Tasting and travelling are two enjoyable past times to have on your hobby list. Of course, many people particularly enjoy one or the other. But combining the two interests can result in some of the most fascinating and gratifying experiences of your life – and this is where wine tourism steps in.
Wine tourism is big business. In South Africa alone, more than 250,000 people are employed either directly or indirectly in the wine industry, with wine tourism making up nearly 60,000 of these workers. In 2003, more than R16 billion was generated in the regional South African economy, thanks to wine tourism, and these stats have only grown in the past decade.
And it’s not just South Africa, wine tourism is booming from South America to South Australia. There is certainly a lot of food and drink to enjoy around the world, but specifically wine tourism is becoming a very popular type of travel, leading to tourists enjoying both beautiful locations and delicious wine.
Sure, you can enjoy plenty of wine from all over the world just by picking it up from the nearest Marks and Spencer or local wine shop. But there’s nothing quite like enjoying a fine wine within miles of where it was created.
Here are a few specific wine tourism destinations to consider this year:
- Tuscany, Italy – Recognised all over the world as a renowned location for vineyards and one of the most picturesque places on the planet, Tuscany is home to a number of outstanding wineries. There are so many great wines in this Italian region that it’s difficult to recommend a single one, but the Sangioveses in Tuscany are tough to beat around the world.
- South Africa – Something of an emerging region for fine wine, South Africa can offer a refreshing variation from typical European wine locations. The country is unique and wonderful to visit for countless reasons, with much of the wine world class. In particular some of the white wines, such as Chenin Blanc, from this region are particularly renowned.
- Rioja, Spain – This region, or really set of regions, in Spain offers a great variety of different settings and climates which makes for interesting vacations and wine tastings alike. From dry Mediterranean areas to high altitude vineyards, Rioja will offer you a unique experience, as well as some tasty wines.
- Napa Valley, US – The famous Californian wine region is one of the best in the world for a number of different reasons. Not only can California offer you a dynamic holiday full of any combination of beaches and cities you enjoy, there are also a number of sprawling, world-class vineyards. California has a large variety of different wines, but is perhaps most known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. You will be almost certain to find some new favourites in some of the many vineyards in this region.