Their success; their ability to effectively communicate about spanish and portuguese wine; their energy to grow and create dynamic, authentic and extraordinary services have attracted hundreds of thousands of iberian wine lovers from around the world.
Joan Gómez Pallarès http://www.devinis.org/

Where is the Future of Wine Tourism Heading? A Summary of The Wine Pleasures Conference

stormWaking up Saturday morning in Sitges for the Wine Pleasures Conference, I shuffled into the hotel bathroom to take a shower. Feeling rather groggy from staying up half the night listening to the wind howling against the windows, water spraying up against our second story windows, I assumed that hot water would clear the senses and prepare me for a jam packed conference weekend. However, just as conditioner was gently rinsed from my hair, I was left in the dark. Pitch blackness settled like a thick blanket around me in the windowless bathroom.

What happened?

The Wine Pleasures Conference kicked off in the midst of a massive wind storm that swept through Italy, France and Spain, leaving the hotel with zero electricity. Participants were trapped in airports, train stations, buses and highways in route to the hotel, while speakers were left Power Point-less, having to use their wits and spontaneity to attract participant attention. (Flickr photo by Cruccone)

One might take these extreme climate conditions as an omen for an unpredictably unmanageable conference, but I am very happy to announce, the success couldn’t have been more tangible. For the record, we did get our electricity back by Saturday afternoon,  making the live blog actually…live.

Approximately 100 people attended the Wine Pleasures Conference in Sitges, Spain, aimed at the subject of wine tourism. Having Live Blogged most of the event – check out the full conference notes here – I’ve narrowed down my synopsis to 7 fascinating questions that I have been churning in my mind all weekend:

1. What is a wine tourist?

This may seem like a very obvious question, but I would suggest that it isn’t. Rainer Brusis from Grape Escapes defined a wine tourist as someone who stays in a defined wine region for 24 hours. This would mean that if you were a diehard wine lover and were staying at the Fuster Hotel in Barcelona – an internationally renowned historical hotel, and spend 18 hours visiting the Priorat, you are not a wine tourist. Now, for tour operators, needing a sense of who and where their market it, this definition may be more loosely defined, but to a winery, does this definition make sense? Many comments in the live blog suggested that the definition should be expanded to day trippers. Therefore maybe there should be a overall “wine tourist” term that is further subdivided into: over nighters, day trippers, the occasional passerby, etc.

What is a wine tourist to you?

2. Should Wine Tourism by Default Include a Wide Variety of Languages?

I think everyone would agree that yes, every winery, hotel and restaurant should cater to their client’s needs. And if that need is global, a winery should communicate with their clients in English at the very least. Where the question is more interesting for me as an expatriate in Spain, is whether their written information – brochure or web page – should be translated by a native of that language? I would argue that YES!, if a winery wants to attract wine tourists from across the globe, make sure that your information is correctly translated by someone other than your niece who has had 3 years of “X” language in high school.

What languages should wineries speak to cater to your “wine tourism” needs?

3. Is Collaboration the Buzz Word for 2009?

Manuel Colmenero of Food Wine Tours gave a fascinating talk emphasizing that the future wine tourism lies in collaboration. No longer can we site on our laurels thinking that a walk in your vineyards and 20 minute tasting will satiate the diverse palate of wine tourists far and wide. The future, he claims, will depend on those bodegas who will collaborate with restaurants, hotels, spas, etc. to offer a wide range of options for wine lovers to choose from. Maybe a walk in the your vineyards could be taken on horseback where you are met with a picnic complete with an array of foods indigenous to the area. In the afternoon, you may learn how to both cook with wines and pair wines with various cuisines, followed by 2 hour exfoliating wine massage. The point, he made, was that if you are not creating a wide range of options for your visitors, someone else will. So do something different!

What kind of package would excite you as a wine tourist in Iberia?

4. Should We Throw off the Blinders and Welcome Children into the World of Wine?

Anna Manchón Montserrat of Bodegas Torres is a petite dynamic woman who spoke faster than the wind howling outside our floor to ceiling windows, about a new initiative by the winery to educate children about winemaking. Beyond their general educational program for children (read more here), they have now embarked on a series of workshops geared to accomplish the following:

. Knowing how the vine and vineyards function as a unit.
. Experience the fragility of the natural environment and to find personal or group actions to prevent its degradation.
. Promote responsibility through personal and group projects.
. Stimulate the creative capacity of individuals by making them accountable and participatory in a work team.
. Learn to assess the capabilities and potential of individuals with disabilities.

