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

The Hunt is over for a taste of Italy

With only 10 days remaining until the 2012 International Wine Tourism Conference in Perugia, Umbria, Italy and there is so much to look forward to, not least of which will be “The Many Flavours of Italy” guided tasting, led by Master of Wine, Jane Hunt!  The wine list has officially been selected and without further ado, we present them below!

To be presented at the guided tasting will be the Scacciadiavoli Rosè Brut Metodo Classico from Scacciadiavoli Winery, Colle Imperatrice (white) from the Cantine Astroni Winery, Terre Vineate (white) from the Palazzone Winery, Decugnano Il Bianco from the Decugnano dei Barbi Winery, Sucano (red) from the Madonna del Latte Winery, L’Arringatore (red) from the Goretti Winery, L’Andrea (red) from the Castello Monte Vibiano Vecchio Winery, Rubesco Vigna Monticchio (red) from the Cantine Giorgio Lungarotti srl Winery, Montegauro (red) from the Cantine Grotta del Sole Winery, Turriga (red) from the Cantine Argiolas Winery, Pago Dei Fusi (red) from the Terredora Winery, Sagrantino di Montefalco Uno di Dieci (red) from the Tenuta Alzatura Cecchi Winery, Montefalco Sagrantino (red) from the Azienda Agraria Perticaia Winery, Chiusa di Pannone (red) from the Antonelli San Marco Winery, 25 Anni Montefalco Sagrantino (red) from the Arnaldo Caprai Winery, Picolit (sweet white) from the Aquila del Torre Winery.

Don’t miss out on the leading global event for the wine and culinary tourism industry. Register today

An Inside Look at Lombardy’s Hidden Gem in the Brescia Provence

Having a background in the wine export business as well as the restaurant, wine tourism and agricultural consulting businesses, Antonio Grimaldo has a comprehensive perspective on the wine business which he brings to his clients at Vinando Tours.  A Sommelier and lover of unique food pairings, Antonio has found himself a gold mine in Lombardy, Italy that he wants to share with the rest of the world!

We had the opportunity to speak with Grimaldi about his upcoming presentation at the 2012 International Wine Tourism Conference, as well as wine tourism in the Brescia Province of Lombardy, Italy.  Below are his responses to our questions.

1.  The world of wine tourism is getting more and more competitive and today it is not enough to be a good wine technical expert.  How does Vinando Tours make the tour experience unique for the food and wine lover? 

By putting the wine people at the centre of the process. Working with most of the Brescia and Lombardy wine producers as a professional winemaker, I have been able to understand their needs and desires: the different approach is to construct a project around them based on what they can and want to do. The idea is to change the perspective of wine lovers: entering the wine world from within rather than just observing it from the surface. To do so I intend to involve only producers and restaurateurs able to engage themselves directly, with no fear of showing who they are and why they work in that specific way. In few words: I try to deliver authenticity. 

2.  What can a traveler expect to find on a Vinando Tour in the Brescia provence in Lombardy? 

A rich and varied wine and food scene, just moving around few kilometres. With its great number of lakes, moraine hills and rivers, Brescia province can prove different environments, each with its own specific identity and soul. Even more renowned Italian wine regions have difficulties in offering great sparkling and Chiarettos (still rosé wines) along with intense mineral whites and delicate yummy reds, all in a tiny place no more than 40 km long! If you add to this one of the most subtle and scented extra virgin olive oils of Italy, produced around every lake of the area, sprinkled with a cuisine with an ancient tradition, you can get the idea of what you may experience in the area. Maybe all this just facing one of the innumerable castles or villas in historical villages scattered all around! 

3.  You will be talking about Brescia in your talk in the 2012 International Wine Conference.  Having traveled much of the world, what about the Brescia provence made you want to focus in this area? 

First of all it is the area where I live, so I have been able to get in touch with many wine producers, as well as with local food lovers. Being a Florentine I know quite well what a good wine region may offer, but Tuscany cannot represent the only place in Italy for wine enthusiasts! Since I moved to Erbusco, in the heart of Franciacorta, I have noted that Brescia is a very lively and interesting place, showing diverse landscapes and rich food and wine cultures, even unknown to most of Italians! So far this area has been famous as being an industrial region only or maybe for the love of its inhabitants for motor racing: Brescia was the homeland of the celebrated Millemiglia rally and the first Italian Gran Prix of Formula One (yes, before Monza!) was run here. But all the places around here conceal so many secret jewels which expect only to be discovered and showed to the rest of the world! 

4.  What are you most looking forward to at the upcoming wine conference in Italy? 

Getting in touch with other people dealing with the wine tourism world, especially International tour operators since it is quite difficult to reach a broad audience from a little renown (but really interesting!) area such as Brescia. I would also like to understand what is the level of wine tourism in other well established regions: I strongly believe that without a good understanding of the situation and the position achieved by others it is not possible to improve and grow. 

