Why Wine Tourism is Booming in 2019
The U.S. wine industry has shown remarkable growth since the early 1990s, with volume consumption increasing from 370 million gallons to over 770 million gallons in 2018. Part of the reason for the increasing popularity of wine is the emergence of wine tourism, a niche industry where wine enthusiasts can tour the world’s most picturesque vineyards and sample different varietals from the area. In recent years there’s been a surge in companies looking to take advantage of this new trend. Two of Britain’s largest wine tourism businesses, called Grape Escapes and Smooth Red, experienced growth of around 30% last year, while enterprises such as Arblaster & Clarke have laid out exciting plans for this year. There are several reasons that wine tourism has taken off recently, especially among the millennial crowd, from people's drinking habits to their travel needs.
More People are Drinking Wine
It’s not only the overall consumption of wine that’s grown worldwide. While wine used to be reserved primarily for wealthy, older adults, these days wine enthusiasts come from all walks of life. It’s easy to get fine wines at an affordable price, making the treat accessible to a wider demographic. Young adults, seniors, couples, and more visit wineries to learn more about their favorite beverage and indulge in some taste testing.
It’s Easier to Travel
Just as wine has become more affordable in the past thirty some years, travel has also become a reality for more than just the upper crust. Discount airlines, flexible accommodation and cruises make vacations more affordable, allowing wine enthusiasts to more easily travel around the world visiting famous vineyards. The emergence of wine tourism has helped winemakers to capitalize on this trend by welcoming guests from other countries.
Wineries Are Becoming More Creative
Traditionally, wineries tend to concentrate solely on taste testing and tours, with some also offering meals on site. Now that wine tourism is taking off, however, successful vineyards are searching for ways to lure in their audience. Wineries such as Portugal’s Alentejo flaunt their UNESCO World Heritage Status and provide areas where guests can sip wine before birdwatching, relaxing on the nearby beach, or cycling around the countryside. Some vineyards are also starting to offer luxury lodging, spas, and other amenities for their guests.
As both wine and travel become more affordable, tourists are choosing to spend their vacation time exploring the wineries around the world. Many wineries have been quick to hop on the trend, setting themselves up to offer the complete tourism experience. Wine lovers can visit destinations from the fields of France to the hills of New Zealand to try some of the world’s finest varietals.