IWINETC 2012 Opening Morning Round Up

Day 1 Session Overview at the IWINETC

Excitement brewed over the weekend as the opening address and sessions of the International Wine Tourism Conference edged closer. The conference began on Monday morning with an introductory address by Chiara Lungarotti of Lungarotti Winery in Umbria. Dignitaries spoke for several minutes with a theme of welcome and the need for continuing to build wine tourism in Umbria. Words such as “welcome” and “important” were frequently used to establish the importance of wine tourism with other segments of the community such as cultural locations and hotels.

This is a wine tourism conference. So the opening plenary session titled “Wine Tourism Does Not Exist, There Is only Tourism” was a bit unsettling at first. The speaker, Mike Wangbickler DWS CWE, Balzac Communications & Marketing, USA, discussed that wine regions were somewhat alike and tourists are tourists. Wine regions compete with other wine regions as well as other tourist attractions. His first issue looked at: are people interested in wine or tourism? He suggested that it is tourism first then wine. Mike believes that tourists are interested in the experience. The second issued raised is: how does a wine region communicate? He suggested that tourists are not all the same and each should be treated differently. His third issue looked at what makes a wine region stick out among other wine regions. Mike stated that it is the experience that people get when visiting a winery in a region. Wineries in a region can draw people in by offering experiences other than wine tasting. Tourism makes everyone money, not just the wineries but also hotels, restaurants, sites and activities. Mike summarized his issues by saying that wineries want to sell the experience. Mike then gave a case study of Napa valley discussing how the area became a wine region.

Session 1.1 Art and Wine as drivers for Tourism: the Unique experience of Castelbuono’s Carapace Winery

Marcello Lunelli and his brother Alessandro gave some background about who they are and the Lunelli family. Marcello spoke of their Ferrari sparkling wine. The Ferrari sparkling wine has received awards for nearly 100 years of the family’s 110 years of making wines. By 1969 production reached 100,000 bottles. Marcello showed a photo of their Trento winery that looks modern and artistic. At the winery twenty million bottles of sparkling wine rests. Pictures of their Villa Margon showed a beautiful villa restored by the Lunelli family. The 16th century villa serves as a group hospitality center. Art works abound both in and outside the villa.

Marcello described some of the wines produced by the family. It is easy to see that the family sees the production of wine as art. The family is opening a facility in Umbria that they believe can capture tens of thousands of visitors as their Trento facility. The Umbrian winery was not created by an architect rather it was created by a sculpturist, Arnaldo Pomodoro. The artist visited Umbria and became inspired by the area and the grapes. A model was built and construction began. When a sculpturist designs a building there are many renditions along the way that creates a true “work in progress.” The outside of the building is a carapace. The winery will open in a few months. It is a feat of art, both of a sculpture and wine.

Session 1.1 Welcome to the Wining & Dining in the Pacific Northwest

Presented by Julie Pegg a journalist for realfootraveller.com and EAT Magazine, Canada, treated attendees with beautiful photos of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Julie easily used maps to describe how to reach various locations in the Pacific Northwest including Vancouver Island by ferry. Her presentation while low keyed presented reasons why everyone should visit the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Some of the wine regions mentioned to visit included Willamette Valley, Columbia Gorge, Yakima Valley, Walla Walla and Vancouver Island. A few of the individual wineries mentioned included Michelle St. Marie.

Session 1.2 Celebrity Wine Review TV – past, present and future

Roie Edery, Aleksey Klempner and Mark Thompson created Celebrity Wine Review TV. Mark Thompson, that has a television background and a very recordable voice, showed a clip of Chef Fabio Viviani bringing to the television audience his passion for food and wine. The television episodes showcase wine as they are showcasing lifestyle. The television series also has a web presence.

Alexksey Klempner spoke of the web presence and social media. When the website began it had good content, but lacked a large audience. Their strategy was to use many online social media outlets. Alexksey spoke of SocialOomph.com. a tool that can be used to help to increase online productivity.

Session 1.2 How New Technologies will Change the Future of Wine Tourism by David Lowe

David began his presentation with how present day businesses use technology to demonstrate their products. Examples of these business included Legos, cars, Potterybarn and clothing manufacturers.

David used winery and vineyard photos to show how to enhance a simple photo. Consider using balloons with information inside to provide more information. David also talked about the benefits of using QR codes. Rather than using just the simple black and white matrix blocks, David suggested using QR codes with more personalization including colors and images.


Lunch was a long time to enjoy meeting more people and enjoy Italian cuisine. The luncheon was in the Orleans Restaurant which is a large room in the hotel. The restaurant was decorated with music symbols including cymbals and French horns. The tables, with light yellow tablecloths, had old records on the tables to be used as placemats. Unusual, but a great use for unwanted records.