And how will they accomplish this fabulous feat? Simply by teaching how wine is produced from a biological, chemical, social, historical, philosophical, ethical and political perspective. Sounds rather comprehensive to me. Having just scratched the surface of their new endeavor, I trust I’ll dive a bit deeper and get you a more detailed version in the near future!

Should wineries embrace more family friendly tourism activities, and if so, what?

5. How do we more Effectively Incorporate our 5 Senses when Teaching Others about Wine?

What is ironic about this question, is that I was pondering this exact same issue in my head while in route to the conference. I wondered why I have never visited a winery who approached education from a dynamic and hand’s on approach? Why don’t wineries sit me down with several glasses of wine expressing everything from cork taint to 100% wood? Or from the other spectrum, from freshly pressed grape juice to fully fermented wine? Why not blindfold me and allow me taste through a mixed palate of reds, whites and rosados all at the same temperature?

The issue I raise is that taking me to your vineyards and winery, while barrading me with a thousands facts and figures, will not help me learn. It  will only distance me from the experience. So why not include me? Dinastia Vivanco’s museum does a great job at letting me smell a variety of different aromas to grasp what I could potentially smell in a wine. But where are the workshops dedicated to touch and taste? When was the last time a winery gave me a flawed wine and explained to me why it is flawed, and what they are doing to make their wines different? Or an overly acidic or tannic wine? What about a hot wine that most normal wine drinkers would associate with sweet?

Bodegas Torres has created a blind dinner experience, where for approximately 80 euros per person, you can be guided through a dinner with a monitor telling you what your eating, drinking and experiencing, allowing you to enhance the other four senses.  This is a start, but not feasible for your everyday winery.

What can an everyday winery do to educate their wine tourists about wine on a sensory level?

6. How does a Wine Tourism Event Ebb into a Wine Web2.0 Event?

It all started on Saturday, when Oscar from Quevedo and Emilio from Casa Vides chatted about their experiences with Twitter, sending the audience into complete and utter shock. “T-w-i-t-t-e-r….what is that!?”

Add 4 hours of Ryan giving a speech covering everything from Social Media to Youtube to Blogging, and you had  a mobbing of people clawing their way at Ryan to get more information. Sprinkle a little economic crisis and boatloads of money being flushed down the toilet on shiny brochures, and can imagine the interested that was harvested. Honestly, I have never seen so much interest in social media by Iberian wineries as I saw at this conference. It was as if someone turned on the switch and said “let there be a cheap and effective way to connect your brand with thousands of people around the world in a matter of minutes”, whereby stimulating fascination, interest and…get this…a willingness to do something different!

In short, what started as a wine tourism conference, eventually turned into a wine and web2.0 conference. Lucky us!!

Have you seen a change towards social media from wineries in your neck of woods?

7. Will we see a Winery Blog coming out of Namibia?

First off, Namibia is not an emotional disease, nor is a food group, it is a country located on the southwest tip of South Africa. And it just so happened that we tasted 70% of all the wines in the entire 825,000 sq. km. country of Namibia at the conference. Granted, there are only 5 bottles of wine being produced by 3 wineries in Namibia, and we tasted 3 of 5, but hey, that was pretty cool!

Of the three wineries – Kristall Kelleri Kellerei , Neuras and Thonningii – we met the owners of Kristall Kelleri, Michael and Katrin Weder (video below), for whom were extremely kind and personable. Open and willing to chat about their wines, they made it clear that although their wines were not incredible as of yet, they are very approachable and easy drinking wines that you could easily be consumed over the course of the night with a plate of game. And from the happy grins around the tasting table, I would have to agree with his assessment.

Would you like to have Kristall Kellerei start a winery blog?

LIVE BLOG

On a final note, Jimmy Pons ( the Spanish Social Media guru) called me this morning asking me how the Live Blog worked for the event, and whether he should do it for Fiturtech this coming weekend. My answer, it was great fun and wonderful archive of the event. It allowed participants to focus on the speaker, knowing that they could grab links and highlights later on on the Live Blog. Additionally, those who participated on the Live Blog from around the world gave a richness and depth to the conversation, that allowed speakers to get a sense of what people outside of Spain where pondering as wine tourists.

