Enotourism or wine tourism as people call it is becoming more and more popular each year and introduces thousands of people all over the world to a new horizon of tastes and knowledge.
Wine tourism is a rather new direction in the tourism industry, and it’s history in every region is unique.
The development of wine tourism started with the famous “Judgement of Paris,” the 40th anniversary of which was celebrated this spring, on May 24. The “Judgement of Paris” is a famous blind dégustation of French and Californian wines, held by English wine seller Steven Spurrier in Paris, 1976. The scandalous popularity of this event was guaranteed because the judges consisted of only Frenchmen, which surprisingly gave favor to the Californian wine. That allowed Californian wine producers to bathe in the glory and attract a stable flow of tourists each year since then.
The main purpose of wine tourism is to explore all the possible types of pleasure provided by wine, from tastes to visuals. Fortunately (or is it the consistent pattern?), almost all the wine fields of the world are located in beautiful areas with great architecture and with which is not less important, a divine cuisine that can satisfy everyone.
From all the existing clichés about French people the most truthful is about their ability to produce and enjoy the best wines. There is a big diversity of wine tours throughout France, from elementary tours for pedestrians and bikers to sophisticated trips by yachts and ships. The most interesting regions to visit are considered Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Provence, and the Rhone Valley, where wines, champagnes, creams, cognac and Armagnac are produced. When it comes to French food, the best people in the world have already said it all and the fact is that there are no borders of admiration for French cuisine.
Amazing red and white wines, created to match with juicy Italian cuisine, the hills covered with amazing small houses built in past centuries, and endless wine fields… In this country of an Old World, you can still find a big amount of private wineries. Here and in Piedmont they produce Prosecco, Gavi and Borolo, in Tuscany – Chianti, in Veneto – Valpolicella, Amarone and Soave, Lambrusco – in Emilia Romani, Primitivo – in Puglia, Vermentino – Sardinia, Greco de Tufo – in Campania, Alcamo – in Sicily. Each of twenty regions of Italy is wonderful and unique.
The Mediterranean Sea gifted the region a favorable climate, which is good for wine and absolutely pleasant to holidaymakers. Barcelona combines Gothic and modern architecture, and the center of Catalonia, among other things, is a region producing fresh white and fragrant red wines, sparkling Cava and, of course, the famous Catalan cuisine.
The start of wine tourism in America, as I said in the beginning, was initiated by the “Judgement of Paris” and the movie “Sideways” only increased the flow of tourists, eager to experience the delightful floral aromas of American wines, and, so to speak, multiplied the area of Pinot Noir vineyards worldwide. Get in the car, turn up the music and enjoy travelling to Washington, Oregon, California and beyond, where the vines grow…
Not far from Cape Town there are some breathtaking African vineyards, where the famous Chardonnay grows. And not only that, but Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinotage, Shinan Blanc and Pinot Noir as well. The growing demand for wine from South Africa made the country one of the main points of wine tourism. In Shtelenbok and Franshhoek you can have fun riding on a motorcycle with a cradle that is perfect for sightseeing tours of the vineyards. Also, near Cape Town, on the picturesque slopes there is one of the finest vineyards in the world called Klein Constantia. This is the first winery in South Africa, founded in the distant 1685. Dessert wine Vin De Constance became widely known thanks to Napoleon Bonaparte, who, while in exile on St. Helena, asked for a glass of that sweet wine right before his death.
Neverland glorified peppery Shiraz wines worldwide. The road to the vineyards are dotted with artisan shops and restaurants to suit all tastes. Speaking of local wines, I recommend enjoying the sparkling red Syrah. Local Hunter Valley, Yarra Swan, Clare, Barossa and Margaret River show that hard work in incredible conditions brings the divine result.
Georgia is the world’s oldest wine region, which has lost none of its talent in the production of high quality wines and delicious dishes. You cannot consider yourself alive if you haven’t at least once tried the unique wine “Kvevri” and eaten fragrant khachapuri and sweet churchkhela. In Georgia, there are more than ten thousand outstanding architectural monuments, which, incidentally, are often located near the vineyards. In the event of a protracted wine vacation, you can always drink “Borjomi” on the Black Sea resorts.
Please remember, the main thing about enotourism is that it, just like any other voyage, requires careful planning, forethought and a good mood.