Numerous wines were available to be paired with the various courses. The Appetizer was Cardoncello mushroom with thyme and burrata from Andria. The starter course was of pureed artichokes with strong sheeps’ milk ricotta and very thin slices of Altamura bread. Altamura is a small area in Pugila. The First Course was toasted wheat orecchiette pasta with turnip tops, cherry tomatoes and chickpeas from the chef’s own garden. The second course was slow-cooked pork capocollo potatoes, lampascioni onions, spring onions and thread tomatoes. Dessert was dark chocolate terrine with a soft pumpkin centre.

Session 1.3 A sense of place: How to Leverage Your Region and Place to Enhance the Customer Experience by Mary Cressler of the Vindulge Wine & Education Consulting, USA

Mary Cressler’s presentation included several points of importance to encourage tourists to a winery. These included: telling your story, updating your story, create an experience around your products, on tours point out something different and share your story with tour companies. She included about how a winemaker compared Chardonnay to chicken. He liked to make wine with Chardonnay grapes because there are so many things you can do with it – just like chicken.

Session 1.3 New opportunities and challenges of wine tourism in France. A special focus on Burgundy

Laurence Cogan defined wine tourism experience as a mixture of experiences generally at wineries. Laurence commented that France is the number one wine tourist destination in the world. In France, there are examples of wine tourism such as: scenic wine routes, professional cellar visits, walking and biking paths, wine education centers, wine festivals as well as cultural and historical heritage sites. There are approximately 10,000 wine properties open to visitors. They attract 14 million visitors a year, about 39% from outside France.

Laurence described four profiles of French wine tourists: Epicurians account for 40% of the tourists, Explorers make up 20%, Experts account for 16% while Classicals (interested in a region’s heritage) are at 24%.

Burgundy does have challenges, for example winegrowers see each other as competition and would not send tourists to a competitor. Laurence also mentioned the many stakeholders interested in the wine tourism movement as being a challenge. Laurence had suggestions for wine growers: post opening hours, provide wine notes in several languages, provide a picnic area and list other wineries that are open as well as other attractions.

Session 1.4 Plenary Session by Jane Hunt, Master of Wine

Jane Hunt mentioned her past experiences with wine tourism. One of the experiences she offered was the few times that she was treated coolly at a winery. Jane mentioned the importance that the first ten minutes at a winery property can last a lifetime, for better or worse. She noted that a poor experience can be remembered just as well as a great experience.

Jane spoke of different wine regions. She really likes South Africa region near Cape Town. Other wine regions Jane has offered tours to include France, Italy, Chile and Argentina. She mentioned many wonderful wine regions in different countries throughout the world. Jane also mentioned some particle suggestions that wineries and tour operators can use to make a more pleasant experience for wine tourists.

Terry & Kathy Sullivan

Bloggers to Hit the Highway for Campania after IWINETC 2012!

Watch out for our the IWINETC Media bus!  Wine Pleasures has hand-selected a group of highly talented wine media, journalists, and travel consultants from around the world, from the United States and Canada to the United Kingdom, France and Germany.  This team of professionals will tour the Campania wine region from 2 – 5 Feb and provide objective and detailed editorials of the beautiful region and its many treasures, providing both written and photographc illustrations of their tours.

Wine Pleasures has partnered with MTV Campania to put together a 4-day tour around the Campania region, which is densely packed with food and wine tastings at various wineries such as the Terre del Principe, Mustilli, Terredora, and Mastroberardino wineries, as well as the Cantina Feudi di San Gregorio.  The trip concludes with tastings at the Azienda Villa Matilde, and Grotta del Sol wineries, and a farewell dinner of wine and pizza at Gambero Rosso!  The Media Staff will enjoy their accommodations at the Aquapetra Resort & Spa in Telese Terme, L’Una Hotel il Molino in Benevento, and the Romeo Hotel in Naples.

A thank you to the hotels, wineries, and venues for their generosity, and a special thanks to MTV Campania, for sharing their extensive knowledge of the Campania region and for preparing and sponsoring an exciting and volumous itinerary that is certainly to give our Media team plenty to write about!  We look forward to sharing daily reviews of the trip, please connect with us on Twitter and Facebook, and follow tweets on the #iwinetc to read these exciting reviews and learn what Campania has to offer!

Here’s the exciting programme organised by MTV Campania:

Thursday 2 February and we’re off to Campania!

08.30 Transfer to Castel Campagnano (351 km)
12.00 Visit of the Terre del Principe winery and tasting + Mozzarella and Pallagrello tasting
14.00 Transfer to Sant. Agata dei Goti.
14.30 Guided tour of Sant Agata del Gotti and the ancient wineries built into the Tufo rock and visit of the Mustilli winery and tasting
17.00 Transfer to Telese and free time.
20.00 Dinner and accommodation in the Aquapetra Resort

Friday 3 February

09.00 Transfer to the Irpinia region of Campania (73km).
10.30 Bus tour of Taurisi DOCG, Greco and Avellino finishing up with a winery visit to Mastroberardino and vertical tasting
12.30 Visit of the Cantina Feudi di San Gregorio. Winery visit, and cooking demo with Paolo Barrale followed by lunch and wine matching in his 1* Michelin restaurant
16.00 Visit of the Terredora winery and vertical tasting
18.00 Transfer to Benevento (30km)
19.00 L’Una Hotel il Molino Hotel Check in & free time
20.00 Dinner and accommodation in Una Hotel il Molino.

