefer a base that may give us choices of restaurants at night- love for the chance to eat and then just walk home to our accommodations.
4) return to Paris and stay 3 nights

One big concern is the distance from Chamonix to Avignon and/or Nice- long hauls and would love to stop along the way to visit to break up the trip.
The same for the return- should we stop somewhere for the night (perhaps Dijon?)

We can also reverse the trip if that is a better option.

Any help to narrow down our choices will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all in advance!

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