The Future of Wine Tourism

Wine tourism is one of the few sectors that has effectively resisted Covid. Since 2022, travel has been increasing exponentially and wine tourism has kept up with this trend by diversifying and innovating its products and providing a level of training for its staff that will boost the boom in this sector in the future. But what are the main trends that we can see emerging or continuing? This is what this article is all about.

So what are the main trends to expect from wine tourism in general? 

Drinking and tasting are not enough

Tomorrow, today’s wineries will slowly focus on explaining their processes in the vineyard, winemaking in the cellar, and aging in more detail. Today, the Internet has brought more informed consumers who demand more information. Whether it’s through immersive experiences such as practicing the grape harvest, making their own wine, or a themed visit by a winemaker, wine tourists want to leave the winery with a predisposition to comment on and appreciate wine more technically; in essence, they want to leave feeling better informed and better equipped to talk about wine with all those with whom they share this valuable nectar.


Visiting new and lesser-known wine regions

More and more tour-goers are looking for something they are not usually exposed to. For this reason, and because airlines have also increased the number of their destinations in an attempt to differentiate themselves, today’s wine and tour consumers have much better access to these same areas and their native grape varieties, making them excellent destinations for wineries and service operators to work together to boost demand in the near future. The increase in the number of restaurants and hotels in these same areas is contributing greatly to this goal.


Working alone is not enough

It’s not enough for wineries and wine tourism operators to work only with their own conceptualized products. In the future, they will have to network to boost the wine value chain by offering integrated products that, through the wine and food of a region or a country, illustrate its culture, and showcase its people and its way of being in the world of wine and in life. It’s about providing a holistic experience rather than a sectoral one.


Wineries as gastronomic destinations, not just wine destinations

The experience of The Best Portugal shows that almost 100% of those who take wine tours love the pleasures of the table. We are already beginning to see that wineries are becoming great destinations not only for wine but also for gastronomy. Whether by bringing in famous chefs, gastronomic events, or wine and food pairing events, the wineries of the future will have to match the quality and typicality of the region’s restaurants. To do so, they won’t have to be mere competitors but complements in terms of offering new services to more differentiated customers.

Ribatejo wine tour
Is Wine art?

If wine is art, and we all believe it is when we experience its full potential with the right gastronomy, then why not offer other forms of art for the consumer’s enjoyment? Sculpture, painting and even traveling exhibitions about the region’s wine culture or publishing a book about it. Once again, a holistic approach is needed…


Technology in wine tours?

We believe that the wine tourist’s experience will always be something with a very human touch, but in certain areas where technology takes on remarkable characteristics, virtual or augmented reality can help visitors feel that their visits are differentiating by enhancing their wine culture. These are, for example, the case with the olfactory and gustatory areas of wine tasting or even with the process of winemaking. Artificial intelligence could also play a crucial role here.


Very nice, but what about the customers?

Customers are undoubtedly the driving force behind all wine tourism initiatives and conventional and digital marketing techniques are key to this. It is these that will bring networks of directly or indirectly related consumers into contact and help winery owners find and then retain their customers. Technology around marketing can help make wine tourists feel like they are part of a club, not just of wine, but of wine and food events and even information that will ultimately only boost their loyalty and brand awareness.


There’s a lot more to say, but it’s also true that we don’t have a crystal ball to go much further than a time horizon of 4 or 5 years. Technology and the world of wine are evolving at breakneck speed and all we can do is wait with a glass in our hand and hope for the best…

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