Spend some time observing wine-related social media sites and you will notice many people writing to ask for advice regarding wine travel. People want to know what wine regions in their country and the world to visit. These wine enthusiasts are also interested in visiting wineries and vineyards, restaurants, accommodations and heritage locations. They are also interested in encountering cultural experiences. In France, the national wine tourism designation “Vignobles & Découvertes” is a label awarded to wine growing areas that provide quality visitor experiences.
The oenotourism label was established in 2009 and covers 36 areas in France. The label, once awarded is good for three years, after which an area can re-apply for another three years. Wineries, vineyards, restaurants, accommodations and cultural sites displaying the label have to meet requirements. Some of these criteria include a knowledge of the world of wine, a willingness to pass on this knowledge and passion to visitors from around the world and an interest in a region’s cultural and human heritage.
Visitors to a wine region can search those particular vineyards, wineries, restaurants and lodging facilities that are on the list. In addition, each area also has listed cultural heritage sites, activities and events. The label “Vignobles & Découvertes” will make it easier for tourists to create itineraries that meet their needs.
Many wine regions in France have wineries and vineyards that have the “Vignobles & Découvertes” label, including; Alsace, Beaujolais, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Cognac, Jura, Languedoc, Roussillon, Provence, Savoy, South-West, Loire Valley, Rhone Valley.
Much attention will turn to the Champagne region of France this spring as the region is host to the seventh annual International Wine Tourism Conference. The conference will be held in Reims on April 8th and 9th, 2015. The Champagne region is the largest wine region in France that has the “Vignobles & Découvertes” label. The region comprises around 30,000 hectares (over 74,000 acres) spread across seven different areas. These areas include: Côte des Bar, Coteaux du Sézannais, Coteaux Sud d’Epernay et Côte des Blancs, Massif de Saint Thierry, Vallée de l’Ardre, Montagne de Reims, Vallée de la Marne, Coteaux de Vitry
These areas have nearly 400 providers with the “Vignobles & Découvertes” label. They are anxious to greet visitors and provide services and facilities to help visitors enjoy a weekend holiday or short stay in Champagne. The Montagne de Reims area has more than 70 tourism services that have the “Vignobles & Découvertes” label. These include:
21 wine cellars, 14 lodging facilities, 12 restaurants, such as Le Millénaire in Reims, 5 heritage sites that includes Phare de Verzenay lighthouse and museum, 10 leisure activities, for example a vineyard tour in the “Petit Train des Vignobles” in Chamery, 2 events, including the Mailly-Champagne wine and gastronomy fair, 1 tourist office in Reims, 6 receptive tour operators.
For the wine tourist, the label designation “Vignobles & Découvertes” is a sign of quality. If an upcoming visit to France to visit wineries was created by a wine tour operator, check with the company to see how many sites that you will visit has this label distinction. Check also Wine Tour Advisor for further insights into planning a grape escape.
The 7th annual International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition and Workshop 2015 (IWINETC) will be held in the city of Reims. The Champagne-Marne Tourism Board, Comité Départemental du Tourisme de la Marne will be the premium sponsor for the event.
IWINETC is the leading global event for the wine and culinary tourism industry. IWINETC 2015 will provide, once again a unique opportunity to build essential contacts, discover a new destination and services key to the future of your business, expand your industry knowledge and maximise your return on time.
There are so many ways to participate at IWINETC 2015:
- as a conference delegate >>
- as an invited buyer to attend the conference, workshop & Fam Trip >>
- as a member of the IWINETC media group >>
- as an exhibitor >>
- as a wine tourism experience provider at the wine tourism workshop >>
- as a key sponsor >>
- as a sponsor of tours and evening events >>
Article: Terry Sullivan, CWAS, WineTrailTraveler.com