What is enotourism?
The terms “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 1990s. 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 vertical tasting and food-and-wine pairing, 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 links between enotourism and geography, history, philosophy, science, and sociology bring a stimulating and intellectual dimension to tourism. Enotourism provides the opportunities to explore the richness of a place and to 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 misconceptions 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 that promotes lesser-known wine regions and unique wines. It is intended for anyone who enjoys wine, wants to learn more about wine, and is open to trying different wines. Whether you’re a casual wine drinker, sommelier or wine educator, there’s something for you as long as you have an open mind and an adventurous palate.
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 the preparations and actual trips, which 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.
Having traveled to more than 50 countries and explored over 50 wine regions, we bring an empathetic and astute “prosumer” lens to the wine tourism industry. We’re also WSET Advanced certified.
We welcome you to join us as we take an in-depth look at travel and wine in Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Hungary, Macedonia, Mexico, Montenegro, Santa Barbara County (California, USA), Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Turkey.
Dr. Matthew Horkey has authored four books and 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.