However, I learned some really important lessons for my next Live Blogging Experience:

  1. Always start each session by typing in the CAPITAL LETTERS of the name of the session and the speaker so that it is an easy to reference for readers in the future.
  2. To the best of your ability, start each sentence with the name of the individual giving the opinion. Although a very difficult task when you’re typing as quickly as you can, it does provide readers a better sense of who’s opinion is who’s.
  3. Do not assume you will have an ounce of dexterity at the end of the Live Blog. Depending how long you are typing like a mad fool, a simple task like tying your shoe will prove itself as impossible.

Please check out the live blog, and let us know what you think!

Cheers,

Gabriella Opaz

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
  • http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com RichardA

    1. I am with you Gabriella that the 25 hr definition is no good. Like your example, when I was in Spain, I did stay at the Fuster and took day trips to Priorat and Penedes. I certainly considered myself a wine tourist, despite not staying 24 hours in Priorat. I would say a wine tourist is simply a tourist who visits an area, at least partially, because of the wine. For example, that might include the French tourist who drives over the border for ten hours to visit some wineries. A too limiting definition will exclude many people who should not be excluded.2. I agree with you as well. A properly translated site makes a big difference to a potential tourist. Travel can make some anxious and reading a site in broken English or poorly translated does not imbue confidence.3. I certainly agree that wine tourists generally want to do more than just taste wine. I know I certainly do. Food is very important to many wine lovers so connecting with restaurants is great. The more activities you can offer, the greater chance you will appeal to the varied interests of wine lovers. And maybe the wine lovers are accompanied by some who are less keen on the wine, but would love to go to a spa. When I went to Spain, Cellar Tours helped to create an itinerary of many varied activities for us, as well as pointing out others we might enjoy.4. Yes, I would support wineries running family friendly tours and activities.5. Some great ideas there! Comparison tastings are very educational and fun. They help teach the differences of wine in a way that a book cannot. And it makes a winery stand out more when their tasting room is different from the norm, instead of just a line up for 5-6 wines to try,.6. At recent Boston Wine Expo, I noticed far more distributors and wineries who want to connect with social media and bloggers. It is still very new to them but they are reaching out more and I am sure it will only continue to grow.7. Definitely. I love to try wine from more unusual areas as well as learn more about their efforts to create wine. Reading a blog from them would be like getting a peek into a bright new wine endeavor.

  • http://www.quevedoportwine.com/ Oscar Quevedo

    It was a very interesting week-end. I learnt a lot about wine but also about olive oil tourism. Now I feel better prepared to market our Organic olive oil.But the funniest and silliest part of the conference was during Emilio's and my talk about winery blogging. People were so focused on our talk that for a moment I felt like Emilio and I were the leading voices of wine social media. Well, it was just for a second, then I looked at Ryan Opaz and Robert McIntosh in the middle of the audience and I came back to the earth!

  • http://www.ourwinestory.com Dylan

    Love that picture of the storm. Although it gave rise to some complications, you have to appreciate the spontaneity of that happening. I've read through all your points, and I find them all to be very valid from expanding the definition of a tourist to day-trippers and families to fitting language needs of these tourists. One point that stood out to me as the idea behind family-oriented packages. Regardless of a person's love of wine, if it's a family trip and they have children, parents may find themselves at odds doing this activity as an entire family. On the same vein of education, I'd suggest an interactive blind aroma area for children. Setting up a special game where they are challenged to match labels with all the different aromas that can be found in the wines, by using the actual things they are described by. This will leave a valuable learning experience, but also be fun to do. You would be engaging the children and their memories of your vineyard so that they might take interest to visit when they are old enough.

  • http://www.thewinesleuth.co.uk Winesleuth

    I follow a winery in Ramona, CA, on the outskirts of San Diego, that did a field trip to their winery with the local school, mostly 3rd and 4th graders. They blogged about it and it made me wish we had something like that when I was a kid. Check them out: http://eaglesnestwinery.ning.com/profiles/blogs…I met Dennis and Julie at the WBC last Oct. and they are fantastic!

