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A Historical Timeline of Wine Tourism

Vineyard with a wine guide

Today wine is exported all around the world, and there are more wine lovers spread across the planet than ever before. And with this increase of wine exportation and wine lovers, wine tourism has risen to become a significant part of many local economies. Here is a look how wine tourism has changed and grown throughout the years.

3000BC
3000BC
THE TOMB OF KING SCORPION I

THE TOMB OF KING SCORPION I IN ABYDOS IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN BUILT

Wine was a common beverage for the wealthy elites in Ancient Egypt. Obelisks, papyri, sculptures, and vibrantly colored, extremely evocative tomb paintings all feature images of wine and wine manufacturing. King Scorpion I was an early example of an oenophile (wine enthusiast). His tomb in Abydos (about 3150 BCE) held 700 hundred jars of wine.The tomb of King Scorpion I in Abydos is believed to have been builtRead More »

370BC
370BC

THE DERVENI KRATER

In Ancient Greece wine a krater was a large, ornately decorated vase used to dilute wine with water before consumption. The Derveni Krater, one of the most ornate kraters discovered, was found in a tomb at Derveni, not far from Thessaloniki, in 1962. It is thought to have been created in Athens and dates to …

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1192AD
1192AD

THE COMMANDARIA WINE ROUTE DATES BACK TO 1192 AD

The Commandaria Wine Route through the famous sweet wine region of Cyprus has been traversed since 1192 AD, when the knights of St. John were still perfecting this famous wine. The name of the sweet wine, Commandaria comes from “La Grande Commanderie,” the region that is today known as Kolossi, where it was mostly produced. …

The Commandaria Wine Route dates back to 1192 ADRead More »

1864
1864

THE NAPA VALLEY RAILROAD WAS COMPLETED, BOOSTING WINE TOURISM IN THE REGION

The development of Napa Valley as a wine tourism destination was significantly influenced by the railroad’s arrival in the 1860s. Tourist access to the region’s expanding vineyards was made simpler than ever in 1864 with the opening of the Napa Valley Railroad. As the popularity of Napa Valley wine tourism increased, so did the number of opulent hotels that catered to affluent tourists. For instance, the 1862 inauguration of the St. Helena Sanitarium and the 1878 opening of the Calistoga Hot Springs Hotel offered guests opulent lodging as they explored the nearby vineyards.

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1889
1889

THE PASO ROBLES INN WAS ESTABLISHED

The Paso Robles Inn was built in 1889, the same year El Paso de Robles was incorporated as a city, and has played a crucial role in the development of the Paso Robles wine region for more than a century. Today, the Inn dominates Spring Street as a prominent downtown symbol of the friendliness that the community has come to be recognized and adored for. The original “fireproof” El Paso de Robles Hotel was built of solid masonry and had parlors, billiard rooms, a saloon, and even a barbershop. Famous people, including concert pianist Ignace Paderewski, US president Theodore Roosevelt, …

The Paso Robles Inn was established

1935
1935

THE GERMAN WINE ROUTE WAS ESTABLISHED

The oldest of Germany’s tourist wine routes is the German Wine Route, often known as the Wine Road. The route was created in 1935 and is situated in the Palatinate region of the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The path begins at the German Wine Gate in Schweigen-Rechtenbach, close to the French border and Wissembourg in France. The gate is an ornate sandstone ceremonial gatehouse that was constructed in 1936. Currently, the road passes through the Anterior Palatinate (Vorderpfalz), also known as the Palatinate wine region (Pfalz, previously Rheinpfalz), which is located in the lee of the Haardt Mountains.

1970s
1970s

THE BIRTH OF WINE TOURISM

The modern wine tourism industry isn’t as new as many believe. In California, in the 1970s, modern wine tourism was first established. Mondavi Winery was one of the first wineries to welcome guests for tastings. Winery tours and tastings quickly gained popularity as more and more wineries began opening their doors to guests. Many other wine producing countries caught on to the concept, and wine tourism is now popular all over the world.

 

1971
1971

THE FIRST WINE ROUTE IN SOUTH AFRICA WAS ESTABLISHED

Though wine has been produced in South Africa since 1659, the country’s first organized Wine Route, where visitors are able to taste wine and learn about each winery’s history, didn’t exist until 1971. After 50 years, South Africa now has 21 distinct wine routes that are home to almost 450 winery members. The first route to be created was the Stellenbosch Wine Routes, which is now the most established wine route in South Africa and is now home to five sub-routes.

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1980
1980

WINE TOURISM SPREADS OUTSIDE THE AMERICAS

As other countries and wine regions saw the success of wine tourism in the United States, they began working to create their own wine tourism industries. Today, a global network of 10 locations known as The Great Wine Capitals now exists in an effort to boost wine tourism around the world. The capitals include La Rioja, Bordeaux, Florence, Cape Town, Mendoza, Napa Valley, and many more. These locations have a strong potential for attracting tourists because to their commercial terroir.

