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Does your interest in wine influence where you travel?

wine

#1

I read somewhere yesterday that the average Brit has been to seven countries (excluding the UK) and it got me thinking about whether interest in wine influences where people go on holiday. I would imagine that people who are really interested in wine might travel to fewer countries because they focus on major wine-producing nations, most of which have a number of different areas one could visit. So I made a very unscientific (“just for fun”) poll to see whether there is any link at all between how widespread your (leisure, not business) travel is, and how many wine areas you’ve visited. By “established wine region” I mean somewhere that one might study as part of an intermediate level wine course.

I’ll kick it off: I’m pretty well-travelled generally but have been to a paltry two wine regions (Loire and Chianti). Wine isn’t one of my major considerations when planning a trip.

  • I’ve been to 0-10 countries and 0 established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 11-20 countries and 0 established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 21-30 countries and 0 established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 31+ countries and 0 established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 0-10 countries and 1-5 established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 11-20 countries and 1-5 established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 21-30 countries and 1-5 established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 31+ countries and 1-5 established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 0-10 countries and 6-10 established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 11-20 countries and 6-10 established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 21-30 countries and 6-10 established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 31+ countries and 6-10 established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 0-10 countries and 11+ established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 11-20 countries and 11+ established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 21-30 countries and 11+ established wine regions (excluding the UK)
  • I’ve been to 31+ countries and 11+ established wine regions (excluding the UK)

0 voters


#2

DEFINITELY influences me - what a great shout for a topic!

I’ve never been outside Europe (sadly!) but more often than not we go somewhere we know the wine will be good (and local!)

Regions I’ve visited:

Languedoc-Roussillon (twice done a wine harvest at Domaine Jones)
Tuscany
Bordeaux
Rhine
Loire (when I was a kid - we did visit some chateaux and vineyards though!)

Mr. Laura also had a lovely fortnight touring New Zealand’s wine regions with work last year and I’m now determined to go with him.

On my wine region travel wish list:

Alsace
Rioja
Napa Valley
Pretty much anywhere in Greece


#3

I hit the maximum on your scales but it definitely doesn’t influence my trip planning, even though I’d quite like to organise more trips around wine! I generally prefer to visit interesting places I’ve not been to yet (or visit family) so that is the first consideration.

I’d love to do a Napa tour and a Rhone tour one day though.


#4

Wow, the harvest at Dom. Jones must have been really interesting - how did you end up doing that?

I’d also love to go to Alsace, it’s been in the back of my mind for ageeeesss.

The other one that I really want to visit soon is South Africa (areas nr Cape Town).


#5

I’m similar - always looking for something new and unusual, and don’t really like to go to the same country too many times (I make an exception for Italy and just pretend that the Risorgimento never happened!). But I’ve certainly neglected the wine regions of the world more than you!


#6

I used to be a travel agent in a very far away past (the past itself is another country, I’m told!), so was lucky to travel for free quite a number of times. I must confess, Europe is my favourite destination, and I have no interest or ambition to ever fly long-haul again. Israel is about as far as I fly to these days, and that’s for family visits, and very infrequent. My ex-husband’s family lived in California, so we used to go there regularly. It was way before I really got into wine, though, so never made the most of those trips, unfortunately!

I would say that wine influences my travels much more nowadays, and although it’s not a primary consideration, it certainly features in the planning. Over the last few years we visited Baden and Württemberg, NE Switzerland (St Gallen, Konstanz), Sardinia, Ribera del Duero and most recently Mallorca. This summer we’ll be travelling to Provence, so planning some vineyard visits as we speak; next spring we’re going to Alsace as a joint birthday treat, and also planning travelling with our friends in Spain to Galicia next May. Going back to Israel in November, for my mum’s 70th, and my sister is planning a couple vineyard visits there too.

Last, but not least, living near the South Downs means easy access to quite a number of good vineries. Been to Ridgeview (considering going again with a friend this month!!), and planning to go to Nyetimber, Bolney Estate and Rathfinney in the near future. :heart_eyes:


#7

With a rather more localised view of this subject, I’ve just been up to Yorkshire for a long weekend visiting friends, and decided to make a detour for my first visit to the showroom. Just meant to pop in but found it quite difficult to get away, and that only with a fair bit more weight in the car, but the benefit of several bottles to try with my friends.
Feeling my first visit was too short I called in again on my way back south, but due to traffic delays again had less time than I would have liked. And again left with a considerably fuller boot and several more interesting looking bottles to try.
Very impressed with the showroom though it has added significantly to the cost of my weekend! Be warned! Also added to my desire to have one of those circular cellars, which I really don’t need.

