Enotourism: Changing the Way We Travel with and for Wine

Wikipedia provides an excellent definition of Enotourism, also known as Wine Tourism, Oenotourism, and Vinitourism: It states, in part, ”…tourism whose purpose is or includes the tasting, consumption, or purchase of wine, often at or near the source. Where other types of tourism are often passive in nature, enotourism can consist of visits to wineries, tasting wines, vineyard walks, or even taking an active part in the harvest.”

Not only is this article about Enotourism, it’s also about returning home from the experience with your liquid memories of the trip. Wine lovers from all over the world are drawn to explore the many wine regions around the world. To discover, to taste, to experience new wines and old, wine lovers follow the siren’s song from wine region to wine region around the globe. The souvenirs that every wine lover wants to take home are the wines, the liquid memories they discovered on their trip. They take them home to share with family, friends, and fellow wine lovers so they too can share those memories.

Until the invention of the VinGardeValise® wine suitcase, returning home with those liquid memories was fraught with risk and worry. Since the introduction of the VinGardeValise® wine lovers can now be confident that they will return home with their discoveries safely and soundly. The VinGardeValise® is the perfect companion for the traveling wine lover. Wine Tourism can be measured by the demographics and the when, where, why, and what’s next, but for wine tourists, it’s all about the love of wine, the art of wine, new discoveries, and new experiences.

Wine tourism is big business. Google searches for Wine Tourism, Wine Travel, Wine Trips, and Wine Vacations return an overwhelming number of references. They cover the entire spectrum of subjects related to wine and wine tourism. Quite literally, references to Wine Tourism can be found in every region of the world where wine is produced and where it is consumed. Did you know that wine is produced for sale on every continent with the exception of Antarctica? There is even a United Nations body devoted to the growth and nourishing of Wine Tourism: UNWTO-United Nations Wine Tourism Organization. The inaugural UNWTO conference of wine was held in September 2016, in the country of Georgia. As unusual as that might seem, Georgia has been cultivating grapes for wine production for 8,000 years and is considered by archeologists, the “Cradle of Wine.”

According to the proprietary database developed by Wine Business Monthly and Wines Vines Analytics, the United States now has 8,702 wineries as of February 2016. In the first-ever report by the Travel Industry Association, Gourmet and the International Culinary Tourism Association issued in February 2007, there were 27 million Americans engaged in culinary or wine-related activities while traveling. That represented 17% of the leisure travel market at the time.

From the research comes at least three indisputable facts:

  1. Wine tourism and wine travel are global;
  2. Millions of travelers are engaged in Wine Tourism and Wine Travel each year; and 3. Wine travelers tend to be younger, well educated, and have more disposable

Enotourism exists as a large and growing segment of the travel industry because wine lovers are explorers by nature. They want to experience firsthand the excitement of seeing, sensing, and tasting. Wine lovers are also generous. Wine lovers collect in order to share their passion and how better to accomplish that than to visit wine regions around the globe and return with wines they discover to share with their friends.

Wine lovers collect, trade, auction, buy, sell, treasure, and yes, sometimes covet certain wine. For wine lovers, wine is an emotional commitment and offers a personal connection shared with other wine lovers. As Robert Louis Stevenson, the Scottish novelist, essayist, and poet said, “…wine is bottled poetry.” And poetry, as we all know, touches the emotions and feelings. In that same vein, the noted Languedoc fourth generation vintner and owner of Les Domaines Paul Mas, Jean-Claude Mas, eloquently captured the emotional nature of wine when he observed that, “Wine is not a product; it’s an emotional experience…” Mas’s quote appeared in a 2015 article from The Drinks Business, an international industry publication (which, coincidentally, featured the VinGardeValise® in 2016).

Photo Credit: VGV® 12 bottle case @ Casa Rondena Winery by Emma Holtz | VGV® 8 bottle case by Crew

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