  • http://jerez-xerez-sherry.blogspot.com/ Justin Roberts

    I hate to be a pedant up front, but it's Kristall KellerEi as in German for Winery.http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/KellereiIt was really interesting following the conference and as for some of the points:1. What's that 24hr business all about? Really! What your visitors do before/afterwards might be interesting is as far as helping you improve your offer but I think that's about it.2. I think it's a no-brainer to have a well translated (and interpreted, not just literally translated) English website. Badly translated and at best you amuse the native speakers and confuse the rest – at worst you put people off. 3. It goes without saying. Why not make the pie bigger, rather than slugging it out for a larger slice of a diminishing pie.7. I hope so/ Ek hoop so/ Ich hoffe so!

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan Opaz

    1. What is a wine tourist? This may seem like a very obvious question, but I would suggest that it isn’t. Rainer Brusis from Grape Escapes defined a wine tourist as someone who stays in a defined wine region for 24 hours. This would mean that if you were a diehard wine lover and were staying at the Fuster Hotel in Barcelona – an internationally renowned historical hotel, and spend 18 hours visiting the Priorat, you are not a wine tourist. Now, for tour operators, needing a sense of who and where their market it, this definition may be more loosely defined, but to a winery, does this definition make sense? Many comments in the live blog suggested that the definition should be expanded to day trippers. Therefore maybe there should be a overall “wine tourist” term that is further subdivided into: over nighters, day trippers, the occasional passerby, etc. What is a wine tourist to you?I would define a wine tourist as anyone who visits a winery/wine tourism centre. I don't think that a time restriction is relevant if you are trying to expand your audience. It is only relevant when you are looking at a more specific group within the wide audience.2. Should Wine Tourism by Default Include a Wide Variety of Languages? I think everyone would agree that yes, every winery, hotel and restaurant should cater to their client’s needs. And if that need is global, a winery should communicate with their clients in English at the very least. Where the question is more interesting for me as an expatriate in Spain, is whether their written information – brochure or web page – should be translated by a native of that language? I would argue that YES!, if a winery wants to attract wine tourists from across the globe, make sure that your information is correctly translated by someone other than your niece who has had 3 years of “X” language in high school. What languages should wineries speak to cater to your “wine tourism” needs?To be honest, I'm biased towards English as an english speaking person. While a perfect world would see every winery providing multiple languages to suit all potential visitors, it isn't realistic. Should a winery target the language of its larger visitor groups, or should it add languages of groups it would like to attract? There is no easy answer. Perhaps this is a place where the regional or national people involved in tourism could lend a hand and provide language support through the individual winery websites or through regional or national wine websites.3. Is Collaboration the Buzz Word for 2009? Manuel Colmenero of Gastronomican 2.0, a wine tourism social network, gave a fascinating talk emphasizing that the future wine tourism lies in collaboration. No longer can we site on our laurels thinking that a walk in your vineyards and 20 minute tasting will satiate the diverse palate of wine tourists far and wide. The future, he claims, will depend on those bodegas who will collaborate with restaurants, hotels, spas, etc. to offer a wide range of options for wine lovers to choose from. Maybe a walk in the your vineyards could be taken on horseback where you are met with a picnic complete with an array of foods indigenous to the area. In the afternoon, you may learn how to both cook with wines and pair wines with various cuisines, followed by 2 hour exfoliating wine massage. The point, he made, was that if you are not creating a wide range of options for your visitors, someone else will. So do something different! What kind of package would excite you as a wine tourist in Iberia?Here in British Columbia each of the wine regions has developed their own association to promote their wines (http://www.naramatabench.com/ or http://www.fvwa.ca/) Each region has wine routes, and the provincial government has placed signage along the routes to assist you in finding the wineries. Some associates have even identified the routes with special names such as “Bottleneck Drive” in Summerland BC in an attempt to promote their local wine tourism. There are four annual festivals held to promote the wines (http://www.owfs.com/), held in the spring, fall, summer and winter throughout the wine regions. Typically these coincide with red or white releases, or with wine awards. A growing number of the wineries have attached accommodations (http://www.bovwine.ca/theinn.html) to their wineries to promote stays by visitors and a number of B&B's cater to wine lovers (http://www.applesandquails.com/getaway.html) or other collaborations. The government has helped out with the creation of the BC Wine Institute (http://www.winebc.com/aboutus.php)What would excite me would be to be able to book a wine tour of a Spanish wine region. The kinds of things that I would like an opportunity to