Saturday 4 February

09.00 Transfer to Cellole
10.30 Visit of the Azienda Villa Matilde Lunch at the winery.
13.30 Transfer to Campi Flegrei – that’s an area with 40 volcanoes so should be a blow
15.30 Visit of the Grotta del Sole winery
17.00 Transfer to Napoli and Romeo Hotel check in
18.00 Free time. Make sure you don’t get run over in Napoli if you decide on a historic centre walking tour
20.30 Farwell dinner at La Città del gusto di Napoli – Gambero Rosso – that means loads of pizza to taste + wines from all Campania MTV members – 40 members I think!

Wines of Croatia Tasting at IWINETC …A Sneak Peek!

Croatia is a country with a strong wine culture and people that have always appreciated its true quality. Almost half of the vineyards in Croatia are not registered for business and trade but can only keep wine for personal consumption.  The other half, destined for the market is rather uknown outside Croatia (…until now!).

Croatia is divided on two basic categories. Continental Croatia and Coastal Croatia.  Coastal Croatia is divided into following wine areas: Middle and south Dalmatia, Dalmatian Zagora, North Dalmatia, Croatian Coastal, and Istria.  Continental Croatia is divided into following wine areas: Podunavlje (Danube), Slavonija (Slavonia), Moslavina region, Prigorje-Bilogora, Pokupje, Plešivica, and Zagorje-Međimurje.

There is more then two hunderd different grape varieties grown in Croatia today and at least sixty of them are unique and indigenous, but there are three main varieties which cover 49% of total production, and those are the Graševina, Malvazija, Plavac Mali.

Graševina, Feravino, Graševina, Iločki podrumi, Graševina, Kutjevo, Graševina, Krauthaker, Traminac, Iločki podrumi, Terre Bianche cuvee blanc, Degrassi, Malvazija, Kozlović, Malvazija, Benvenutti, Malvazija, Alba barrique, Matošević, Merlot Festigia, Agrolaguna, Pošip, Zlatan otok, Plavac Mili, Istravino, Dingač, PZ i vinarija Dingač, Korlat Syrah, Badel 1862, Babić, Gracin.

IWINETC 2012 is excited to present the Vina Croatia Experience: A Tasting led by Saša Špiranec, on Tuesday January 31 at 6:00pm.

“Life on the Douro” Documentary Premiere at IWINETC 2012, Umbria, Italy

Zev Robinson is a Canadian-British filmmaker currently living in Spain.  Many of his projects have centered around food and wine, and his most recent documentary, “Life on the Douro”, is filmed over a 15 month period and connects 300 years of history in Porto and the Douro.  He has worked in Portugal, Spain and now has his sights in Italy!

Wine Pleasures is very pleased to announce the Premiere Film showing in Italy of “Life on the Douro” at this years International Wine and Tourism Conference.  In preparation for the showing, we caught up with Zev Robinson about his documentary and his views on wine, port, and film.  Below are the answers to his questions:

1.  Can you tell us a little about your background in Film and in Wine?

I’m a Canadian-British filmmaker and artist currently living in Spain. I’ve been working with video for about 10 years now, and started doing documentaries on Spanish wine almost four years ago, then began Life on the Douro in 2010, and I’ve just started one on Italy. I enjoy wine, but it is the culture and the production side of wine that interests me that my films focus on.

2.  What was the inspiration behind the documentary?

When we lived in London, I remember buying a bottle of wine from the Valencian region where we now live and where my father-in-law has vineyards, and clearly thinking that no one really realizes all that goes into the making it, starting with the toil, hardships and risks the farmer goes through. After returning to Spain to live in a small village, I was taking a walk one day through the surrounding vineyards, and suddenly had the idea of tracing the process that goes into the making of a bottle of wine.

3.  What was your favorite part of the project, and what was your biggest challenge?

It’s all one enormous challenge, it constantly shifts and develops, and you need patience and perseverance. The challenges are constant, but the biggest one is getting below the surface of things, understanding all that gone into producing a bottle of wine, showing  the complexity of the culture of wine that runs from rural subsistence farmers to urban wine tasters, and trying to make sure that the film conveys it in a coherent narrative structure.

4.  What about the Douro is so unique from the perspective of wine and wine culture?

With the unique, incredible landscape of the Douro, the approximately 200 kilometers of steep, terraced vineyards, the enduring, eternal quality of wine in general is made so evident, that wine goes way beyond a single person, his tastes and opinions, or a single generation, or even a century. The relationship between man and nature is also visually clear as you see how nature dominates while man struggles to carve out a bit of it for himself while depending on it.

There is also the relationship between the Portuguese and the English which created the region and the fortification process in the first place, and it is fascinating in its terms of the economics, history, and culture of wine.

