Wine tourism, sometimes called oenotourism, is on the rise. Wine and spirit tours have become more and more popular in recent years, with offerings including wine or brandy tastings, unconventional wine bars, vinotherapy sessions in luxury spas, delicate food pairings with grand crus, tours of traditional distilleries, and more.
For wine and spirit lovers, there are plenty of excursions to choose from, in France and abroad. Here's a rundown of the options available.
Wine getaways in France
Great white wines from Burgundy, champagnes, rosés from Provence, red wines from Bordeaux, wines from Languedoc... The local wine industry offers plenty of traditional wine options.
In Gigondas, take a drive through the Domaine de la Tourade estate in a vintage minibus, with retro music playing in the background. In the Bordeaux area, the association À Terre à Cheval and Les Itinéraires de Charlotte organize atypical excursions to explore the local wine industry, including a horseback ride to admire the varied landscapes, and a cooking workshop to close out the day.
In the Rhone Valley and its surroundings, there are many activities and getaways for wine lovers. Located in Tain-l'Hermitage, the world-famous Cave de Tain is one of the most beautiful cooperatives in France. This renowned locale is ideal for wine enthusiasts who want to enjoy a rich and varied selection.
Offer your wine-loving customers the chance to stay in an establishment where fine dining and wine tastings are a cornerstone of the experience.
In Vienna, Patrick Henriroux, a Michelin-starred chef at the restaurant La Pyramide, will take you on a journey through the senses. The cellar has over 1,000 wines and spirits, offering the perfect capstone to a timeless meal in this contemporary setting. Visit this gourmet establishment for a unique and memorable experience.
Discover wines from around the world
South Africa is practically synonymous with wine tourism. The wine route through the country will take your customers to numerous vineyards with a French touch.
The Motte Estate in Franschhoek offers a variety of activities: whether they're tasting wines and sampling meals in a rustic setting, or hiking through the valley, your customers will leave delighted.
Stellenbosch is an equally charming town. The Waterford Estate offers travelers several unique getaways and excursions.
Tell your customers to go on the 3-hour safari ride through the vineyards, where several wines will be presented for tasting. For the more athletic customers, the estate has marked out three hiking trails around the area to admire the flora and fauna.
Spiritourism: tours around the world!
Mainland France and its overseas territories are blessed with a rich legacy of spirits. In the tropics, many distilleries organize tours that will delight your customers.
In the Indian Ocean, on the island of Reunion, two of them are open to travelers. At the Savanna Distillery and the Bois Rouge sugar factory, your customers will get to see the entire rum-making process and learn more about the sugarcane industry. The two-hour tour through the factory will end with a tasting.
The Isautier Distillery, created in 1845, is the oldest on the island and offers free guided tours. In addition to technical demonstrations, the Saga du Rhum Museum, located in the heart of the rum factory, teaches visitors about the history and culture of the area while highlighting their intrinsic connection with rum.
Next, it's time to head north toward the Netherlands, the homeland of gin and a great destination for spirit lovers. Take your customers on a tour of Dutch know-how, production processes and stills with a visit to the Onder de Boompjes Distillery in Schiedam, the second oldest in the country, where the emphasis is on quality and choice of ingredients.
If your customers are particularly fond of history, take advantage of your time in Amsterdam to visit the House of Bols Museum, dedicated to the oldest brand of spirits in the world, Lucas Bols. The museum offers a special cocktail workshop that will put your senses to the test, in addition to the usual tasting.
The world is a huge playground for wine and spirit lovers. Advise your customers to visit the world's wine regions, and tell them about the best deals available. Together, let's promote wine getaways and wine tourism in general!