Wine tourism is a difficult topic when you’re not a specialist of… tourism but love wine. Promoting both at the same time is a difficult exercise: wine is part of a local culture. When you didn’t travel to the place where the wine comes from, you discover a region through the wine. How to connect both?
Some people found the right answer and founded 10 years ago the “Great Wine Capitals Network” or GWC. The network includes the major wine regions of some parts of the world: Bordeaux in France, Mendoza in Argentina, Bilbao and Rioja in Spain, Mainz in Germany, Napa Valley in California, Cape Town in South Africa, Porto in Portugal, Firenze in Italy and now Christchurch in New Zealand. It is the only such network to encompass the so-called ‘Old’ and ‘New’ worlds of wine, and exists to encourage travel, education and business exchange between their internationally-renowned centers. In its 10 years of existence, the network has created many interesting initiatives: the “Best of Wine Tourism awards”, an annual international grant for students, organization of many symposiums and conferences as well as facilities to promote wine tourism.
The GWC is managed by its General Secretary, Catherine Leparmentier, based in Bordeaux, France. The group is very active on the Net with a Facebook group, a Twitter account, a LinkedIn Group and now a blog. Quite recent, the blog opened about 3 weeks ago but has already many interesting posts. I especially enjoyed the ones on Tourism 2.0 and the Vivanco Dinastio Wine Museum.
The Great Wine Capitals are really in Web 2.0! Long live to their blog!