5.  What do you hope to convey in your film, and how has your perception of Wine and Port changed after having made this film?

As I said above, the whole challenge is to discover what goes into making a bottle of wine, and so my perception has to change. As I film and then edit, and go back to film some more, my understanding of the complexities, contradictions and conflicts of the wine world is constantly shifting. I hope to convey that wine is a complex, intricate fabric with many different layers involved, and not merely a beverage.

6.  What was the best Port you tasted on your trip, and do you have any bottles tucked away for a special occasion?

I’ve been lucky enough to taste some great old Ports (and other wines), that is one of the side benefits of what I do. But I don’t have a “best” Port, it is the variety that interests me, especially in terms of its cultural context. I do have some bottles tucked away, but I want to stay neutral and won’t mention any names.

7.  Any more wine-themed films on the horizon?

Life on the Douro is my third wine related film, the first, about wine production in the Valencian region where we live and mentioned above, was La Bobal  . That was followed by Dinastia Vivanco. My next one will be about Arribes a magical, fascinating region in Spain just over the border from Portugal with a very different history, which was once covered in vineyards but now only has 700 hectares left, but has also attracted people from other regions looking for new challenges and goals. I’ve been working on that for over two years, and for three years on my Spanish wine documentary which should be finished after that. I’ve started one on Italy, but it’s still early days with that.

The Premiere Italy showing of “Life on the Douro” is on Tuesday, January 31st at 3:45pm.  Don’t miss a chance to see the film and network with wine enthusiasts from around the globe!

A special thank you to Patrick Denis and e-Tourism Forum for making this screening a reality at IWINETC 2012

Slow Food at a Fast Pace

Orvieto, January 28 weather sunny, crisp & cool.

What is that I nose in my glass. Vaguely honey/ muscat-like aroma, with a flinty fruity palate. This is nothing like the bland Orvieto that I have tasted stateside. It’s been a hectic first day with the —trying to stay with the tour.

Our first stop in Umbria is the cobble-stoned town of Orvieto with its jaw-dropping duomo and historical caves. New world architecture captures historical ambience in the town’s enoteca where we are seated and treated. Walked and talked through to three of the region’s wines, Custido Orvieto, Calenco Sangiovese Cabernet Sauvignon and Cardito Muffata (a sauternes-like sticky). The red smacks of berry fruits, the sweet wine of apricots and almonds.

Orvieto, town and landscape is also wedded to the Slow Food Movement. The head office Citta Slow has its head office there as well. As we taste and learn about the wines our hostess shares he knowledge of the charcuterie, wild boar, cheeses, grains and pulses, (fave beans in particular), for which the region is noted.

At La Pergola, fat noodles are a vehicle for those favas which get pureed, sauced and dotted with guanciale (pig’s cheek). Wild boar too shows up as pate, stew, and sausage for another thinner noodled dish—and surprisingly good with another Orvieto—Il Caio but better with Elicius a blend of indigenous montepulciano/sagrantino grapes. Falesco (a blend of Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc) slowly evolved, perfect for two off the menu surprises; a casserole of the boar’s “fifth quarter” (aka the animal’s naughty bits) and a dish of tripe with tomato sauce.

Another sweetie, Palazone, neither vin santo or sauternes hints strongly of marmalade and nutmeg. What a tops off our lively food and wine  evening.  Bread and silence are firmly broken for our week to come

Stumbling back to our gracious digs, the Hotel Piccolomini I crawl between the smooth, silky sheets.

Umbria already comes off as distinctly different from more famous (and touristic) Tuscany. I say bring it on.

Looking forward to Montefalco. Stay tuned…

Julie Pegg
Freelance food/wine/travel
Vancouver Editor/Senior writer/EAT Magazine
Kitsilano Wine Cellar/wine retail


A Perugia 300 operatori e case history da tutto il mondo per l’evento organizzato da Wine Pleasures e Movimento Turismo Vino

(Perugia, 27 gennaio 2012). Tutto pronto per la Conferenza Internazionale sul Turismo del Vino e Workshop 2012 (IWINETC), per la prima volta in Italia grazie alla partnership tra Wine Pleasures e Movimento Turismo del Vino Italia. Dal 30 gennaio al 2 febbraio a Perugia 300 professionisti da 40 Paesi faranno il punto su un settore che coinvolge 3 milioni di italiani per i quali l’enogastronomia è il complemento più rilevante di viaggio, dopo la notorietà dei luoghi. Un fenomeno, l’enoturismo, che ha ancora ampi margini di crescita: il comparto ha sviluppato solo il 20% del suo potenziale e secondo il Censis potrebbe arrivare a toccare 5,5 milioni di turisti nel 2011 (dati Censis – Città del Vino, marzo 2011). A tracciare le tendenze e profilo dell’enoturista secondo le cantine sarà l’indagine “Il volto dell’enoturista oggi” Movimento Turismo del Vino – Centro Italiano di Studi Superiori sul Turismo che sarà presentata dalla presidente Chiara Lungarotti (1 febbraio ore 17:00). Nella giornata di apertura, il 30 gennaio, partecipa il capo di Gabinetto del Ministero per il Turismo e Sport, Giuseppe Greco. Tra gli interventi previsti nella conferenza, anche quello del coordinatore degli assessori regionali all’Agricoltura e assessore all’Agricoltura Regione Puglia, Dario Stefàno (31 gennaio), dell’assessore alle Politiche Agricole e Agroalimentari, Fernanda Cecchini e dell’assessore al Turismo Regione Umbria, Fabrizio Bracco (30 gennaio).

