Historic Heritage Setting for the IWINETC Welcome Reception announced

The setting for the International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC) 2023 Welcome Reception will be the historic building of the Pontificial Seminary, situated the Tarraconensian Centre. The IWINETC Welcome Reception will take place in front of the chapel dedicated to Saint Paul set within magnificent neo-gothic cloisters. The Chapel is built on a rock where it is alleged that the apostle Saint Paul sat to preach the Gospel to the people of Tarragona back in the XIII Century.

While the IWINETC Welcome Reception won’t have Saint Paul to welcome conference delegates there will be Marta Domènech i Tomàs – Managing Director of the Tourism, Narcís Ferrer i Ferrer – Director of the Agència Catalana de Turisme and Damià Serrano i Miracle – Director de Marketing of Experiences and Research also at the Agència Catalana de Turisme. Also saying a few words of welcome will be the Mayor of Tarragona, Mr Pau Ricomà Vallhonrat​.

The IWINETC Welcome Reception provides conference delegates travelling to Tarragona from some 25 different countries to start IWINETC in style by networking and connecting with industry colleagues over a selection of delicious traditional Catalan tapas dishes and of course wine!

Industry professionals can register to attend IWINETC 2023 Tarragona here>>

Keynote Speakers revealed for IWINETC 2023

Dream – team of Keynotes for industry-leading Conference Programme

IWINETC has announced 5 keynote speakers for IWINETC 2023, which takes place in Tarragona, Spain, from the 23rd to 24th of March.

4 of the big 5 namely Roberta Garibaldi (Vice President of the OCED Tourism Committee, Italy), Judith Lewis (Digital & Media Consultant), Peter Syme, (Tour Specialist & Strategic Advisor) and Chris Torrres, (Brand and Digital Tourism Expert) are back by popular demand.

The 5th keynote announced is the Coordinator of the Master’s degree in Gastronomy Tourism, Basque Culinary Center: David Mora.

David will be delivering a talk titled Designing Experiential Wine & Culinary Tourism Products that WOW

Why does travelling makes us happy? Is everything in life an “experience”? We will get to know some of the elements that would lead to a memorable food and wine tourism experience, as well as a possible itinerary to design them.

Additional expert speakers will be announced in early January 2023

Anthony Swift, Event Director, IWINETC, said: “We’re very excited to welcome back some of our “regulars” to deliver once again inspiring content in our market-leading conference talk programme. Post-pandemic, we’ve all become that much more immersed in and open to the incredible potential of digital marketing and technology, and we’re delighted to have sessions led by Judith Lewis, Peter Syme and Chris Torres which will provide attendees with tangible learnings to take back and implement in their own businesses.

We are also very excited to have David Mora join us to focus on not only wine tourism but also food tourism in the framework of designing experiential tourism products.

We can’t wait to share the IWINETC experience direct to a live audience next March under the slogan “Fermenting ideas for a Bubbly future”

IWINETC 2023 takes place 23 & 24 March 2023  and will incorporate a Welcome reception for all attendees, a day and a half of conference talks, an exhibition area, a B2B Workshop, Fam trips for Agents and optional pre and post conference wine tasting tours for delegates.

The event brings together around 300 wine and culinary tourism professionals from around the world for two days of business events, networking and inspirational education sessions.


IWINETC 2022 Announcement

Due to recent and continuing political unrest in some grape escape destinations within Europe some of our key sponsors are not able to commit resources to host IWINETC 2022 and so with great regret we are not able to schedule the 14th annual edition of IWINETC this year.

The good news is we are connecting with destinations and planning for IWINETC 2023 and look forward to making an announcment later this year.

In the meantime we invite you to keep up to date with news and developments by joining either our FB group page or our Linkedin group page.

IWINETC 2021Highlights!

It’s been another great edition of IWINETC. Here are some of the highlights:

Day 1 Monday 25 October

IWINETC 2021 uncorked with new connections made while on an afternoon tour and tasting at Calem Cellars!  Conference delegates embarked on an interactive tour and tasting in this hotspot for Port wine tasting! New insights were gained at one of the oldest Port wine houses, Caves Ferreira!  Speakers and delegates explored the ancient caves together and enjoyed a guided tasting of Port wines during an IWINETC exclusive tour. The welcome reception proved very popular! A veritable journey of wines guided by Ligia Marques through Portugal was on offer. Wines were tasted from  the Algarve, Madeira, Alentejo, Douro, Vinho Verde, Dão, and more from wineries dating back to the 11th century. The welcome reception was put on at Casa Ferreira where conference delegates were treated to a live performance of traditional Fado music while enjoying a mouthwatering assortment of Portuguese delicacies.