Who knew, by the way, that there is a winery at South Cave, not far from Beverley, Little Wold Winery, making some prize-winning sparklers? I certainly didn’t.


#8

For me it’s more a happy coincidence that we tend to travel to the med for holidays, and decent wine is in plentiful supply there, rather than local wine being a factor in our decision. Also, although I’ve been to a few wine-producing regions I’ve not actually done any wine tourism while I’ve been there, with one exception.

I’ve been to Bordeaux (lived there for a few months as a student, and completely missed the opportunity to do anything wine-related apart from quaff budget supermarket claret), Piedmont, Tuscany and a lovely corner of the Rhone around Tavel and Lirac. The only visit that had a proper focus on wine was my trip to La Morra in the Barolo region last year. I fully intend to go back there for that event at some point in future!


#9

I’m from the Barossa so yep, got that box ticked.
I’ve also done wine trips to Coonawarra, Adelaide Hils, Clare Valley and McLaren Vale but just counted South Australia as the 1 region. I’ve also been to Margaret River.
I’ve been to Italy 3 times, 1 for leisure and 2 for work. The leisure we didn’t do any wineries but then the 2 for work I’ve done Soave, Valpolicella, Veneto, Prosecco, Trentino, Aldo Adige & Como so didn’t really count that.
We go to Provence every summer as well and visit a few of the local wineries each time. @Inbar if you can, a visit to Chateau d’Esclans is certainly worth it. Their Garrus is unlike any Rosé you will try!


#10

Thanks for the tip, @winechief! :wink: We’re in the ‘planning’ stage of the vinery visits side of our holiday, so inside knowledge is welcome! :+1:


#11

The Alsace is a must simply because it combines so many good things you wish for in a holiday destination, scenery , beautiful towns and villages amazing food and of course the wine, and of course if you have the time the northern area of the Alsace is not that far from the Saar and Moselle.

I fall into the top category but in fairness wine never influenced my earlier travels, only in the last 20+ years has it had an influence as the long haul trips were abandoned in the main and Europe was explored more, I would never be allowed to have the wine part become the main part of a trip and I wouldn’t want it to, there is to much of a good thing and so much else in the world to see outside wine.
Oporto and the Duoro is another “balanced” trip and Italy has supplied those places only Italy can such as the terraced vineyards of the Cinque Terre which give an added bonus to an amazing coast line and villages, I am sure many can relate lots of similar trips.

Of all the wine areas I have been to, to many to make a list and bore everyone, Bordeaux was the most fascinating but the most at arms length, Australia the reverse, my Australian trip encompassed over several weeks all the major wine areas and countless wineries, only the Hunter Valley had short shrift as I was allowed to visit but not in a wine sense.
The most unusual have been because it was a long time ago the Turkish area of Canakkale, in Italy the Cinque Terre as above and the Calabrian vineyards, in fact Italy has only one region not visited the Valle d’Aosta, and another early visit was Crete, I have no recollection as to the wine red or white but they were still treading the wines when we were there, it was err drinkable, though again much was grown at altitude and no doubt there will be a revival.
Elsewher in Italy the Tuscany region was the most disappointing, not because of poor wines bu the Italians do have a habit of once famous they become isolated in all senses, the only exception was a visit toBadia a Coltibuono , only because I had a client in London who was a publisher and personal friend of Lorenza De Medici who is part owner and runs the cookery school there, it afforded us a personal tour and a signed copy of the the cook book on renaissance of Italian cooking, the place has moved on now with rooms, restaurant cookery school etc, but is still a magical place to visit.


#12

We usually take holidays in Euopean wine regions but by no means just the famous ones. Recent holidays have been in Greece, Croatia and Georgia (twice).


