Demystifying wine tourism04 February 2014
by Conrad James
Many potential wine tourists assume that visiting a winery is a luxury reserved for people with a certain social or economic status.
Such reasoning could not be further from the truth. Wineries that are open to tourism (not all of them are) are thrilled to know that people want to visit them. It is a sign of recognition and a clear message that they are doing a good job. Tourism is becoming an important part of their income and they strive to be competitive in terms of the offer and prices.
In a world where thousands of producers constantly compete to stay afloat, nothing cements loyalty like a direct contact, especially in the age of the Internet. A positive experience taken home with several bottles bought on site is priceless. A happy tourist will tell his or her friends and family about the tour and there is a good chance that they will visit the property or at least look for the wine when they go shopping.
As for the tourist, there is no need to know anything about the wine. The fact that you do not smell passion fruit or blackcurrant in your wine is not a cause for embarrassment. Nor should you fear that you will feel out of place. Wineries invite you to enjoy yourself and the staff will do their best to make sure that you leave the premises content.
The first visit is always an eye opener and brakes many wine related stereotypes. It is often an experience that is cherished for years and turns into a regular pastime. If you think about it, not only do you get to spend time in a lovely outdoor site (wineries are almost invariably located in picturesque regions) but you also enjoy wine and food in a good company.
All you need to do is to immerse yourself in the place and experience. The rest is irrelevant.