There are quite a few beverages that France lays claim to: ones that can be produced in the country alone, and often, only in very specific regions. Some of the most familiar ones—cognac, bordeaux, and champagne—already have a widespread following, with enthusiasts around the world. Each has a distinct process for its creation, as well as a flavor profile that only the region can produce, considering the water, the soil, and the grape varieties that exist in these areas.
This is exactly the same case with Alsatian wine. While it isn’t yet quite as well known as its other French neighbors, the region of Alsace has a winemaking history that spans centuries, dating back to the Roman times.
Alsace has switched nationalities between Germany and France a few times, being on the border of both countries and having been the trophy of wars. As you can imagine, this has heavily influenced their winemaking traditions.
Alsatian wine is predominantly white, with some of the grape varieties used also found in German wines: Riesling, Pinot Blanc, and Gewürtztraminer being a few of these. Floral, spicy, dry, and sweet—Alsatian wine is meant to be paired with food, and it’s even the basis of a few new tours that Rajah Travel is promoting.
“These wines are really adapted to the expectation and taste of the Filipino. It’s why we wanted to open this beautiful region, also this beautiful wine to the Filipinos, and it’s the reason why the wine is part of all the tours we’re proposing,” said Olivier Midière in a recent gathering at the Fairmont in Makati.
Midière is the CEO of Heart of Alsace Travel, which is currently promoting the region in partnership with Rajah Travel.
The Heart of Alsace tours are meant to take you through the region, with authentic experiences that the company has made available. Joining a harvest, visiting cellars, taking a tour through the villages and castles—all while sampling different kinds of wines. The tours also include a visit to the Champagne region, as well as to Paris.
Having tasted a few glasses of Alsatian wine at the Fairmont—a Pinot Blanc, a Riesling, and a Gewürtztraminer—Midière definitely has something in his hands, and it’s something that comes with a scenic region which looks straight out of a fairy tale.
While at the Fairmont, he also gave us a virtual reality tour of Alsace, which he’s planning to make available in Manila. It provides a glimpse of what the region is like: its textures, colors, and people. The VR tour is slated to be completed next year, but for now, you can pick up a few bottles of Alsatian wine here.
Aurelio Icasiano III has been in media for 14 years: as a television producer and writer, travel correspondent, book editor, and as editor of an internationally-awarded men’s lifestyle magazine. He runs an electrical construction company by day but spends all too much time thinking about the next story.