Day 2 Tuesday 26 October

The Opening Ceremony included welcome speeches from Anthony Swift, IWINETC Director, Ricardo Valente, Vice Chairman of the Porto and North of Portugal Tourism Board,  Filipe Silva – Turismo de Portugal Board Member and José Guilherme Aguiar – Vereador da CM Gaia. The Porto and North of Portugal Tourism Board opened the conference talk programme with a plenary session consisting of two two talks: Destination Porto and North of Portugal delivered by Raquel Rodrigues and The Porto and North of Portugal Wine Tourism Routes delivered by Manuel Pinheiro.

The day continued with inspiring talks from industry experts such as Chris Torres on Traveler Intent for 2021 and Beyond, Carlos Brito on Wine Tourism Branding, Felicity Carter on Dealing with Disruption and Judith Lewis on Post Pandemic Digital Recovery to name just a few of the speakers on stage.

The day ended with a a “MasterClass” of a wine from each of the 4 regions making up the Wine Tourism Routes of Porto and North Portugal which was followed by an evening networking dinner at the World of Wine (WOW).

Day 3 Wednesday 27 October

The conference brought past and future together: conference delegates discussed how the future could be shaped and also analysed important data on wine tourism from the past.  Delegates attended several interactive presentations by the industry experts, highlighting the  importance  of such concepts as sustainability, innovation and customer engagement.

After a light lunch delegates were able to witness a Regata of Rabelo boats on the Douro, demonstrating the traditional way of transporting Port wines.

In the afternoon it was time for business. 22 wine tourism experience providers and 30 agents specialised in wine and/or culinary tourism took part in a B2B Workshop at the stylish Lodge Wine and Business hotel, enabling both parties to make business connections. The day ended with Networking dinner at VINUM restaurant looking over stunning Porto by night.

Day 4 & 5 Thursday & Friday 28 & 29 October.  

Agents, media and several conference delegates spent two days discovering Porto and the North of Portugal as a grape escape destination with visits to wineries and Port Cellars such as Quinto do Seixa, Quinta da Roeda, Vintage House, Sandeman and Taylor’s to name 4 of the many visited.

Day 6 Saturday 30 October

Saturday morning saw many delegates visit the World of Wine (WOW) complex with the majority opting for the Wine Experience and Planet Cork. Entrance tickets to WOW were kindly sponsored by the Fladgate Partnership giving all conference delegates the chance to visit this 105 milllion Euro attraction.

Here’s the video. See if you can spot yourself!

Uncorking IWINETC 2021!

It’s been a fantastic day here at IWINETC in Vila Nova de Gaia! 

  – New connections were made while on a private tour and tasting at Calem Cellars!  Conference delegates embarked on an interactive tour and tasting in this hotspot for Port wine tasting!

  – New insights were gained at one of the oldest Port wine houses, Caves Ferreira!  Speakers and delegates explored the ancient caves together and enjoyed a guided tasting of Port wines during an IWINETC exclusive tour.

  – The welcome reception proved very popular! A veritable journey of wines through Portugal was on offer. Wines were tasted from  Algarve, Madeira, Alentejo, Douro, Vinho Verde, Dão, and more from wineries dating back to the 11th century. 

The welcome reception was put on at Casa Ferreirinha where conference delegates were treated to a live performance of traditional Fado music while enjoying a mouthwatering assortment of Portuguese delicacies.

Next up a the serious stuff with many talks to choose from from indsutry experts. View the conference programme here>>

Meet the Experts 121 at IWINETC

The outstanding IWINETC conference talk programme provides a range of innovative, creative and cutting edge sessions by sought after industry experts. The programme also has been designed to get you one to one meetings with 3 of our keynote speakers which will allow you to gain new perspectives and address key issues related to you and/or your business.

Judith Lewis will be running a SEO Site Clinic where she will analyse your site, check your keyword coverage and visibility, answer your questions, diagnose any problems you are having, and make recommendations of what you may wish to change and how (as well as why).

Peter Syme will be on hand to discuss your online marketing, advertising, social media strategy and sales management.

Chris Torres will be running Marketing and Business clinics where he will take a look at your business or destination and suggest tools and stategies to implement with online Marketing.

These site clinics will be available on day 1 & 2 of the conference providing actionable advice for your business as part of your IWINETC ticket. Limited number of places so early booking is required. To book a time slot please email cherry@winepleasures.com quoting your conference invoice number. Bookings on a first come first serve basis. Limited number of time slots.