Nella tre giorni, 5 sessioni plenarie con contributi da tutto il mondo: dalle case history estere e strategie di marketing per la promozione integrata dei vini territori e loro territori (da Australia, Germania, Austria, Lussemburgo, UK, Usa) alle destinazioni enoturistiche emergenti (Georgia e Cile); dalle strade del vino straniere (Borgogna e Weinstraße tedesche) fino a quelle virtuali offerte da web 2.0, nuovi social network, app mobile e  possibili applicazioni di realtà aumentata. Riflettori puntati anche sull’Italia, con le esperienze di Puglia, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Umbria, Sicilia e sulla zona del Franciacorta e Garda. Tra i big del vino che si confronteranno con proposte, strategie e analisi, Jane Hunt, Master of Wine dal 1985 che vanta un lungo sodalizio con l’Italia e i suoi vini (30 gennaio ore 16:00), Donatella Cinelli Colombini, fondatrice del Movimento Turismo del Vino con la Strada del Vino 2.0 (1 febbraio ore 16:00),  Anthony Swift , presidente di Wine Pleasures e fondatore di Iwinetc (31 gennaio ore 12:00).

Primo piano sulle eccellenze enologiche, con degustazioni italiane e internazionali : dal Grand Tasting “The Many Flavours of Italy” (30 gennaio ore 17:30) con la Hunt a “Tutta Puglia” curata da MTV Puglia (31 gennaio ore 18.00); dai vini croati (31 gennaio ore 18:00) a quelli georgiani (1 febbraio ore 15:00) per chiudere con vini dolci, liquorosi e passiti in “The sweet side of Umbria”  a cura di MTV Umbria (1 febbraio ore 18:30). Spazio anche alla gastronomia, con la serata degustazione Regione Umbria e Apt Umbria presso il Castello dell’Oscano (30 gennaio, ore 20:30),  con simposi a tema Umbria e Croazia e con il pranzo a base di specialità pugliesi curato dal pluripremiato Pietro Zito dell’osteria ‘Antichi Sapori’ di Andria (30 gennaio).

A chiusura dell’evento focus sull’offerta con il Workshop dedicato agli operatori del settore: una piattaforma per comprare e vendere pacchetti enoturistici, prodotti del turismo enogastronomico e servizi correlati, dove sono attesi 40 tour operator. Focus inoltre sulla qualità dell’offerta enoturistica del Movimento, con gli educational tour riservati alla stampa internazionale e ai tour operator in programma da domani al 30 gennaio e dal 2 al 5 febbraio in Campania, Toscana, Marche ed Umbria.

Tra i patrocini e i partner dell’evento: Regione Umbria, Camera di Commercio Umbria, APT Umbria, Centro Estero Umbria, Comune e Provincia di Perugia, Soprintendenza per i Beni Storici, Artistici ed Etnoantropologici dell’Umbria, Coordinamento delle Strade del Vino,  La Bottega di Olivia & Marino Barilla Pavesi, www.Umbriaontheblog.it.

Per info www.movimentoturismovino.it e www.iwinetc.com. 


L’Associazione Movimento Turismo del Vino è un ente non profit ed annovera oltre 1.000 fra le più prestigiose cantine d’Italia, selezionate sulla base di specifici requisiti, primo fra tutti quello della qualità dell’accoglienza enoturistica. Obiettivo dell’associazione è promuovere la cultura del vino attraverso le visite nei luoghi di produzione. Ai turisti del vino il Movimento vuole, da una parte, far conoscere più da vicino l’attività e i prodotti delle cantine aderenti, dall’altra, offrire un esempio di come si può fare impresa nel rispetto delle tradizioni, della salvaguardia dell’ambiente e dell’agricoltura di qualità.


Momento d’incontro e di confronto tra operatori del settore nei vari Paesi produttori partecipanti, nonché di visite alle cantine e di degustazioni di vino, la Conferenza Internazionale sul Turismo del Vino è un momento di riflessione e analisi internazionale sul settore dell’Enoturismo. Nella precedente edizione – che si è svolta nella città di Porto – l’Iwinetc ha visto circa 173 delegati provenienti da oltre 30 Paesi, tra cui Argentina, Austria, Brasile, Croazia, Lettonia, India e Sud Africa, 45 tour operator e agenzie di viaggio specializzati nel turismo enogastronomico (+ 30% rispetto al 2010) e ben 326 tra giornalisti, bloggers ed esperti di settore provenienti da tutta Europa e dagli Stati Uniti.