see would be the vineyards (with a viticulturalist to explain), touring a winery (seeing the production side with a knowledgeable host), wine tasting with a principle of the winery (someone who is passionate about what they do), wine and food pairing, wine dinners, wine seminars. It would be great to see the variety of the region – different grapes, different wine styles (old/new), table wines, cava, and sherries. Perhaps depending on the number of days, several regions (each region should arrange these possibilities). An opportunity to purchase, arrange shipping etc for must have wines that you find.With respect to collaboration, I think to meet the needs of the variety of people who would travel you would need to offer some variety. As much as I like wine, I would love to experience the history of the area (museums, galleries, historic walks) as well as have some down time (relax by a pool, experience the local cuisine, go to a spa). In other words, as much as I can handle in the time I have available.I think the main point is that the individual wineries need to form larger groups in order to market themselves. Obviously a coordinated effort would be better. Our wine regions are small by comparison to Spain so I'm not sure that regional (eg Rioja) will work due to it's size. Perhaps DOC areas are small enough – if not local groups of wineries could use terroir to market an area.4. Should We Throw off the Blinders and Welcome Children into the World of Wine? Anna Manchón Montserrat of Bodegas Torres is a petite dynamic woman who spoke faster than the wind howling outside our floor ceiling windows, about a new initiative by the winery to educate children about winemaking. Beyond their general educational program for children (read more here), they have now embarked on a series of workshops geared to accomplish the following: . Knowing how the vine and vineyards function as a unit. . Experience the fragility of the natural environment and to find personal or group actions to prevent its degradation. . Promote responsibility through personal and group projects. . Stimulate the creative capacity of individuals by making them accountable and participatory in a work team. . Learn to assess the capabilities and potential of individuals with disabilities. And how will they accomplish this fabulous feat? Simply by teaching how wine is produced from a biological, chemical, social, historical, philosophical, ethical and political perspective. Sounds rather comprehensive to me. Having just scratched the surface of their new endeavor, I trust I’ll dive a bit deeper and get you a more detailed version in the near future! Should wineries embrace more family friendly tourism activities, and if so, what?Yes. I would suggest that man
    y of the potential wine tourists would travel to Spain as part of a family activity. Any successful wine tourism will have to include this in their planning. There is no reason why an age appropriate wine education can't be included, and perhaps there are some sensory education aspects that would suite all age groups. This certainly isn't something that individual wineries could manage, but perhaps larger winery operations or wine education at a wine history museum.5. How do we more Effectively Incorporate our 5 Senses when Teaching Others about Wine? What is ironic about this question, is that I was pondering this exact same issue in my head while in route to the conference. I wondered why I have never visited a winery who approached education from a dynamic and hand’s on approach? Why don’t wineries sit me down with several glasses of wine expressing everything from cork taint to 100% wood? Or from the other spectrum, from freshly pressed grape juice to fully fermented wine? Why not blindfold me and allow me taste through a mixed palate of reds, whites and rosados all at the same temperature? The issue I raise is that taking me to your vineyards and winery, while barrading me with a thousands facts and figures, will not help me learn. It will only distance me from the experience. So why not include me? Dinastia Vivanco’s museum does a great job at letting me smell a variety of different aromas to grasp what I could potentially smell in a wine. But where are the workshops dedicated to touch and taste? When was the last time a winery gave me a flawed wine and explained to me why it is flawed, and what they are doing to make their wines different? Or an overly acidic or tannic wine? What about a hot wine that most normal wine drinkers would associate with sweet? Bodegas Torres has created a blind dinner experience, where for approximately 80 euros per person, you can be guided through a dinner with a monitor telling you what your eating, drinking and experiencing, allowing you to enhance the other four senses. This is a start, but not feasible for your everyday winery. What can an everyday winery do to educate their wine tourists about wine on a sensory level?I'm not sure an everyday winery could do this, or would want to do this beyond talking about the different colours/smells/flavours that their wines have. This is definitely a seminar that would be of use to tourists, and perhaps a larger winery like Torres could manage a separate seminar of this nature. This also could be arranged with a sommelier or other wine educator at a local restaurant near the beginning of a tour for those who are interested. Perhaps each winery in a tour could teach one part of the larger package thereby limiting the resources that each winery would have to extend.Please feel free to contact me on any of these points. Any one of them could be used as a Master's level thesis.Thanks

