Wine tourism is above all about meeting people. While walking around the estate, you will discover the history of the château or the methods of cutting the grapes. Indeed, it is by exchanging with the owners, the wine growers or the grape pickers that you will plunge into their universe.
Wine tourism also includes tastings for those who love wine!
Accompanied by expert oenologists, you will learn, perhaps blindfolded, to describe the wines: fruity, mineral or round in the mouth. These one-day mentors will turn you into knowledgeable wine lovers, so that you can then pass on this know-how. Because yes, wine tourism is the interaction between a passionate professional and an interested amateur.
And that's why you absolutely must try wine tourism!
If you want to get off the beaten track, the most inventive winegrowers will help you discover their trade... differently!
For those who are closer to nature, the winegrowers will propose hikes in their vineyards and to give a few strokes of the pruning shears during the harvest. For others, more academic, to participate in courses and conferences in wine academies. Excursionists can also make their own wine, spend one or more nights at the Château or try to create their own "Wine Route" type itinerary.
Without a doubt, you will find what you are looking for!
The strongholds of French wine production such as Bordeaux and Burgundy now offer classic experiences to visitors: Although France is a reference in wine, wine tourism was born in the1970s in California, on Uncle Sam's land. The phenomenon arrived in Europe, Japan and South Korea in 1980 with initiatives such as the Best of Wine Tourism competition and theGreat Wine Capitals Network. Today, the figures for wine tourism are more than just a fad, they are enough to turn heads.
Wine tourism is tending to develop and is seeing an increase in the number of followers. The challenge for winegrowers is to diversify, with more innovative services to attract more visitors. Wine professionals will have to redouble their imagination to offer an immersive and personalized experience to modern wine tourists.
Like Napa Valley in California or Chianti in Tuscany, French wine regions are adapting and attracting several million visitors each year. The curious, from all over the world, want to discover the world behind the name of the French Grands Crus. The metropolitan population too, since they represent 58% of wine tourists in France: a total of 10 million pilgrims visit the country's terroir every year. The number of visitors to France linked to wine tourism has thus increased by more than 30% in a few years.
In short, the professionals of the trade have a great challenge to face! Fortunately, impossible is not French, as Napoleon (a great lover of good vintages, remember) once said! Tourism figures are only increasing, which opens up a considerable field of possibilities for winegrowers and innovative and varied experiences for French and foreign visitors.
So let's take our pens and write the history of wine tourism together!
If we were to write a definition of wine tourism worthy of the Petit Robert 2018, it would be: "Oenotourism, or wine tourism, is a form of tourism basing its interest on the discovery of wine-producing regions, the profession of winegrower and their productions" ... not very digestible, we grant you!
The Wine Routes are innumerable. From Burgundy to Cahors, from the Côtes du Rhône to Champagne, you can follow these roads, on foot or by bike, discovering breathtaking landscapes. These hectares of cultivation will surely make you realize how perilous it is for a winegrower to work these large spaces, sometimes very winding as are the Côtes-Rôties.
Located in Alsace or elsewhere, the actors of the Vine and Wine, and their Routes, are today referenced thanks to the 67 destinations labelled "Vignobles et Découvertes".
So, what are you waiting for?
Les Grappes offers many activities and tastings at winegrowers' homes in all French wine-growing regions