So much for the 5 senses at IWINETC 2012

The IWINETC 2012 online Conference Programme and IPhone App are officially Ready!  Download the App for moment to moment access to all of the talks, Speakers and Speaker profiles, Daytime Tours and Evening Activities, Social Programme, Workshop Participants and information, and conference news!

You will find content about the Plenary Sessions with Michael Wangbickler and his talk “Wine tourism does not exist. There is only tourism”, Jane Hunt’s “A Personal View – Success and Pitfalls”, Chiara Lungarotti’s “Italian Wineries Speak and a New Tourism Strategy is Born”, and “Croatia as a grape escape destination” by Zlatan Muftic.

Don’t miss a wine tasting!  Find out about the when’s and where’s of the “Wines of Georgia”, “Wines of Croatia”, and “Wines of Puglia”, as well as the “Straw wine passito tasting – The Sweet Side of Umbria”, and of course Jane Hunt’s “The Many Flavours of Italy”.

Check out Celebrity Wine Review’s exclusive interview with Top Chef Fan Favorite, Chef Fabio Viviano on January 30th at 12:00pm, and watch the Premiere film showing in Italy of  Zev Robinson’s “Life on the Douro” on January 31st at 3:45pm, a documentary about the recent rejuvination of Portugal and the Douro, connecting with it 300 years of history.

Learn about the Australian market at Robin Shaw’s talk, “Wine in Tourism – The Australian approach to wine tourism development”, and find out how to market to today’s consumer at Michael Wangbickler’s talk “Getting the word out – Marketing to the Millennials”.  Take a course on WSET and why it’s important at Gillian Arthur’s talk “Wine Education and why Italy needs WSET”, and explore with Ia Tabagari at her talk on “Wine Tourism Destination Georgia”.

Peruse our Daytime Tours and Evening Activities and explore the history and culture around Umbria in Montefalco, Orvieto, Narni and Torigiano.  Spend and evening with the Goretti Family, at the Margaritelli Cellar, in the Chiorri Winery, or at the A Priori Wine Bar.

So much to see and do in so little time!  Keep up with all of the events and see, taste, and explore the best of Italy, brought to you by Wine Pleasures!  There are many activities going on at once, so be sure to download the App now, and find out which talks and events are most interesting to you! Follow and publish live tweets on the hastag #iwinetc

The Barossa comes to Italy!

Robin Shaw is excited to bring her vast knowledge of Australian Wine Tourism to this years Conference in Perugia, Italy!  A catalyst for Australias tourism industry, she is changing the landscape of wine tourism in Australia as we know it, and paving the way for an enhanced market in Australia.

As one of the speakers at the 2012 International Wine Tourism Conference, we had the opportunity to speak with Shaw about wine tourism in Italy.  Below are Shaw’s responses to our questions:

1. Robin, can you tell us about your background and what got you interested in the wine and tourism business some 18 years ago? 

After travelling around Australia for a few years working in various roles, I settled back in Melbourne to play hockey and landed a job selling canoes and kayaks.  Eventually, I decided it wasn’t a lifelong career (although I’m still a keen recreational paddler) and a new direction was in order, so I applied for and got a position with leading family winery De Bortoli (who, ironically, are Italian).  My parents had been “into wine” – or at least that’s what I thought when I was young – and had a collection of Eisweins they purchased during a trip to Germany in the mid-70’s.  They ambitiously laid all of it down for my 21st but they didn’t know much about cellaring, and most of it was undrinkable by the time the event occurred 15 years later… I was more of a bourbon girl in my early 20s, but that quickly changed when I attended my first wine appreciation course and suddenly wanted to discover all the amazing styles out there.  De Bortoli was famous for its production of sauternes styles and I still have a collection of Noble One wines from the 80s and early 90s – I suspect I will need to drink them with suitable company soon.

After a year with De Bortoli, I was offered an opportunity to manage Australia’s largest wine club at the time, which meant sourcing wine from producers all over Australia. This necessitated visits to the wine regions and I remember being overwhelmed at the generous hospitality and camaraderie among the winemakers.  So much so, I wanted to be part of it, and moved to the Barossa Valley to run a small cellar door facility. Eventually I joined Orlando Wines (now part of global giant Pernod Ricard) and in 2002 launched the newly created Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre. Set up as a dedicated wine tourism facility, it was a first for the Barossa, and continues to lead the way, having been inducted into the SA Tourism Hall of Fame.  (I will be showcasing the centre during my presentation).