  • Bill Turner

    1. What is a wine tourist? This may seem like a very obvious question, but I would suggest that it isn’t. Rainer Brusis from Grape Escapes defined a wine tourist as someone who stays in a defined wine region for 24 hours. This would mean that if you were a diehard wine lover and were staying at the Fuster Hotel in Barcelona – an internationally renowned historical hotel, and spend 18 hours visiting the Priorat, you are not a wine tourist. Now, for tour operators, needing a sense of who and where their market it, this definition may be more loosely defined, but to a winery, does this definition make sense? Many comments in the live blog suggested that the definition should be expanded to day trippers. Therefore maybe there should be a overall “wine tourist” term that is further subdivided into: over nighters, day trippers, the occasional passerby, etc. What is a wine tourist to you?I would define a wine tourist as anyone who visits a winery/wine tourism centre. I don't think that a time restriction is relevant if you are trying to expand your audience. It is only relevant when you are looking at a more specific group within the wide audience.2. Should Wine Tourism by Default Include a Wide Variety of Languages? I think everyone would agree that yes, every winery, hotel and restaurant should cater to their client’s needs. And if that need is global, a winery should communicate with their clients in English at the very least. Where the question is more interesting for me as an expatriate in Spain, is whether their written information – brochure or web page – should be translated by a native of that language? I would argue that YES!, if a winery wants to attract wine tourists from across the globe, make sure that your information is correctly translated by someone other than your niece who has had 3 years of “X” language in high school. What languages should wineries speak to cater to your “wine tourism” needs?To be honest, I'm biased towards English as an english speaking person. While a perfect world would see every winery providing multiple languages to suit all potential visitors, it isn't realistic. Should a winery target the language of its larger visitor groups, or should it add languages of groups it would like to attract? There is no easy answer. Perhaps this is a place where the regional or national people involved in tourism could lend a hand and provide language support through the individual winery websites or through regional or national wine websites.3. Is Collaboration the Buzz Word for 2009? Manuel Colmenero of Gastronomican 2.0, a wine tourism social network, gave a fascinating talk emphasizing that the future wine tourism lies in collaboration. No longer can we site on our laurels thinking that a walk in your vineyards and 20 minute tasting will satiate the diverse palate of wine tourists far and wide. The future, he claims, will depend on those bodegas who will collaborate with restaurants, hotels, spas, etc. to offer a wide range of options for wine lovers to choose from. Maybe a walk in the your vineyards could be taken on horseback where you are met with a picnic complete with an array of foods indigenous to the area. In the afternoon, you may learn how to both cook with wines and pair wines with various cuisines, followed by 2 hour exfoliating wine massage. The point, he made, was that if you are not creating a wide range of options for your visitors, someone else will. So do something different! What kind of package would excite you as a wine tourist in Iberia?Here in British Columbia each of the wine regions has developed their own association to promote their wines (http://www.naramatabench.com/ or http://www.fvwa.ca/) Each region has wine routes, and the provincial government has placed signage along the routes to assist you in finding the wineries. Some associates have even identified the routes with special names such as “Bottleneck Drive” in Summerland BC in an attempt to promote their local wine tourism. There are four annual festivals held to promote the wines (http://www.owfs.com/), held in the spring, fall, summer and winter throughout the wine regions. Typically these coincide with red or white releases, or with wine awards. A growing number of the wineries have attached accommodations (http://www.bovwine.ca/theinn.html) to their wineries to promote stays by visitors and a number of B&B's cater to wine lovers (http://www.applesandquails.com/getaway.html) or other collaborations. The government has helped out with the creation of the BC Wine Institute (http://www.winebc.com/aboutus.php)What would excite me would be to be able to book a wine tour of a Spanish wine region. The kinds of things that I would like an opportunity to see would be the vineyards (with a viticulturalist to explain), touring a winery (seeing the production side with a knowledgeable host), wine tasting with a principle of the winery (someone who is passionate about what they do), wine and food pairing, wine dinners, wine seminars. It would be great to see the variety of the region – different grapes, different wine styles (old/new), table wines, cava, and sherries. Perhaps depending on the number of days, several regions (each region should arrange these possibilities). An opportunity to