Porto and North of Portugal Tourism Board launchs the Wine Tourism Routes

The Porto and North of Portugal Wine Tourism Routes has been created with the aim of helping to boost sustainable tourism in the region by taking advantage of the huge potential of its vine and wine culture, associating it with the reputation and location of Porto and North of Portugal as a tourist destination.

The route arises from a protocol entered into with the four existing routes corresponding to each of the wine regions, Douro, Vinhos Verdes, Távara-Varosa and Trás-os-Montes, as a means of creating differentiated wine tourism experiences on each of the four routes. This interconnection, whether physical or functional, is capable of arousing considerable interest in the consumer market through a thoroughly screened and identified provision of services.

Due to the fact this is a relatively recent activity in Portugal, the wine cluster accounts for a large slice of the tourism sector in northern Portugal. The last ten years have registered a highly significant growth in the number of wine-producing estates, which have found wine tourism to be an extremely interesting way of promoting their products including the branded bottled water. There are currently more than 400 estates in the region with the potential to engage in tourist activity, this being a very important means of boosting activity related to a product that is of enormous strategic value for the region.

Wine and tourism are two strategic sectors of the national economy and provide a major contribution to the country´s Gross Domestic Product, and which, due to networking and the use of synergies, will certainly become one of the biggest tourist attractions in Porto and northern Portugal.

A Global Benchmark

“Some of these estates have undergone a process of adaptation to the reality of wine tourism and are now recognised on a worldwide basis, and have earned important international awards”, declares Luís Pedro Martins, the president of Porto and North of Portugal Tourism Board.

This ambitious project aims to help the region establish itself as a benchmark in the field of food and wine tourism on a global scale, enabling it to compete with other destinations that have been successfully exploiting wine tourism for some time. “There is no reason why we can´t be major players in the area of ​​wine tourism; other regions have achieved success without our natural and landscape resources, our secular history, or our range of hotels and restaurants”, points out the president of Porto and Northern Portugal Tourism. This product is highly appealing, easily wins over new audiences, creates an emotional relationship and, when well exploited and streamlined, boosts other tourism products “such as gastronomy, culture, nature, water-based activities, health and well-being, among others”. The creation of an integrated offer composed of the four wine-producing regions will have the greater advantage of attracting tourists for a longer period of time and distributing them among the four main destinations in the region – Porto, Douro, Trás-os-Montes and Minho – in a more organised manner.


Wine cellars, wineries, estates and hotels have been enhancing the areas in which they have been traditionally sound and increasing investment in the continuous improvement of their infrastructure, thereby strengthening the wine tourist’s emotional relationship with their brand, district and region, generating natural income from the sale of wines.

The full enjoyment of the wine tourism experience is subject to the following criteria:

Winemaking visits

These visits are geared to getting to know the winemaking culture and the respective wines of each of the regions of northern Portugal, from the vineyard to the winemaking processes, aging and the end product.

– Visits to places of interest related to winemaking

Visits to museums, ruins, artisans and other places directly or indirectly associated with the winemaking culture and which represent an interesting tourist venue in each of the regions.

– Accommodation

The provision of duly licensed accommodation, which, due to the fact it is directly or indirectly linked to wine culture, can be used to promote and market the route. Accommodation units should by choice be based in a wine-producing landscape or in an urban environment with wine culture as a theme, and geared to the appreciation of the wines of the winemaking region in which they are located.

Meal Service

Restaurants, wine bars, bars and/or cafés, duly registered for the exercise of this activity, which, in addition to providing a specific range of certified wines from the winemaking region in which they are based, composed of at least eight types of wine from four different producers, can provide the gastronomic experiences typical of the region, thereby constituting an interesting stopover along the Route. Menus and wine lists should be translated into at least one foreign language (preferably English) and, whenever possible, should also be available in braille. This activity can also include places mentioned in the previous items that, in addition, provide a permanent meal service.

Tourist Entertainment

In addition to the aforementioned activities, participants can also engage in other activities of a tourist nature, such as excursions and/or picnics in vineyards, as well as workshops and other events aimed at directly or indirectly diversifying the services on offer associated with the wine culture of the region in question. These tourist entertainment activities should identify both the target audience and the respective degree of difficulty, in addition to other relevant factors in relation to the activity.

