With wine enthusiasts seeking to explore popular and lesser-known vineyards this year, wine destinations are attracting more traffic than ever! And hence, enotourism seems to be a hot travel trend to follow. By Tanvi Jain
Enotourism, also known as wine tourism or oenotourism, is a travel trend which involves going on guided tours to wineries and exploring what goes into the making of this delicious drink. Having wine is not like consuming any other beverage but is more of a culture in some civilisations. This tour enables one to understand that culture!
It involves the tour guide telling the visitors about the history of the winery, the grapes that are being used in the making of wine, and a tour to the barrel ageing rooms, where you even get to taste a wide range of wine. You even get to interact with the makers, people who spend their life on fields and give the world one of its most favoured drinks.
Here are some of the wine tours you can consider taking a trip to this year.
1. Napa and Sonoma, California
With over 400 wineries in Napa county and over 200 in the neighbouring Sonoma, these vineyards are home to some of the exotic varieties like Inglenook, Mondavi, Domaine, and more. Here you can taste some of the most fruity and good-bodied wines, and the best Champagne-style wines outside France. The Cairdean Estate in St. Helena is one of the highly recommended tasting rooms, with over 20 different options. The Napa Valley Wine Train and the winery-to-winery guided bike tour are two of the best options to explore the entire wine region.
2. Moselle Valley, Germany
Imagine enjoying a glass of wine while surrounded by majestic castles, beautiful hills and a peaceful river. Yes, a trip to this wine haven comes with some scenic delight. While visiting Moselle, the producer of some of the best Rieslings in the world, make sure to visit the highly recommended Weingut Willi Schaefer, Weingut Van Volxen and Weingut Clemens Busch. Here you get to taste at least 160 different wine samples. Moreover, the steep vineyard slopes, make it an adventure trip as you hike to the vineyard. However, the exceptional Rieslings make it worth the effort.
3. Okanagan Valley, Canada
Beating the extreme weather conditions, the wines of Okanagan Valley have flourished, all thanks to the lakes and mountains. While the former protect the vineyards from spring frosts, the latter help keep the rainfall low during summers. From being home to the first winery established in 1932, the country owned 255 regional wineries by 2016. From reds like Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet, to the whites extending from Pinot Gris and Chardonnay to Riesling — the place seems to grow almost every kind of wine.
4. Tuscany, Italy
This place produces the most famous Chianti Classico wine, whose documentation dates to the 13th century, when grape cultivation flourished in the Chianti Mountains. Later in 1716, the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de’ Medici legalised the production of Chianti only in three villages of Tuscany. Keeping the tradition alive, even today, the first thing that comes to mind about Tuscany is its red wine Chianti. Wine estates here now focus on organic methods of production. A wine tour to the vineyards of Tuscany lets you experience the old–world wine culture where winemakers can still be seen crushing the grapes with their feet, and the wine being stored in long, vaulted basement cellars carved out of rock.