purchase, arrange shipping etc for must have wines that you find.With respect to collaboration, I think to meet the needs of the variety of people who would travel you would need to offer some variety. As much as I like wine, I would love to experience the history of the area (museums, galleries, historic walks) as well as have some down time (relax by a pool, experience the local cuisine, go to a spa). In other words, as much as I can handle in the time I have available.I think the main point is that the individual wineries need to form larger groups in order to market themselves. Obviously a coordinated effort would be better. Our wine regions are small by comparison to Spain so I'm not sure that regional (eg Rioja) will work due to it's size. Perhaps DOC areas are small enough – if not local groups of wineries could use terroir to market an area.4. Should We Throw off the Blinders and Welcome Children into the World of Wine? Anna Manchón Montserrat of Bodegas Torres is a petite dynamic woman who spoke faster than the wind howling outside our floor ceiling windows, about a new initiative by the winery to educate children about winemaking. Beyond their general educational program for children (read more here), they have now embarked on a series of workshops geared to accomplish the following: . Knowing how the vine and vineyards function as a unit. . Experience the fragility of the natural environment and to find personal or group actions to prevent its degradation. . Promote responsibility through personal and group projects. . Stimulate the creative capacity of individuals by making them accountable and participatory in a work team. . Learn to assess the capabilities and potential of individuals with disabilities. And how will they accomplish this fabulous feat? Simply by teaching how wine is produced from a biological, chemical, social, historical, philosophical, ethical and political perspective. Sounds rather comprehensive to me. Having just scratched the surface of their new endeavor, I trust I’ll dive a bit deeper and get you a more detailed version in the near future! Should wineries embrace more family friendly tourism activities, and if so, what?Yes. I would suggest that man
    y of the potential wine tourists would travel to Spain as part of a family activity. Any successful wine tourism will have to include this in their planning. There is no reason why an age appropriate wine education can't be included, and perhaps there are some sensory education aspects that would suite all age groups. This certainly isn't something that individual wineries could manage, but perhaps larger winery operations or wine education at a wine history museum.5. How do we more Effectively Incorporate our 5 Senses when Teaching Others about Wine? What is ironic about this question, is that I was pondering this exact same issue in my head while in route to the conference. I wondered why I have never visited a winery who approached education from a dynamic and hand’s on approach? Why don’t wineries sit me down with several glasses of wine expressing everything from cork taint to 100% wood? Or from the other spectrum, from freshly pressed grape juice to fully fermented wine? Why not blindfold me and allow me taste through a mixed palate of reds, whites and rosados all at the same temperature? The issue I raise is that taking me to your vineyards and winery, while barrading me with a thousands facts and figures, will not help me learn. It will only distance me from the experience. So why not include me? Dinastia Vivanco’s museum does a great job at letting me smell a variety of different aromas to grasp what I could potentially smell in a wine. But where are the workshops dedicated to touch and taste? When was the last time a winery gave me a flawed wine and explained to me why it is flawed, and what they are doing to make their wines different? Or an overly acidic or tannic wine? What about a hot wine that most normal wine drinkers would associate with sweet? Bodegas Torres has created a blind dinner experience, where for approximately 80 euros per person, you can be guided through a dinner with a monitor telling you what your eating, drinking and experiencing, allowing you to enhance the other four senses. This is a start, but not feasible for your everyday winery. What can an everyday winery do to educate their wine tourists about wine on a sensory level?I'm not sure an everyday winery could do this, or would want to do this beyond talking about the different colours/smells/flavours that their wines have. This is definitely a seminar that would be of use to tourists, and perhaps a larger winery like Torres could manage a separate seminar of this nature. This also could be arranged with a sommelier or other wine educator at a local restaurant near the beginning of a tour for those who are interested. Perhaps each winery in a tour could teach one part of the larger package thereby limiting the resources that each winery would have to extend.Please feel free to contact me on any of these points. Any one of them could be used as a Master's level thesis.Thanks

  • Pingback: Esprit du Monde & The Wine Hub making the most of Enoturism « Wine Pleasures()

  • Pingback: Barcelona: Which Wineries You Can Visit By Train - Catavino()