Sustainability and storytelling

One of the biggest guidelines for tourist activity in the near future is the reduction of the ecological footprint in tourism. This practice is part of the guidelines given to agents, suggesting the implementation of an integrated development strategy with the assumption of a principle of responsibility in relation to the land and exploration thereof, thereby reducing the impact of the activity on the environment. As such, the adoption of good practices with regard to environmental sustainability is recommended, such as the selective collection of waste, incentives to reduce the consumption of water and, whenever possible, the option of alternative sources of energy. Moreover, consumers/visitors should be taught to adopt practices aimed at safeguarding the environment.

Efforts should be made to assess and enhance the facilities, the service, the surrounding nature and history and tradition, such as the history of the building, the landscape, the architect entrusted with the project, the beauty of the garden, collections associated with wine, among others, capable of adding value and setting the services apart when compared to other participants in the Route, in the sense that the services as a whole can provide the market with new experiences that will attract tourists from different segments of society. These aspects are increasingly appreciated by the profile of the modern tourist.


Participants should be committed to the protection of natural resources and should be willing to take part in or implement programmes geared to safeguarding these resources and enhancing the wine heritage. It is of paramount importance that the site of the tourist experience features the unique characteristics of the region in order to guarantee the authenticity of the experience. Materials associated with the region and wine culture should be prominent in the decoration and iconography of the site. The interpretation of the site´s natural and cultural heritage by the personnel interacting with clients should be complemented with historical facts and authentic stories and from the region as a means of enhancing the customer experience. To this end, local human resources should be hired to the extent possible. These two factors make a significant contribution to the social and cultural sustainability of the destination and should therefore be a priority for participants.

All participants will undertake to ensure all their promotional and informative material, on both physical and digital media, includes the image of the Wine and Wine Tourism Route of Porto and Northern Portugal, all the logos of the respective wine routes and wine tourism, as well as the destination brand for tourism in the region, and workers make a big effort in this industry to become financially stable and have a good life as well.

The four specific regions

– Douro and Porto Wines

The mission of the Douro and Porto Wine Institute is to promote the control of the quality and quantity of Porto wines and to regulate the production process, as well as the protection and defence of Douro and Porto designations of origin and Douro geographic indication. The institute promotes the prestigious international image of the Porto and Douro designations of origin, and aims to increase the perception of value by consumers, based on the solid differentiation of the products on offer with regard to the concepts of designation of origin and “terroir”.

– Vinhos Verdes Region Wine-Producing Culture Commission

The Demarcated Vinhos Verdes Region lies throughout northwestern Portugal in the area traditionally known as Entre-Douro-e-Minho. Its boundaries are the river Minho to the north, which forms part of the border with Spain, the river Douro and the Freita, Arada and Montemuro hills to the south, the Peneda, Gerês, Cabreira and Marão hills to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. In terms of geographic area, it is the biggest Demarcated Region in Portugal and one of the biggest in Europe.

– Regional Távora-Varosa Wine-Producing Commission

This region is home to the districts of Moimenta da Beira, Sernancelhe, Tarouca and a number of parishes in the districts of Penedono, São João da Pesqueira, Tabuaço, Armamar and Lamego, where the climate and granite soil ensure excellent conditions for the production of fresh wines and ideal levels of acidity for the production of sparkling wines.

The Porto and North of Portugal Wine Tourism Routes will be presented at the International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition and B2B Workshop (IWINETC) on Tuesday 26 October 2021 by Dr. Manuel Pinheiro at 10.30 at the Lodge Wine & Business Hotel.

IWINETC partners with Wine Travel Awards

The International Wine Tourism Conference returns to Porto this year

Communication Media Group Drinks+ became a media partner of the International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC), the most established global wine tourism conference and trade event for the wine and culinary tourism industry.

Wine tourism, despite the problems caused by the pandemic, is a growing category and especially in need of innovation. And in strengthening this direction, the organizers of IWINETC and the Wine Travel Awards (WTA), established by Communication Media Group Drinks+, see opportunities for overcoming the crisis.

Therefore, the partnership between these two parties is an important step on the path of support and promotion of enogastronomic tourism.

The 13th edition of IWINETC will take place at the brand new 5* The Lodge Wine & Business Hotel 26 & 27 October 2021. The venue has fabulous views of the Douro and Porto from the banks of the UNESCO World Heritage area in Vila Nova de Gaia.

In partnership with the Porto & North of Portugal Tourism Board, IWINETC will incorporate two full days of plenary talks, panel discussions, case studies, and speeches, one half day of one-to-one business meetings, a comprehensive networking programme and several post tours programmes to the four wine regions defined in the newly launched Wine Tourism Routes namely Douro and Porto, Vinho Verde, Távora-Varosa and Trás-os-Montes.

