Wine Tourism Day is celebrated on November 8, according to the Wine Lover’s Calendar. The two words go together perfectly and seamlessly. While wine is a craft that is being explored and tried across the United States, besides the end product that every Wine Blogger extols, the wineries also attract the curious and the tourists. For decades before I ever attempted to write about wines, I tasted and drank wines for pure enjoyment, and I still do. I wish that I could only drink the wines, which everyone wants to write about, but I can’t, because I just enjoy discovering wines.
I am a wine tourist. My Bride and I have not traveled the world, in actuality, we are rather provincial, but we have still been tourists. We drove specifically to a winery one afternoon in Maui, somewhere that most people go for the beaches or the verdant tourist traps on that island. We drove up the mountain to try Hawaiian wines, and may I mention that we were surrounded by perhaps another fifty people or so with the same curiosity and desire to do something different. We have visited the Central Coast of California with special emphasis on the Monterey County and we have also been to Napa Valley. Second only to the wines, was the tourism business. I have seen busses and limousines shuttling happy wine tasters to the assorted wineries, in fact we even had dinner on the Napa Wine Train, and if that isn’t being a tourist, I do not know what is. The wine industry is just made for tourism, and entrepreneurs have found all ways to capitalize on this. I have seen walking maps, cycling maps and road maps for the do-it-yourselfers. The aforementioned busses and limousines, allow the uninitiated to go and over indulge in what they think is “wine tasting,” without the worries of driving.
I live in the State of Michigan, and the big advertising campaign that is called “Pure Michigan” which attempts to entice travelers from all over to visit the state. “Pure Michigan” has been very successful, and one of the themes that are promoted is Michigan Wine. They produce a very attractive glossy magazine just on the many different wine regions to be found in the state, along with maps and articles to keep the tourists coming. I have also seen these types of magazines in Ohio and even Ontario, Canada. What is a better way to keep a tourist happy, than with a wine tasting. It is a blessing to the wineries as well, or can be, if they make that visit informative, pleasurable and fun. The states also realized the value of the additional monies spent by tourists for tastings, purchases, meals and lodgings; with the desire that they will come back for another visit. I am a tourist, and I love visiting wineries, not every winery is a winner in my book, but I appreciate their dedication and the chance for me not to only talk to the winery staffs, but to other tourists as well.