#13

Oops - clicked on wrong button - have definitely been to more than five established regions, as one might expect! From memory …
Alsace, Alto Adige, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Corsica, Jerez, Languedoc, Loire, Marche, Peloponnese, Pfalz, Piemonte, Porto, Puglia, N Rhône, S Rhône, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Tuscany, Umbria, Valais, Vaud, Veneto.
I never plan a holiday around a wine region (too much of a busman’s holiday), but would always pop in to see suppliers if in the area! #rudenotto


#14

I think you can change your vote!


#15

I have been to quite a few countries including ones with established wine regions. Still, wine only influenced my travel to Porto, Cava country and lots of trips in Hungary, hence the imbalance in my vote.


#16

Definitely. It’s often part of parcel of a visit to a Country anyway. A road trip down the west coast of the US can easily accommodate a visit to Napa Valley.

Barossa was one of the best visits, easy to cycle around and the vineyards in close proximity to each other. Similar for Hunter Valley as well. All very chilled out as well, if you want to buy a bottle then and there and enjoy in the vineyard grounds they are more than happy. Napa was slightly different in this regard, perhaps we chose the wrong vineyards but few were happy for you to just order a bottle and enjoy it then and there. Mendoza wine region was also good like this and Marlborough is a great destination to visit for wine tasting.

So, rarely is a trip designed purely for wine tasting but once you’ve decided on an area it is often very easy to incorporate the local wine region into your plans.


#17

Rudenotto? Not been there. Is that the one made from sour grapes?
:sunglasses:

I’m increasingly coming to the belief that established winegrowing areas are the most civilised places to be. The food is often good, the scenery attractive, cultural distractions are available and often there are beaches nearby.


#18

I do remember a fizzy wine from a local winery after an early morning balloon flight near Alice Springs. It was very enjoyable, and, I suppose the beach was about 1000km wide… or so.


#19

YES!!

Gosh, so many countries. I don’t like to travel to a country where they don’t make wine, and was recently dragged to Barbados. I enjoyed the warmth and clear sea but the imported wines were expensive and not that good. But better than Saudi Arabia to which I went several times on business :slight_smile:

I’ve been to wine producing regions and not had a chance to visit wineries/vineyards, but below is list of regions I have been where I have.

The list includes some trips which have been soley wine trips, visiting two or morewineries in a day. Our wine club organised a recent meorable trip to Rioja and wilbe taking us to the Douro later this year.

Canada – Ontario - 6 times
- Okanagan Valley once
USA
New York – Finger Lakes – 5 times
Virginia - 4 times
North Carolina – once
Florida – once, not worth a return for wine
Ohio – Once
Arizona – Once
Texas – Hill Country 4 times
Washington – twice
Oregon – twice
California – Napa Valley, Sonoma, Russian River 6 times
- Temecula Valley – twice

FRANCE
Bordeaux – 6 times
Burgundy 3 times
Beaujolais - 3 times
Chablis – once
Loire – Once
Rhone – twice
Provence- once
Alsace – twice
Luxembourg – once
Austria Wachau Valley – once
German Rhine – Twice
Spain, Lanzarote and Rioja – Once each
Portugal, Alentejo – once , Douro once , second trip later this year
Italy – Puglia – once
New Zealand – North & South Islands – 3 times
Australia – Victoria – once
South Africa Cape – 14 times

   I may have missed some

#20

We have had the good fortune to travel to plenty of wine growing areas:
Australia: Hunter Valley, Canberra, McLaren Vale, Yarra
Central Otago
USA: Napa, Sonoma, Monterrey, Santa Barbara, Temecula
Alsace, Loire (Saumur, Anjou, Chinon, Pouilly sur Loire, Sancerre), Champagne, Cote d’Or, Macon, Rhône, Languedoc, Rousillon, Collioure/Banyuls.
Rioja, Emporda
Algarve, Jerez
Trentino
Mosel

Most of these were just places we wanted to be for other reasons or were en route to other destinations. The ones that were deliberately chosen for the wine were Alsace, Mosel, Champagne, Cote d’Or (a cycling holiday!), Rioja, Pouilly.

We do enjoy going to areas where there happens to be local wine to try and that’s not hard in France and northern Spain. Mostly we are chasing decent weather! Regarding the Algarve we have been a few times over the years and until a recent trip in 2016 the local wine was not very good at all. But now they are really getting serious and there are some wineries producing excellent quality stuff.