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