What is enotourism?🍷

What is wine tourism, enotourism or oenoturism?

It means to see what is behind a winery’s closed doors. A guided tour allows access to a winery to learn what they do, how and why they do it, ending the visit with a delicious wine taste. These visits may be in conjunction with a culture or leisure activity (like sailing or cycling) and paired with gastronomy.

Bike & wine tasting

Air transport has become more affordable and this has helped us travel more often and further than ever before, reaching places where we only dreamt to go.

At the same time, wine has suddenly made a guest appearance everywhere where affordable good quality wine is at a hand’s reach wherever we turn to. Wine is not just a beverage but a part of culture of a great number of civilizations.  Wine has become more accessible and readily available and social media has help us learn more about still wines, sparkling wines and fortified wines.

When we travel, we want to stay away from our daily busy lives, wanting to go back to basics as we visit a new place, see how locals live, taste what they eat and drink, and do what they do. We want to experience what it means to be local of another country and a wine tour does the trick.

Our hunger, or thirst in this case, to learn more about wine, has caused not just the birth but also an increasing tendency to do enotourism, wanting to visit those places where wine is made. It is very fortunate that a large number of wineries have opened their doors to us with the single aim of sharing with us, what they do and why they do it and all easily explained in a guided wine tour.

Depending on the location and how close it is from a wine region, you then decide if to visit 2 or 3 wineries in a day. Wineries open during the morning but only a few in the afternoon, so plan ahead allowing enough time at each winery. Guided winery visits are meant to be an enjoyable experience to remember rather than cramming as many wineries as possible in a single day, like a bee jumping from flower to flower, which defeats the purpose.

During the visit, the guide will explain the history of the winery and how it came to what it is today. They also mention the grapes they work with and why, walking by vineyards in some cases, visit its barrel ageing rooms and taste a range of different wines.

Enotourism also allows us to purchase locally produced wines which would normally be difficult to find at home, by either buying a few bottles or shipping boxes home; bearing in mind that it is preferred to avoid summer-time shipping, as to conserve the bottles’ temperature in the best condition.

Must enotourism list:

  1. Plan in advance, check maps and distances, visit wineries’ websites or look for wine tour operators
  2. Decide on schedule with possible visit dates and duration
  3. Choose if to mix the visit with a leisure activity (this makes for a fabulous combo) or just visit wineries
  4. Dress accordingly, you are visiting someone’s home
  5. Relax and enjoy, someone is driving for you

Next time you travel, consider doing enotourism and make winery visits during your trip abroad by preferably scheduling these appointments in advance, either directly with the wineries or through wine tour operators, which may organise a privileged visit.🍷