This led me to think more about the tourism element and in 2003 I joined SA Tourism as the state’s Wine & Food Tourism Adviser, responsible for developing the capacity and capability of the wine regions from a tourism perspective.  During a conversation with a colleague, I lamented that we had no real information available regarding world’s best practice wine tourism where one can learn more about the vegan friendly prosecco as well. She suggested I consider applying for a Winston Churchill Fellowship, so I looked up the website, realised applications wouldn’t be open until January 2004 and diarised to look it up again in a few months time. As luck would have it, a national position opened up in early 2004 and I joined the Winemaker’s Federation of Australia as their tourism development manager – about the time my diary note popped up reminding me to check criteria for the Fellowship. So I conducted some brief research among my industry colleagues and applied for a 9 week tour of some of the world’s key wine tourism regions, including South Africa, France, Canada, Napa/Sonoma and New Zealand.  It proved to be a turning point for me personally and for the future direction of Australian wine tourism, as I applied the knowledge I had gained to Australia’s cellar doors and wine regions.

Since then, I’ve been fortunate to be invited to places like Chile and South Africa to work with their wine industries, although my main focus has been on developing Australia’s wine tourism capability.

2. What is Australia’s National Wine & Food Tourism Strategy and how has it evolved over the past decade?

Australia has been at the forefront of wine tourism development at national, state and regional level, since the release of the first national strategy in 1998.  The original strategy – which I was employed to implement – was quite ambitious and I made a decision to focus on industry development first; we needed ‘product’ in the market place before we could actually ‘market’ wine tourism successfully.  Most wine producers were very ‘production-oriented’, so the initial focus was to convince winemakers that by hanging up a ‘cellar door’ shingle they were in fact now in the ‘tourism’ business – not just the wine business. By utilising case studies, consumer research and tourism development resources, we were able to develop dedicated resources for wine producers to assist them in developing their cellar doors – including business planning, infrastructure development and visitor experiences.

Wine and food are not usually regarded as drivers for tourism by tourism agencies, so the challenge has been to demonstrate the value of providing rich visitor experiences at cellar doors in regional Australia. The current strategy recognises the synergy between wine and food and the value of providing experiences that combine both – also in conjunction with other experiences and services on winery properties – and the imperative to position Australia as a global culinary tourism destination (an honour shared by countries such as Italy, France and Spain – and not something Australia has been known for in the past).

The strategy is actually a ‘framework’ for states, regions and individual wineries to implement at their relevant levels, rather than a directive from the national organisation.  This approach allows greater relevance and buy-in by industry and organisations and ensures everyone is ‘singing from the same hymn-sheet’.

3. You have travelled extensively all over the globe researching food and wine tourism, are there any dramatic similarities or differences between the Australian and Italian markets as tourist destinations?  

I cannot yet comment on the Italian experience as this will be my first visit! But there are certainly big differences between the old world and new world approach to wine tourism – which is to be expected.  The old world destinations have the benefit of centuries of tradition and culture while the new world destinations tend to be more tourism oriented, with some very sophisticated offerings.  Australian wine tourism offerings tend to reflect the attributes of their individual regions and proximity to major cities. Upmarket winery restaurants are more common in regions near Melbourne and Sydney and major wine tourism destinations such as Margaret River, whereas regions such as the Barossa tend to focus on more intimate food experiences that reflect local culture and produce.

4. We are less than 2 weeks away from the 2012 International Wine Tourism Conference, what are you most looking forward to at this years event?

As this is my first visit to Italy – and my first time at this event – I’m very keen to share the Australian story and learn how wine tourism is being developed in other countries and regions. In particular, I’m looking forward to meeting people from across the globe who are as passionate about wine tourism as I am!

5. What is your favourite Italian wine and/or wine region?

I really love bubbles and Prosecco (the dry versions) are among my favourites.  There is a strong Italian wine making community in Australia, and the winemakers of the King Valley are producing some terrific examples of Prosecco and traditional Italian varietal wines.  I intend to visit Tuscany and Piedmont on this trip – so I’m looking forward to learning about the wines from those regions.

Join the International Wine Tourism Conference and network with Robin and 200 – 300 more attendees. Robin will be delivering a talk at the Wine Tourism Conference on January 31, 2012 at 12:00 titled: Wine in Tourism – The Australian approach to wine tourism development

Opening plenary talk IWINETC 2012 “Wine tourism does not exist”

Innovative marketing is an ongoing challenge for large and small business owners alike, and for those looking to keep up, Michael Wangbickler offers helpful wine communications and marketing tidbits on his site, Caveman Wines.  Also a Digital Media Specialist and Account Manager at Balzac Communications, Wine & Spirits Diploma holder and Certified Wine Educator, Wangbickler is highly equipped to convert even the unsavviest of wine and tourism marketing neanderthals into modern guru’s!

We were able to catch up with Wangbickler about his views on wine tourism in Italy and his upcoming presentation at the 2012 International Wine Tourism Conference.  Below are his responses to our questions.

1. The landscape of the marketing business has changed so much in recent years, can you mention one or two of the most dramatic changes that have occurred and how business owners today are affected?