5.   What wine(s) were you be drinking over the holidays?

Well, as often happens during these moments (Christmas, New Years Eve and so on) choice is always tough! I come from Tuscany and love very much its wines, but I like to pick wines based on what I believe will be the best food match and, when possible, local productions. So I decided to select a white wine from Southern Garda produced by a friend of mine, a Lugana Superiore 2007 (made entirely from Turbiana grape), to accompany a dinner based on sauté mussels followed by tomato sauce swordfish: the richness and smoothness of the dishes “pretended” a fresh, sapid and well structured wine, as it is that Lugana. For the Sunday lunch, instead, a great Valtellina Superiore Riserva 2005 (Nebbiolo grape) will be the matching choice for a gorgeous roasted stuffed chicken and rosemary potatoes: this time lots of smooth tannins are required! As you can see, all wines from the region where I live, Lombardy, an area that produces small amounts but really interesting wines. Just consider what has been obtained in Franciacorta in less than 40 years!!

Join the International Wine Tourism Conference and network with Antonio and 200 – 300 more attendees. Antonio will be delivering a talk at the Wine Tourism Conference on January 31 at 9:30 titled: Franciacorta and Garda: a different look at Brescia wine scene.

Movimento Turismo del Vino puts boutique Italian vineyards on the map!

President of Movimento Turismo del Vino (MTV), Chiara Lungarotti, is an entrepreneur with a unique passion for wine and winemaking, having inherited her love of the land from her father and confesses that she could recognize its scent and flavor blindfolded!  Chiara is also the CEO of the various companies forming the Lungarotti Group, and has been heavily immersed in Wine and Tourism in Italy for many years.

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

1.  Can you talk about the purpose of Movimento Turismo del Vino, and what inspired its creation? 

The Movimento Turismo del Vino (Wine Tourism Movement) is an association created in 1993 that has encouraged Italian wineries to open their doors to visitors: Italy has now become the country of “Cantine Aperte,” the annual event organized by MTV on the last Sunday of May. MTV is a non-profit association with the aim of promoting wine tourism and improving the wine areas’ image and prestige, as well as their economic development. MTV wants to stand for protection of the environment and for quality agriculture; promoting a natural life-style that puts the visitor at the centre of attention. 

2.  MTV is conducting a survey profiling the wine tourist in Italy, what does the survey hope to accomplish and how will it change the landscape of Italy’s tourism industry? 

The survey will give us the tools to draw guidelines for new developmental projects and help our members to offer always the best and the most appropriate hospitality in the wineries to their visitors. 

3.  You will be revealing the results of the survey in the closing speech of the upcoming Wine Conference in Perugia, Umbria.  What has the research uncovered about who is visiting Italy and what they are looking for in their travels?

We are still working on the details, however, it will be a great pleasure to illustrate the results of the survey in occasion of the meeting!

4.  MTV has over 1000 members in all corners of Italy, what is the selection process and how much more do you expect the association to grow? 

Among the almost 1000 members of the Association are some of Italy’s most prestigious wineries, selected on the basis of very precise characteristics, first of which -of course- is the  high quality they offer in welcoming visitors. More services we give to our members, greater will be our  ability to help them attract visitors, more the Association will grow. 

5.   What wine(s) do you enjoy most on special occasions? 

Of course I love Italian wines…… 

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 Febuary 1, 2012 at 17:00 titled: Italian Wineries Speak and a New Tourism Strategy is Born

Wine and Wellness: The Perfect Pairing!

Jochen Erler is a lover of wine, travel and journalism, and has done extensive research and writing about spas offering wellness and medical therapies.  He has been a member of the jury at the Wine and Spirit Competition in the UK for over twenty years, and leads wine walking groups in and around Europe.  In his thirst for wellness and passion for wine, he has discovered the perfect pairing and enjoys sharing his knowledge with tourists looking for a well rounded expedition of excitement and rejuvenation.

Jochen spoke at the 2011 conference in Portugal and the 2010 conference in Spain, and is back to talk about the different types of therapies available to travelers in Italy and around the world at the upcoming 2012 International Wine Conference in Perugia Italy.  Below are his responses to our questions.

1. At this years Conference you will be talking about wellness and wine therapy, can you explain this exciting concept to our audience? 

One of the most recent fashions in spa treatment is wine wellness/wine therapy. It is based on the use of products made from wine, the seeds and the skins of the grapes. The products extracted from grape seeds and skins have a high content of unsaturated Linolacidity, vitamin E, Lecithin and Procyanidin, the most effective antioxidant known.They are applied mainly by cosmetic therapists for the maintenance and rejuvenation of the skin. Grape seed oil is the essential ingredient in wine cosmetics.  Pomace, the residuum from the pressing of the grapes, which consists of grape pips and skin, is also used by medicinal therapists for fango.  It can be applied pure, or mixed with the usually applied mud which is rich in minerals.

2. Most veteran travelers know how exhausting, albeit exciting, a full day of site seeing and can be.  Can you talk about Wine Therapy and how it can be a well rounded part of a tourists travel agenda? 

The rest day during a wine tour should give the group members not only time to relax, but should also offer some meaningful entertainment. For many of the group members a day in a thermal spa will be a new experience, a day to remember, and perhaps a stimulant to explore more thermal spas in the future. For a wine enthusiast, the option to experience wine wellness as well, would certainly be an asset.