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1986
1986

CALIFORNIA WINE TOURS ESTABLISHED

One of the original tour operators in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, California Wine Tours was established in 1985. They created a distinct transportation niche by focusing on small groups and solo tourists who wanted to tour the Wine Country in comfort and safety. California Wine Tours developed by growing its fleet to become a full-service transportation provider as the industry evolved and the Wine Country emerged as a top tourist destination for everybody. They now operate a fleet of 92 vehicles, including 56 passenger coaches, luxury vans, party buses, corporate SUVs, and BMW automobiles. Even though they started out …

California Wine Tours establishedRead More »

1993
1993

THE FIRST EDITION OF THE EVENT “CANTINE APERTE” (OPEN CELLARS) TOOK PLACE

Cantine Aperte, or open cellars, is a series of events and initiatives in Tuscany to encourage wine tourism to the region. The number of wineries participating in the movement has increased from 25 the first year to the current 1,000, and the number of tourists increased from a few hundred 20 years ago to the current 4 to 6 million. Not only can visitors taste Tuscan wines through Cantine Aperte, but they can also learn how the wine is made and the grapes are grown.

March 2000
March 2000

CORK N FORK TOURS WERE ESTABLISHED.

Cork n Fork Tours is the oldest Premier Wine Tour company in Southeast Queensland’s Scenic Rim.  They provide both public and private tours to the Canungra Valley and Mount Tamborine. They run a family business and care deeply about the area and what they do. Wine tasting is a terrific experience, and Cork n Fork Tours will make sure your day is jam-packed with enjoyment.

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2009
2009

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SUPERIOR WINE TOURISM COUNCIL AND THE ORGANIZATION OF THE INDUSTRY

The statistics for wine tourism unmistakably demonstrate the market’s significant growth potential. According to Atout France, from 7.5 million to over 10 million tourists visited French vineyards between 2009 and 2016, a 30% rise. The Conseil Supérieur de l’Oenotourisme was founded in March 2009 as a result of this finding. The organization, which is a part of Atout France, was founded at the initiative of the ministers of tourism and agriculture with the goal of fostering the growth of wine tourism in France.

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2012
2012

CELLAR DOOR WINE TOURS WAS ESTABLISHED

Cellar Door Wine Tours, run by Helen Avery and Mark Treick, specializes in private Oregon wine excursions for couples and small groups. They excel at providing individualized service and creating memorable touring days, allowing their customers the flexibility to choose the experience that best suits their touring group’s needs by providing a variety of tour options.

2018
2018
Greetings to wine country in Napa and Sonoma countyGreetings to wine country in Napa and Sonoma county

THIS HISTORIC TRAIN TOUR IN CALIFORNIA’S NAPA VALLEY WON BEST CULINARY EXPERIENCE AWARD

The famed Napa Valley Wine Train in California’s Napa Valley has garnered numerous honors, including the Luxury Travel Guide Awards’ “Best Culinary Experience” title for 2018. The 36-mile roundtrip journey to St. Helena and return on the Napa Valley Wine Train includes stops at renowned wineries, and a delicious meal.

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2019
2019

GRAPE ESCAPE WINE TOURS WON THE “NEW ZEALAND’S BEST WINE TOUR OPERATOR” AWARD AT THE LUXURY LIFESTYLE AWARDS

The Grape Escape tour guides are complete experts with in-depth knowledge of Hawke’s Bay wine, geography, and history. They want to make your trip to Hawkes Bay less stressful so you can enjoy the amazing wines and cuisine without worrying about driving. They plan customized guided excursions based on your preferences, degree of fitness, and interests.

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2020
2020

WINETOURISMSPAIN WON THE “BEST WINE TOURISM EXPERIENCE” AWARD AT THE 2020 DRINKS INTERNATIONAL WINE TOURISM AWARDS.

The business operates the top wine and cuisine tourism website in Spain. The best Spanish red wines and white wines may be found here, along with fascinating wine tours of Spain that provide a wide range of unique experiences. You can find something special to meet your needs, whether you’re looking for private wine tours, guided wine tours to Spain’s wine regions, ideas for a road trip, a honeymoon, or a holiday in wine country. To help you experience the true flavor of Spain, a group of tourism experts carefully select the excursions, ideas, and wine experiences.

 

2020
2020

HUNTER VALLEY WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL WON ‘BEST TOURISM EVENT’ AWARD

Take part in a variety of interactive workshops to hone your culinary abilities while enjoying wine and dinner with some of the Hunter Valley’s top winemakers and chefs at The Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival. This exceptional event offers something for every palate, from sumptuous lunch experiences that transition into late evenings to vineyard and winery excursions followed by a tasting.

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