wine tourism (58)

9009521097?profile=RESIZE_930xLuke Petrinec/Steuban County CVB

As a member of the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association
(IFWTWA), I was fortunate to attend a webinar on the Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes presented by Kevin Costello, president and CEO of the Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau, and Dave DeGolye, the bureau’s communications manager. I was only somewhat familiar with this wine region, so was pleased to learn more about its wineries as well as to be introduced to all its fasc

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Southwest France is defined by a wide range of geographical distinctions yielding diverse landscapes ranging from river plains, gently sloping hillsides, mountain foothills to sandy heaths each with their own unique microclimates producing a total of 300 grape varieties, 120 of which are native to the area.

Throughout much of Europe, the wine trade had its origins in 1189 when Santiago de Compostela was consecrated as a holy town by Pope Alexander III, encouraging waves of pilgrims over the ensui

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Exploring Wines of France and Spain by the Glass


The act of drinking wines is to literally taste specific locations across the globe. I never cease to be amazed by how wines provide such an in depth lens into a particular country and culture. By far the best way to experience them is to of course travel where they're produced and visit the vineyards in person. But lack of time and/or money sometimes make this impossible. For those times, plan for some armchair traveling by tasting some reasonably priced and increasingly available local varieta

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Discovering the Wines of the Czech Republic


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Exploring Germany's Rheingau Region


All within reach by an hour train ride west of Frankfurt along the Rhine River, Germany's Rheingau is a patchwork of historic villages, vibrant cities, and the country's most distinctive Reisling wine-growing region.



Gateway city Wiesbaden serves as cultural and transportation hub to the Rheingau. Even if you're exploring by foot, the 200-mile Rheinsteig hiking trail head begins next to the Baroque palace of Schloss Biebrich on the banks of the Rhine taking you past numerous vineyards,

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Surrounded by mountains and numerous topographical features resulting from a turbulent geological past, France's Roussillon wine region is cradled in a massive amphitheater-like bowl nestled in the South of France between Spain and narrow valleys spidering outward among the Pyrenees and Corbières Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea. Distinct micro climates, many of which have earned their own AOP certification, receive more than 320 days of sunshine per year balanced by heavy autumn rains. Combin

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Heading Down Under for New Zealand Wines


New Zealand is home to some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes - rugged mountain ranges, lush rainforests, and tranquil coastlines. What you may not know is that New Zealand’s unique terroir yields crisp, vibrant, and lively wines reflecting the very essence of this island country. Recent harvests were not only markedly bountiful (34 percent above usual yields) but grapes were exceptionally high-quality. Small estate wineries like Catalina Sounds, Crowded House, and Nanny Goat were direct

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It’s that time of year again: la vendimia, the harvesting of grapes in various parts of Spain, from Jerez to Rioja and Rías Baixas to Penedés. And north of Madrid, winding 115 kilometres (miles) through the heart of the region of Castile-Leon (and of the entire Iberian peninsula, for that matter), the Duero River traces a route through not only some of Spain’s finest vineyards, but some extraordinary cultural, historic, and natural heritage. In short, a European wine country package par excelle

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Located an hour north of San Diego and a few minutes more than that south of Los Angeles, Temecula Valley wine country just keeps getting better, with mature vineyards and beautiful places to enjoy. On my recent visit, I was impressed by how much the area had grown since my visit 20 years ago. Upscale wineries that rival Napa and Sonoma and scenic views as far as the eye can see.  At that time, you could count the number of wineries on one hand, and now 44 wineries dot the Temecula landscape. Th

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Bento Gonçalves
 is a slice of Italy in Brazil's far south.  It's not overly well known outside of the country but a highly-regarded destination among Brazilians, who consider it a first-class tourist destination. This is because this city in Rio Grande do Sul state is one of the most beautiful and important in the Serra Gaucha mountain range, due to its landscapes full of vineyards and the expansive nature which make this place a most welcoming destination.


As you enter the city you will find a

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Oh, Là Là! Bordeaux by River Cruise

Grand Cru, Medoc, St Émilion, Bordeaux Left and Right Banks - all terms of which I was aware, but wanted much more information. That’s the beauty of a river cruise with wine as its main topic (and the wine isn’t bad either, to put it mildly!). We were about to embark on an eight-day UniWorld boutique wine river cruise along the Garonne River - an area settled by ancient Romans and once ruled by the English, but every bit a French region.

