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Does your interest in wine influence where you travel?

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

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.


And amazingly I forgot to list Bordeaux!

I think the idea behind the question was wrong: people interested in wine are likely to be interested in other new experiences, and therefore to travel more, not less (and the answers so far seem to support this). I think we all like to see what a wine district looks like (particularly exceptional ones like the Mosel), and it is hard (at least for me) to avoid going through at least one of Loire, Alsace, Burgundy or Mosel to reach any destination in Europe. One thing to remember: the JR Wine Atlas is quite a good local road map for European wine areas (less so for some of the others, because there is less detail).

I don’t see how the idea behind an open question built to test a hypothesis can be deemed to be wrong. Sweeping generalisations built on assumption are wrong.
For me, it may be my travel experience that has actually influenced my wine interest. I have been lucky enough to travel widely in Europe since a child and way beyond as a adult with my own family. I enjoy visiting the wine areas and the wine associated with where I have been, and marvel at the industriousness of those who toil for my pleasure, but no more so than the terraced paddy fields of Indonesia or the tea plantations of Malaysian highlands.
Beware secundum quid et simpliciter… 10% of the poll currently have been to fewer than 10 countries and that is much more than exception.
More good questions to stimulate pleasant thinking and delightful exchanges please.


This I think is the hypothesis that was to be tested. The results seem to show that responders (self selected and a small possibly insignificant number to draw conclusions from) are, in contradiction to the hypothesis, very widely travelled indeed. The scientific community would undoubtedly say that further research is required, preferably with a nice big grant to help things along. But we have enjoyed reminiscing (boasting) of our extensive travels in wine and it has been fun. Nice one @Mooble!


Domaine Jones was luck, really - we were going travelling in Europe for a few weeks and I asked around to see if anyone needed harvest help. I had no luck until the week before we went away when Katie asked for volunteers on Twitter - and as she had recently been added to The Wine Society’s list (and I was working here at the time) I jumped at the chance! We helped out for around two weeks and then went back the next year (this time with @Freddy!) for a week. Highly recommend it! And not just because Katie and her husband Jean-Marc are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

AN Alsace trip has been at the back of my mind for a while now - there were some great suggestions of places to visit on this topic!

And as for Cape Town, I think @hugofount’s been there at least once so he might have some tips… :smiley:


Happy to take one for the team! :sunglasses:


Taking up the points raised by others like @SPmember @DrEm and @JayKay, I would say that I believe this assumption is incorrect (but fun to test).

Whilst we love wine, I don’t think there is a strict correlation between travel plans and wine enjoyment. That is why wine-specific travel companies remain so niche despite the great love of wine in this country. I would posit that wine-tourism will usually only be an element of people’s travel, not the driver. That means that wine regions that are close to other ‘facilities’ such as beaches, activity centres, cultural experiences, etc. benefit most.

(e…g many fewer people have been to Rioja because it is a real PITA to get to, whilst Tuscany has much ‘else’ on its doorstep)

There are also many other factors to take into account that may easily negate the influence of wine (!), such as family trips, language barriers, distance / cost, personal travel requirements (such as owning a holiday house in a place so you go there most available occasions), etc.

Well-travelled people (like @tom) might be more willing to find the time and effort to visit more wine regions as part of their regular travels, but otherwise I think there might well be little correlation.

Just IMHO of course!


More than happy to be proved wrong - it wasn’t exactly a long-held belief, more a “if I had to guess, I’d think…” musing. Though, as others have mentioned, in the interests of science further study should really be carried out… @Alchemist very selfless of you to volunteer, but you must be very busy with all the base metals/gold palaver so I’m happy to do the extensive field research that’s clearly required.

On a personal travel note, having spent much of my time over the last ten years visiting developing countries, I’m quite keen to devote the next few trips to some of the wine regions of Europe - far fewer 24 hour bus journeys and rather less chance of food poisoning!


That is exactly our experience. We love travel, and we love wine- but travelling to places we’re curious about, or places where we have friends, or places where one of us wants to practice a language (I did Swedish a few years ago, so lucky to have a good friend in Sweden where I could practice a bit with… not exactly a wine country, tough!) and so on- are the main drivers. If there is a wine culture in the place, and vineyards to visit- all the better.

Wine, after all, is another element of ‘culture’. So for me, it doesn’t much differ from exploring a country’s language, or art or food culture.

Now, I’m sitting here patiently waiting for my retirement… :wink:


This sums up my personal experience, but am finding that wine regions are becomingly increasingly important as a factor for me. For example, I’ve mentioned elsewhere that we’re spending our summer holidays this year on the coast near Perpignan, but rather than fly straight there we’ve opted to drive and spend a few days slowly driving down eastern France taking in Champagne, Burgundy and the Rhone. Returning via western France, repeating the experience in Bordeaux and the Loire. Main holiday will be on the beach, but a few days either side souvenir collecting :smile:


Maybe, but definitely an appendage. I love Rhone wines but the trip I really want to take in that area is to kayak down the river and stop off at a few domaines along the way, so more like pub breaks on a canal trip than a dedicated winery visiting trip. That sounds too much like work.

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@tom, with the baby strapped in ? :wink:They’re very versatile :grimacing:

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I’ll just tie a dinghy to the back, sure they’ll be fine.

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And for when you get REALLY adventurious…
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Is Rioja more of a aPITA to get to than Tuscany? I’ve never been to Tuscany tho’ I’d like to…

Rioja - Fly to Bilbao. (Lots to see there including Guggenheim). Haro, a major hub for the Rioja wine region is around 1 hours drive from Bilbao, wineries very inviting, scenery is dramatic, historic hilltop villages and prehistoric sites…

and great wine


For Tuscany, fly to Pisa and you can be in Florence or Siena in an hour by train :ok_hand:


We made the trip by boat from Portsmouth to Bilbao, which as you say is a great city to visit in its own right. Our trip took in Rioja and then San Sebastian which has captured our heart, so beautiful did we find it. We will return one day with the added benefit of knowing Rioja is not far away. The sailing was part of the holiday, the passengers an entertaining mix of hen parties (!), whale watchers and travellers using the boat to get from A to B. There was even a lecture on cetaceans and the fabulous opportunity to watch pods of dolphins swimming in the boats wake.

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Being an old fart ( read and the question, and answer it) I do not go for multiple choice answers to enquiries such as "Does your interest in wine influence where you travel?

Yes that’s why I go to France whenever possible…:innocent::rose::wine_glass:

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That sounds a terrific route…I’ve visited the places you mention but not in one go…heaven !!! :innocent::rose: