Nowadays most trips start in the virtual world. We go on line to look for ideas, get the best prices for plane or train tickets, hotels, etc. But most of all we look for the right information: what’s interesting? Where are the best vineyards? The best wine country?
While surfing you hit web sites, blogs, forums and other sources of information. Two things seem to be mandatory: a good web site presenting the winery but also the region and the opinions of the other travelers. Why is a good web site important? When traveling to California wineries for the first time, I asked some of my California friends their recommendations. I “googled” the wineries and the places. Guess what? Some web sites were almost non existent. Some less famous regions had no general information site. I couldn’t access any information. What did I do? I “googled” for more information and went to other places. Of course I might have missed a few very good wines, great regions and fascinating winemakers but… we’re in an age of information and I don’t have time to waste with phone calls and sometimes even… faxes!
Fortunately this situation is getting rarer. You always get information from your peers. There are many forums who give you the opportunity to read travelogs or get in touch with people. Wine geeks are good travelers. Some professionals offer interactive and in-depth information, such as Wink Lorch and her Wine Travel Guides to Bordeaux and other French regions, Italy, Spain and Germany. There are blogs of winemakers, wine professionals and wine lovers who share information, tips and good addresses.
I’ll be speaking at Vinexpo on the topic of Wine Tourism and New Technologies on Wednesday 24, at 2:30. I’ll give you more details very soon but hope to see you there!