The most significant change I’ve seen in the area of marketing has to be the evolution of marketing communications channels. The old model of advertising, PR, event marketing, direct marketing, etc. are still necessary, but they are having less and less influence. Print publications and traditional broadcast media have steadily lost ground against online content providers. The modern consumer is more savvy and informed than those of the past, and they tend to distrust traditional mediums. For example, in a study conducted by Nielsen Research a few years ago, of those surveyed only 14% stated that they trusted broadcast advertising. Consider the return on investment when only 14% of the people you are trying to reach trust what you say. With the advent of such technologies as iPhone, iPad, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. the whole game has changed. Sure, these are just other vehicles through which to communicate your key messages, but they are quickly outshining traditional methods. Today’s business owner, if they wish to compete, need to be more technically savvy and flexible when it comes to marketing their products and services. Those that don’t are liable to go the way of the dinosaurs.

2. What is the biggest mistake business owners, like those in the Wine and Tourism business, are making these days in their marketing approaches?

Not knowing their audience, or marketing to the wrong one. The tendency of those in the wine and hospitality sector is to market to wine geeks. We talk about terroir and vineyard spacing and varietal character and pH levels and so on. Guess what? Only a very small segment of the greater population really cares about that. What most people want is an experience that is memorable and enjoyable. This is especially true in the U.S. market where only 20% of the population are core wine drinkers. Of those 20%, maybe .1% really wants to know the titratable acidity of a wine. So how do you set yourself apart from the thousands of other wineries competing for the same small group of consumers. Don’t fish where everyone else is fishing, go find a pond that’s less crowded with more fish.

3. In the opening session of the conference you will be talking about Wine Tourism as only a part the Tourism business as a whole.  How important is it for Wine and Tourism business owners to understand their position in the overall market?

Without giving too much away, my premise is pretty simple. Wine regions are not unique in the world. They pretty much all have the same things in common. Tourists are tourists, no matter where they go. Wine can be a part of what draws someone to wine country, but it is generally not the driving factor. They are looking to have a good time, regardless of the setting. Wineries and wine regions must compete with other tourist destinations. As soon as wineries and wine regions realize this fact, the more successful they will be over time.

4. What is your impression of Italy as a Food and Wine Tourism marketplace? 

I think that when many people think of the idyllic wine country experience, they think of Italy. The wine, the food, the culture, the country has everything. The problem is that it is so fragmented that people are confused about where to go and what to see. Most Italian wine regions haven’t done a very good job of marketing themselves as a desired destination.

5. The 2012 International Wine Tourism Conference is just around the corner, what are you looking forward to at this years event?

I’m looking forward to discovering the wines and culture of Umbria and catching up with old friends. And, of course, I’m eager to attend other sessions and hear what others say about wine tourism.

Join the International Wine Tourism Conference and network with Michael and many more attendees. Michael will be delivering the opening plenary session at the Wine Tourism Conference on  Monday January 30, 2012 at 09:45 titled: Wine Tourism Does not Exist

Discover Friuli Venezia Giulia with Movimento Turismo de Vino

With a 11+ years experience in the wine tourism business, Chiara Tuppy has a hand in various sides of the wine tourism business.  Chiara is a tourist planner for the Consorzio Turistico Gorizia e l’Isontino, technical director of Vinodila’ Wineways, owner of Avant Srl, and she has been a tourism contact for The Movimento Turismo de Vino for over a decade.

We had the opportunity to speak with Chiara about wine tourism in Italy and her upcoming presentation at the 2012 International Wine Tourism Conference.  Below are her responses to our questions. 

1.  What is Movimento Turismo de Vino & what is it’s vision for wine tourism in Italy? 

Movimento Turismo del Vino is a national association joined by about 800 wineries spread all around the country. Movimento Turismo del Vino Friuli Venezia Giulia has about 110 associated wineries. The aim of the association is to promote wine culture by visiting the wineries 

2.  What variety of services can tourists expect to find through Movimento Tourismo de Vino? 

Movimento Turismo del Vino offers tourists a wide range of services: from wine and food tours and tastings, to cultural and sport tours in the best locations of our fantastic region. 

3.  You will be talking about wine tourism in Friuli Venezia Giulia at this years International Wine Conference, what can our audience expect to learn most about this region? 

The audience will learn about our new project which consists in putting in place a proactive collaboration among different tourism players in Friuli Venezia Giulia: our association, the newborn wine routes (Strada del Vino e Sapori del Goriziano e Strada del Vino e Sapori Colli del Friuli) and Slowways (joined by the tourism consortia of central Friuli). Our aim is to create a network to provide tourists all the services they may need, from information to booking. 

4.  The association’s motto is “see what you’re drinking”, and has been adopted by the wineries of Friuli Venezia Giulia, what does this phrase mean? 

Through our motto we would like to communicate the importance for tourists and wine lovers to meet wine producers and to experience in person their warm hospitality in order to best appreciate the wine they produce. 

5.  What are you most looking forward to at this years conference? 

This conference will be an opportunity to talk to the audience about our new integrated project and to share best practices with other tourism players.

Join the International Wine Tourism Conference and network with Chiara and 200 – 300 more attendees. Chiara will be delivering a talk at the Wine Tourism Conference on January 31, 2012 at 15:30 titled: Wine Routes in Friuli Venezia Giulia