Vino Tourism is a real concept and isn’t something I’ve just made up (I googled it to check). It basically means going on wine tours in different countries/regions/areas when you’re travelling or on holiday.
When I was in Australia, I realised there was a wine region not far from where my planned route at the beginning of my trip was: the Hunter Valley. So obviously, being a bit of a wine lover, I had to go there. It was great fun. I learnt the correct way to hold a wine glass and I learnt a bit about wine flavours. It was all cellar doors; we went to four wineries and had a few different tastings in each place. The day ended with me being drunk (from tasting all the wine, because the correct way to taste wine is to swallow it), with a job offer in a winery (I turned it down, and I really don’t know why), and a free bottle of wine. Successful day!
Until I was in Foz do Iguacu in Brazil and I’d met an Argentine sommelier (wine connoisseur), I didn’t really know about Argentina’s wine reputation. I soon learnt, and as I had a free week after my teaching placement finished and before I fly home, I decided to endure the 15 hour bus journey from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, Argentinas wine region, famously known for its production of Malbec wine (a lovely red, but I have learnt that ‘malbec’ means ‘bad taste’).
The wine tour I’d booked in Mendoza was great. It consisted of visiting three wineries, and lunch was included. This wine tour was somewhat different to the one I’d done in the Hunter Valley. We got a proper tour of each winery, and an explanation on the production, how much is produced each year, where it’s imported to, where and how the barrels are stored. It was quite interesting because each winery we visited had a different way of producing and storing the wine.
THEN it was down to business: tasting the wines. We got three different wines in each place, and the wines were mainly red (fine by me, I’m more of a red wine drinker than a white!). The day ended differently to the wine tour I’d been on in the Hunter Valley. I didn’t end up drunk (we didn’t get enough wine and there was so much time in between each tasting), and we ended with lunch (in Argentina, lunch is always a late one). So by the time I arrived back at my hostel, around 5pm, I was pretty sober and just in need of a lie down.
Vino tourism isn’t all about getting drunk on a wine tour. It’s more about learning about and experiencing different types of wines. And Mendoza was definitely worth the 15 hour bus ride for the delicious wine! When I go to Chile (this is not a fixed future plan), I will definitely do a wine tour there, and anywhere else I go where there are vineyards, I will go on tours there too! I do love a bit of vino tourism!