What is enotourism?
The term “wine travel”, “wine tourism”, “oenotourism”, “vinitourism”, and “enotourism” may be used interchangeably. All five terms refer to tourism motivated by wine-related experiences such as visiting wineries and vineyards, tasting and purchasing wine, or staying at a winery-owned accommodation.
It is a relatively new form of tourism and the proliferation of enotourism activities can be traced back to around the ’90s. Enotourism can be considered a component of gastronomy tourism, agritourism/agrotourism, and ecotourism. As the enotourism industry matures, additional activities have been added to the selection such as taking part in harvest, and even a wine and yoga retreat.
Most enotourism activities take place at or near the site where the wine is produced. Visitors typically learn the history of the winery, take a guided tour around the winery and/or vineyard, see how the wine is made, and then taste the wines. More elaborate tastings like horizontal and vertical tastings, as well as food-and-wine pairings are also offered by some wineries to showcase the uniqueness of their wines.
So what’s in it for you as a wine lover?
For the wine lovers, enotourism is the most practical and effective way to learn more about wine and the varied terroirs of the world. By spending a few days visiting a wine region, chatting with the winemakers and grape growers, getting to know the locals and their culture, and pairing the local cuisine with the local wine will provide an intimate context for the wine and give insight into why the wine tastes the way that it does. The link between enotourism and geography, history, philosophy, science, and sociology brings a stimulating and intellectual dimension to tourism. Enotourism provides the opportunities to explore the richness of a place and unravel the cultural, economic and historical values of a destination.
That brings us to our philosophy…
And that is to capture the authenticity and emotions of a place—be it a wine village, wine region, wine country, or a nation as a whole—and share them with fellow wine lovers and travelers. Wine is a tool and a language we use to pique people’s interest in learning more about places that they are not familiar with (or have misconception about). We believe that wine has the power to create positive perspectives by opening people’s minds to the wonders of the world.
What is Exotic Wine Travel?
Welcome to Exotic Wine Travel, a platform to promote wine culture, wine tourism, and lesser-known, unique wines. It is intended for anyone who enjoys wine, wants to learn more about wine, and is open to trying different wines. From casual wine drinkers to even sommeliers and wine educators, there’s something for you as long as you have an open mind and an adventurous palate.
- For the uninitiated, we want to break down the barriers and misperceptions that prevent you from exploring and enjoying wine. So that the next time you go into a wine shop or order wine at a restaurant, you’ll feel like you know what you’re doing and you’ll be able to create some great memories with your favorite people over wine.
- For casual wine drinkers, we want to encourage you to try different wines and expand your palate. After all, how can you claim to have a favorite wine if you know only a few?
- For wine enthusiasts, we want to inspire the ways you discover and enjoy wine. A huge part of the pleasure we take in wine is discovering new things and sharing them with people. On this website, you’ll find and read about these interesting finds so you too can join us in the journey of constant learning and discovering the wine world.
- For seasoned wine lovers and industry experts, you’ll find tasting notes on wines from unchartered territories so that you can enjoy a good bottle while on the road, without having to waste time on research or suffer through the bad stuff.
- For people who have had spent many years exploring and now feel adamant about their wine preferences: we have nothing to offer you, sorry!
Of course, this website is ultimately about savoring wine. We’ll do just that and invite you to join us by tasting the wines we review and sharing your own wine experiences.
To navigate the resources on this website, please go to the Start Here page.
Who are we? In short, full-time wine travelers.
Hi! We are Matthew and Charine. We are authors, writers, speakers, marketers, travelers, and wine geeks. In 2015, we left Singapore and began our location-independent lifestyle. The transition is summarized in our articles The Start of Something New and Reflection: Long-Term Travel and the Journey to Becoming Location Independent. While traveling through the wine regions in Europe and the Caucasus, we experienced several obstacles during preparation and the actual trips that compelled us to turn our passion for wine into a creative force for good. The genesis of Exotic Wine Travel is depicted in our article, The Story of Exotic Wine Travel after 20 Months on the Road.
We welcome you to join us as we take an in-depth look at travel and wine in Armenia, Baja California, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Friuli, Georgia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Santa Barbara County, Serbia, and Turkey.
Author | Speaker | Wine Geek
Dr. Matthew Horkey is the co-founder of Exotic Wine Travel and the author of Travel Learn Earn: Let the World Be Your Guide to Freedom as well as Uncorking the Caucasus: Wine from Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia. Besides his books, he has also written for several trade magazines and peer-reviewed publications. His wine writing has appeared on JancisRobinson.com and Wine Folly. An experienced public speaker, he’s been a guest speaker at the American University of Rome, Life University, and various companies including Microsoft, TripAdvisor, Norton Rose, and JP Morgan. Dr. Horkey is passionate about learning and trying traditional and unique wines, sharing information with people, and turning them on to wine. He does that now predominantly via the Exotic Wine Travel Youtube Channel. He is currently enrolled in the WSET Advanced Certification Course (Level 3).
Researcher | Marketer | Brand Strategist