Cuando combinas gastronomía, cultura, aprendizaje y vino durante unos días de vacaciones, el resultado es una experiencia de enoturismo. Esta alternativa de turismo rural y ecológico surgió hace ya varias décadas con el objetivo de promover una manera diferente de disfrutar del paisaje en lugares de larga tradición vitivinícola como lo es La Rioja Oriental.

Wine tourism: an alternative of leisure and culture in boom

Actually, it’s nothing new. For many decades now, many curious travellers have set off for the lands of wine with the intention of learning more about this beautiful activity. However, in recent years there has been an interesting change of perspective which is what has made us talk about enotourism today.

The concept is very different from that of decades ago in which these trips of oenological interest were mostly limited to visiting two or three wineries within the same production area, tasting their wines and returning to the city of origin without having had the opportunity to live a much more enriching experience than that of having tasted new wines.

Wine tourism is presented as a more inclusive option that not only wine lovers can participate in. Those who barely know about this type of drink and even children will also enjoy these experiences. Precisely because of this integrating character that has managed to combine leisure, culture and training so well, wine tourism trips are becoming more and more fashionable. They are an economic alternative to make the most of a few days with the family, stroll through beautiful natural landscapes and return home with the unforgettable aftertaste of having lived an extraordinary experience.

Wine as a vehicle of culture and tradition: origin of enotourism

The production of wine generates an important economic activity that affects the development of an entire community. A traditional wine-growing area must be analysed from a much broader perspective than that of its productive wealth. The cultivation of grapes, the production of wine and its distribution to other regions creates a series of social and cultural ties that transcend time and people.

Wine tourism takes advantage of all these resources to present an immersive travel option. It is not necessary to be a wine lover or a regular consumer of this drink to enjoy everything around this production work. If you are interested in nature, you like the idea of walking through extensive vineyards, you are curious about the grape cycle and the whole process involved in winemaking, and you never say no to a good meal, you are going to love wine tourism.

This way of travelling and getting to know your destination encompasses an infinite number of aspects that make up the autochthonous culture of each wine region. Its particular landscapes, its cultivation methods, the traditions linked to the harvest, its economic and social development, its historical evolution and, of course, its gastronomic and oenological culture.

What kind of activities can you expect from an enotourism experience?

What kind of activities can you expect from an enotourism experience?
Now that you have a more general idea of what wine tourism involves, it’s time to get down to business. What are the most frequent activities in this type of getaway? Always taking wine as a point of reference, the alternatives offered by this type of tourism are the most varied.

In view of the interest that this variety of tourism is arousing not only among Spaniards but also among curious travellers coming from very different parts of the planet, the wine tourism networks in Spain are making an increasing effort to offer the user an original and quality product. In this respect, wine tourism must be understood as something interactive that does not treat the visitor as a mere spectator.

In this line of exchange, contact and interactivity, the companies that make up the so-called Wine Routes (hotels, restaurants, vineyards, wineries…) reflect their vocation for a type of experiential tourism with leisure and cultural options adapted to all ages and tastes.

Among the most common activities are to highlight:

  • Wine tasting and pairing.
  • Gastronomic tastings and traditional lunches.
  • Visits to ethnological museums.
  • Visits to castles, monasteries and sites.
  • Routes through vineyards (hiking, horseback riding, cycling…).
  • Enogastronomic activities (fairs, festivals, gastronomic days…).
  • Art exhibitions in wineries, interpretation centres and other spaces related to wine culture.
  • Courses specialized in enology.

With all this extensive variety of proposals it is not surprising that wine tourism is so fashionable. It represents a great opportunity to get to know the essence of a region with wine as the guiding thread of the whole experience but without renouncing other aspects of great interest to the traveller. The traditions of a place, its gastronomic offer, its history, its customs… Wine tourism encompasses so many aspects that no one is indifferent.