3. You have travelled to Umbria before and experienced some excellent wine and spa tours in the region, what types facilities and treatments are offered at the spa’s you most highly recommend to your clients? 

To my knowledge, there are two hotels in Umbria offering wine wellness. Le Tre Vaselle Hotel (loc. Torgiano, near Perugia), owned by Umbria’s leading wine producer Lungarotti,  has a first class spa offering various treatments based on their own wine cosmetic products “bella Uve”. The other hotel is Agriturismo La Casella (loc. Ficulle), at the edge of a huge UNESCO protected nature park in the Western part of Umbria. Here the therapist uses her own products based on wine, sea salt and olive oil. In both places I recommend the body scrub (peeling).

4. You are have been a judge for the International Wine and Spirit Competition for more than 20 years, what is the best wine you have tasted, and what is your favorite Italian wine? 

As all competitive tastings are conducted blind, we judges never know what wines we are tasting. However I can say that I prefer white wines with mineral notes, and red wines whose beauty is not suppressed by barrique notes.

There are many Italian wines that I like very much. From Umbria, my favourite is certainly a well aged Sagrantino.

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

To some of the plenary sessions, the tour to some wineries, and learning more about the Sagrantino grape.

Join the 2012 International Wine Tourism Conference and network with Tom and 200 – 300 more attendees. Tom will be delivering a talk at the Wine Tourism Conference on February 1 at 12:00, titled: Destinations for wine tours and spa visit; Wine Therapy 

Wines of Italy Grand Tasting at IWINETC 2012

Wine Pleasures presents the 4th Annual International Wine Conference this year in Umbria, Italy, from January 30 – February 2, 2012.

The event features some 40 talks Wine Tourism and several guided tastings. Jane Hunt, Master of Wine will be leading  on January 30 at 17:30, “The Many Flavours of Italy” wine tasting, with wines from various parts of Italy, including Umbria, Campania, Friuli, and Sardinia.  Event wine glasses sponsored by Riedel Wine Glass Company.

Wine designations will cover the full spectrum, from IGT to DOCG, Classico, Riserva and Superiore, and with red, white, dessert wines and sparkling with vintages ranging from 1998 to 2010.  Grape varieties including, but not limited to Sangiovese, Sagrantino, Grechetto, Canaiolo, Picolit, Falanghina, and Aglianico, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay.  Among the represented wineries are Perticaia, Arnaldo Caprai, Vini Goretti, Terredora and Giorgio Lungarotti. 

Jane Hunt is has been in the wine trade for 35 years, and was awarded the The Vintners Company Scholarship in 1981 (as the 2nd female ever) and became a Master of Wine in 1985.  She has worked both in Italy and the UK, and has broad experience in the business, including wine-buying, sales, marketing, lecturing, teaching, journalism, competition judging and event management.  For 20 years she has also led tours through Italy, France, South Africa, Chile and Argentina, and still continues to conduct these tours.  Jane currently specializes in promotion and event management for Hunt & Coady Ltd, focusing heavily on Italy, Argentina and France.

Check out the Conference programme

Aselma Tours to research Italy wine tourism for HORECA customers

Tamara Dubiel, co owner of the Polish agency Aslema Tours, offers her clients exotic vacations all across the globe. At this year’s International Wine Tourism Workshop, Tamara is seeking to expand her wine travel experience (previously focused in Portugal) to Italy! We took a few moments to ask Tamara what drew her to wine tourism and how Italy competes with some of her more exotic locations. 

1. What do you hope to gain from the workshops and meetings at the International Wine Tourism Workshop?

First of all – the knowledge of wine producers and how to use this knowledge making trips. Second – knowledge of the Tuscany region, the most demanded by our customers.

2. Your website indicates that Aslema Tours specializes in travel for small groups of active singles. How popular would you say wine tourism is in this market?

As the world becomes more unstable we noticed the group of customers interested only by european destinations is bigger than some years ago. We are doing our best to fulfil these expectations by offering a new travel possibilities. It could be a trip combined with  wine &
gastronomy, more and more popular combination as well as trip combined with grape harvesting that could be a great possibilty to show the work connected with wine production ( in this case I am mostly interested in small wineries). But – mostly – wine tourism is dedicated for professional groups for tailor – made trips ( restaurants, hotels etc).

3. Your company already offers wine tastings in Portugal. What differences do you expect to see between Italian and Portuguese wine tours?

It’s different country, different wine, different cuisine… = different product for me.

4. Aslema Tours offers a variety of exotic trips throughout Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and the Caribbean. How do you think Italian wine holidays will compete with these more unusual destinations?

As I wrote above, the group of customers for european destination is growing. As we always try to offer  something more that hotel, sand & sea I think  it will be a new opportunity. And please remember professionals that often travel with us.

5. After the conference, you´re headed to Tuscany from the 2nd to the 5th of February. Why did you choose to explore this region?

Aselma Tours to attend IWINETC 2012The region is definitely the most demanding by our customers. It’s important for me to know it as much as possible.

To meet Tamara Dubiel and learn more about Aslema Tours, join the 300 other attendees at the International Wine Tourism Conference & Workshop 2012!