Last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit my family’s (Dreyfus) hometown — a quaint little town called, Oberschaeffolsheim, in the Alsace region of France (Yup. We’re French!). I wanted to learn more about my great grandfather’s place of birth and this place where he grew up before migrating to the Philippines.
It gave me the chance to explore the sights, sounds, and flavors of this beautiful village.
I was able to visit Obershaeffolsheim’s town hall (in French it’s called, “Mairie“) where I happily found my great grandfather’s birth record.
Also during my visit, I saw the church where he was baptized, and even had a quick snack at a diner which used to be a meat shop that he used to work in back when he was young.
It’s no wonder that when I stepped foot in Alsace, it immediately felt like home; it seemed like a place where I should belong. It was love at first sight. It’s in the blood, perhaps.
I spent a few days sightseeing and immersing myself in other places in Alsace such as Riquewihr (pronounced “Rik-vihr” by the locals) and Strasbourg.
Alsace, in general, is such a beautiful place. The people, culture, food, and breathtaking sights are sure to capture your heart and leave you in awe. It’s unlike anything you will ever see in France. And I’m not being biased about it, alright? ;)
A visit to the Heart of Alsace
There’s a reason why I started this blog post off with a quick story of my personal Alsatian adventure. That’s because just recently, my wife and I were invited to attend a tourism campaign launch spearheaded by the Eastern France Tourism Agency and PGI Holding, Inc., that promises to bring Alsace, one of the most beautiful French regions, closer to the Philippines. This campaign is called, “Heart of Alsace”.
Naturally, it only took a heartbeat for me to say yes to attend this amazing event.
Joining us during the Heart of Alsace launch were highly esteemed guests such as His Excellency the Ambassador of France to the Philippines, Nicolas Galey; CEO of PGI Holding, Inc., Olivier Midiere; President of the Eastern France Tourism Agency, Madame Marie-Reine Fischer; Communications Director of Eastern France Tourism Agency, Fatiha Kritter-Rachedi; and CEO of Magnifique Escapades, Benoit Ghestem.
The Heart of Alsace campaign aims to promote this incredible French region through rich and innovative experiences here in the Philippines. One of the highlights was this one I attended: an intimate luncheon featuring a wonderful sampling of Alsatian wine-pairing, showcasing the following wines from Alsace:
- Gustave Lorentz Pinot Blanc 2017
- Gustave Lorentz Riesling 2017
- Gustave Lorentz Gewurtztraminer 2017
Alsatian wines are some of the best wines you could ever find anywhere in the world. These wines come from the best vineyards located along the popular Alsatian Wine Route.
The Alsatian Wine Route is home to local vineyards amidst the beauty of France’s Grand Est region and crosses its way through the thousand-year-old wine producing area of Alsace, spanning about 170 kms. It passes through many beautiful and picturesque villages and wine producing towns, offering stunning and breathtaking views showcasing the richness of the Alsatian landscapes. The Alsatian Wine Route also happens to be one of Europe’s best kept secrets.
During our wine pairing experience, we were also introduced to one of their other highlights — the Heart of Alsace Travel. It is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to experience all that Alsace has to offer; whether you plan to go on a spiritual pilgrimage, backpacking, or simply to discover the region’s unique culture, cuisine, and rich historical heritage.
There are other awesome Heart of Alsace brand concepts to watch out for; a wide range of products and services based on tourism, gastronomy, and Alsatian wines that are expected to be launched this year. I am excited to these concepts reach more and more people so that they may be able to have a taste of this uniquely beautiful Alsatian experience.
I look forward to going back to Alsace one of these days. But this time with our kids as well. It would be nice for them to know more about our Lolo Carlos, as well learn and appreciate our family’s wonderful Alsatian culture.
I invite you all to learn more about Alsace and fall in love with everything that this incredible place has to offer through the Heart of Alsace initiative which is currently in full swing here in the Philippines.
To know more about Heart of Alsace, please visit www.heartofalsace.com