The conference slogan for 2021 is “Bouncing Back”. IWINETC’s  2-day Conference programme will leave attendees inspired and motivated to apply their learnings to their place of work and/or businesses.

Judith Lewis will deliver a speech on Post-Pandemic Digital Recovery for the wine and culinary tourism industry. Following this, Peter Syme will look at the wine tourism industry at the post pandemic period, including the aspect of digital changes. Chris Torres will present market research which aims to better inform tour and activity providers on how to market their businesses in 2021/22, including which demographics and product types to focus on. Felicity Carter, one of the WTA jury members, will show how to stand out in a crowded market and get customer attention at all levels – destination, region, place, providers of wine tourism experiences and Adrian Bridge, awarded wine personality of the year, will be looking at the biggest investment in Europe in 2020 at €105M – WOW.

Commenting on IWINETC 2021, Anthony Swift, IWINETC Event Director, said: “We’re excited about this year’s IWINETC as it’s been 10 years since we last held the event in Porto and it will be interesting to see the huge development that has happened with respect to wine and culinary tourism in the Porto and the North of Portugal region. Working with Porto & North of Portugal Tourism Board, we’ll be putting together a comprehensive content schedule, full of sessions that have a genuine practical application for our delegates. The programme is a great opportunity for wine and culinary tourism professionals to enhance their time with us in Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia with targeted learning, business and networking opportunities that complement the whole event experience”

To register to attend IWINETC 2021 here.

Take a Peek into IWINETC 2021!

Here at IWINETC our team is hard at work putting together the final touches to IWINETC 2021 and we wanted to share what we have fermenting for the event.

This year, IWINETC will bring you insightful knowledge sessions, grape escape destinations to wine for in 2022 and quality wine tourism experience providers and wine tourism agents to inspire you and to move your business forward.

  • Gain new ideas and be inspired by world class speakers – 6 keynote speakers head the 16 strong industry experts with Judith Lewis, Chris Torres and Peter Syme all available by appointment for one to one consultations with conference delegates.
  • Discover new destinations and meet wine tourism experience providers and agents – exhibitors from across the world joining our exhibition and B2B Workshop for the very first time
  • Network and connect at our events in the beautiful city of Porto & Vila Nova de Gaia and on our post conference tours to the Douro Valley

View the conference programme here and discover the exciting talks on the menu

A visit to IWINETC will keep you in the know and one step ahead of the competition.

Register now and don’t miss out on the must-attend industry event of the year for the wine and culinary tourism industry:

View the attendance options here>>

IWINETC 2021 – 26 & 27 October 2021 in partnership with the Porto & North of Portugal Tourist Board.

IWINETC 2021 to Lodge in UNESCO World Heritage area

The International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC ) 2021 will be hosted in The Lodge Wine & Business Hotel. Built in the former centuries-old Port Wine cellars, the IWINETC venue will afford fabulous views of the Douro and Porto from the banks of the UNESCO World Heritage area in Vila Nova de Gaia.

On a recent visit and stay at The Lodge Wine and Business Hotel, Anthony Swift, IWINETC Director commented “The location of The Lodge couldn’t be bettter for IWINETC. The hotel entrance and chill out area comprises of interesting textures, materials, colours, shapes, woods, cork and an eye catching old barrel, now part of the structure of the stairs leading to the conference rooms and exhibition area on the first floor. Speaking of floors these resemble the floors of cellars with wicker baskets embracing the structure’s columns. As you wander around the hotel there are countless references to the wine world to be discovered . Service I have to say is top class”.

In total, there are 119 rooms and suites. The rooms honour the Portuguese heritage, with mattresses, bed linens and towels all of Portuguese creation.

The Dona Maria restaurant: orchestrated by Chef Ricardo Simões, pays tribute to Infanta D. Maria (the woman who gave her name to what is considered the first Portuguese cook book), but also to all the Donas Marias in our lives: mothers, grandmothers and aunts who have contributed to Portuguese gastronomic heritage. Over lunches Conference delegates will be able to discover the culinary delights of North Portugal such as tripe, braised veal with cured meats rice from Trás-os-Montes, confit cod with chickpea purée or Abade de Priscos Pudding.

Early brid registration is now open for the IWINETC conference & B2B Workshop which means that attendees can now secure their place to join us in Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto and the North of Portugal from 26 to 27 October 2021. With strict health and safety precautions in place the number of places will be fewer than in previous editions of IWINETC so early registration is recommended.

View the attendance options here>>