Can the Wine Tourism Trend Save Travel?
By Robert P. Farmer
While it's no new concept in the valleys of Napa or Sonoma, the idea of wine tourism is starting to take root across the globe. From France to Germany and Australia to Chile, people are increasingly booking passage based less on the destination itself than on the wine produced in that destination.
Wine lovers everywhere are discovering that it's more fun to drink their way through vacation than to sit idle on, say, a beach reading the latest trashy best-seller. Wine Tourism is providing a renewed sense of purpose for leisure time and it is not limited to wine aficionados. Thanks in part to concerted efforts by wine-producing regions to espouse their industry and leverage it for fun and profit, the wine tourism trend appears to be something travelers can savor.
By Robert Farmer
I know I know. It's all bad news all the time when it comes to the economy. And if you're like me at all, which I think you probably are, the wall-to-wall doom-and-gloom in the press and everywhere else makes you want to head for the hills--or, at least to the rolling hills of California's Wine Country. That in and of itself is a good thing, but it also happens to harbor some even better news for those intrepid travelers who are fortunate enough to get away.
By Courtney Cochran
I can recall, with embarrassing clarity, buying Chuck Shaw by the caseload in the drearily cash-strapped era that followed my graduation from college. And though I quickly "graduated" beyond the realm of such inexpensive sippers around the time of my first raise, today's tough economic times have many of us - yours truly included - contemplating a reunion with bargain sips like Mr. Shaw's and others of his ilk.
To be sure, the crisis thinking fueling these considerations isn't limited to wine consumption alone. Wine country visitors, as well, are wondering where they can cut corners on visits in order to spend less while still enjoying their fair share of the pleasures wine country has to offer. They're looking for easy, smart ways to extend their spending power at a time when all of us are getting by on less.
And so, in a valiant effort to keep the good times - and the good drink - flowing, we're here to help you do just that. Read on for our top suggestions on where to save and - as important - where to splurge in wine country this season. Because if one thing is a constant no matter the economic clime, it's that we can all use a little affordable luxury every now and then to keep our spirits afloat.