Getting the wine tourism bug06 December 2013
by Conrad James
Years ago, before I even started getting interested in wine, not to mention visiting wineries, I decided to spend a late summer in Northern Italy, in Trentino the area to be precise, near the stunning Dolomites. Late summer in many regions of Europe may be quite rainy and miserable but not there, it was hot and dry with an occasional chilly breeze coming from the mountains at night. As my hosts were working all day I had a lot of time to explore the bare rocky mountains, picturesque towns and idyllic villages.
One day I decided to take a cable car up a hill just outside Trento for a day-long trekking. In this beautiful scenery overlooking the town there was a tiny village bordered by a small vineyard. It climbed up a steepish slope with arrow-straight lines of high-trained vines, with grapes undergoing véraison.
I had no idea what type of wine was made or what grapes were cultivated in that region but it was not important. I instantly became attracted to this environment. The vineyard was just minutes away from the town, gorgeous as it is, yet it gave a sensation of complete peace and serenity.
I lingered there for a long while, fascinated, and the following week I signed up for the harvest - of apples though - as that lovely vineyard was family run and did not require an additional pair of hands. However, this innocent walk on my own was magical and the memory of it has stayed with me ever since.
Wine tourism is not always the first scenario for a holiday and often happens by pure accident, but if you get the bug it will take you to some of the word’s most amazing sites.