9009041882?profile=originalEach evening of the cruise started by imbibing in the "

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Joie de Vivre in Burgundy

            Medieval towns and vineyards surround burgundy

It doesn’t get much better for wine lovers than a visit the Burgundy region of France. The self proclaimed “land of fine art and living” is much more than a wine region in central France. In the minds of many wine aficionados, Burgundy produces the world’s most drinkable wines in the world.

A trip to Burgundy is a step back in time. The Romans and the Celtics lay claim to have sculpted the towns and villages of Burgundy. With a  concentra

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It was a warm, balmy early summer evening as I was sitting outside among the flowers and palms near the pool. What could be better? Toss in some Wine Council friends, some very special wines served with delectable food pairings along with a couple of creamy cheeses, and you have the recipe for a magical evening.


The first wine our group sampled was a dry white from Spain called Cal y Canto Dry White 2012 ($18). This wine is a great summertime wine that engaged us with its crispness along with g

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 Signagi is one of the picturesque town in Georgia, overlooking Alazani Valley

I grew up in a family which was fond of traveling. My parents traveled much before getting married, visiting many countries in Europe and South America, visited Africa, too. But Asia was their real passion. They talked a lot about the Asian countries. My father was delighted with the landscapes he had seen in Asia, mother was a real fan of Asian culture.

Their passion for traveling was so great that they were not afr

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  • 9008880658?profile=originalCrozes-Hermitage vineyards of Domaine Michelas Saint Jemms

    We headed north on the A7 Autoroute, leaving the ‘galet' filled vineyards of Chateauneuf-du-Pape behind us.  Ahead lay the towns of Orange and Montêlimar.  The expansive vineyards of the south gave way to orchards and countryside.  As we approached the village of Valence the terrain changed.  The steep, terraced hillside vineyards told us we had reached our destination -  and the holy grail of Syrah - the Northern Rhone.

    Our destinatio
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Fine Wines from Moravia, Czech Republic


You could:

  • bike the wine trails from town to town, among 400 villages, In the Moravian foothills of the White Carpathians, stopping along the way to chat with individual winemakers who might offer you a taste of their wine. 
  • Visit the Wine Salon in Valtice for tastes of over 100 award-winning wines.   
  • Go to one of the wine festivals around the harvest, usually around September. 
  • (And if you are lucky enough to taste Czech wine in situ, you won’t want to miss the Kroměříž Gardens.  Visit this UNESC
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The title says it all – "Bordeaux World Heritage & Its Wines."

The 324-page guide by Laurent Moujon, Bordeaux resident for 20 years, focuses on the city of Bordeaux in France, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its world-famous wine regions.

Intended for English-speaking individuals, the guide provides excellent content on everything there is to know about the world's major wine industry capital. It covers everything from the history and heritage to the city’s exciting festivals. 120 pages are dedi
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Wines of Idaho's Snake River Valley



Move over potatoes, grapes are coming.  Idaho’s state slogan was “famous potatoes”, it has evolved to “great potatoes, tasty destinations”; undoubtedly, at least in part, due to the wonderful wines being produced along the Snake River Valley.  With a climate akin to the Columbia Valley in Washington State, and elevations similar to Spain’s Rioja region, Idaho produces primarily Bordeaux and Spanish varietals, with a smattering of German vines.  While some wine was produced here as far

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Tasting Missouri Wines

Well…I am impressed.  America’s first wine country not only boasts some solid wines, but also has its very own state grape glass – the Riedal Crystal Norton Wine Glass. Hardly anyone gets that, let alone a small wine district in the9008620087?profile=original middle of the country.   I had a chance to taste some great wines in that glass and spend a few days in Lake of the Ozarks and Columbia, Missouri, hanging out at some great wineries, tasting and talking with owners, winemakers, and chefs. If you’re headed to the Midw

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The Wines of California's Santa Rita Hills

9008600293?profile=originalOoh, ooh, ooh -- how I love discovering underappreciated wine regions.  The next best one just might be (it certainly gets my vote)Santa Barbara County’s Santa Rita Hills. Located about 30 minutes from Santa Barbara, think Highway 246 off the 101 Freeway and the cities of Buellton, Lompoc and Los Olivos.  Total acreage is 30,720 acres.  About 2,500 acres are planted in wine grapes. The appellation is spelled Sta. Rita Hills on the  wine labels so as not to step on the toes of the Santa Rita wine

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