Enotourism: Traveling to Experience Wine Regions, Distilleries, and More

By Kate Ruddell | Jan 3, 2020, 12:07 PM

Most people would agree that part of a great vacation is indulging in the local food and wine offerings. With the rise of foodies traveling just to eat, it’s no surprise that people are now planning trips surrounding their favored beverages. Enotourism is defined as “tourism whose purpose includes the tasting, consumption or purchase of wine often at or near the source.” Not to be limited by just wine, more people than ever before are visiting distilleries, breweries, and wineries while abroad as the sole focus of their trips.

Wineries

Lavaux Vineyards – Switzerland

Want to visit a UNESCO World Heritage site while on vacation? You can kill two birds with one stone at this Switzerland destination. Lavaux is the only winery and UNESCO World Heritage site in the world. It’s on the edge of Lake Geneva, which is stunning, and the vines at Lavaux can be traced back to the 11th century. Don’t be surprised if you’ve never tried a wine from Lavaux; the wines from this winery and Switzerland as a whole are consumed at a rapid rate. Less than 5% of swiss wines make it to exportation.


Lavaux Vineyards

V. Sattui Winery – California

What’s a trip to Napa without visiting a winery? This is the most visited winery in all of Napa. They offer wonderful food and wine pairing classes, wine tasting events, vineyard tours, and garden tours.

Château Mouton Rothschild – France

If you are a fan of red wine, you won’t want to miss the winery. Located in the picturesque French countryside of Bordeaux, France, this winery is known for growing grapes of the Cabernet variety. Other wineries in the area are known for their long waitlists, and some are even invitation only. Luckily, this winery is not one of them, however, advance tickets are recommended in the summer.

Distilleries

Glenfiddich – Scotland

Glenfiddich is known for being the producer of the World’s Most Awarded Single Malt Scotch. If you are a scotch fan, this experience is not to be missed. Tour the facility and visit the mash rooms, still rooms, and end the tour with a tasting. A crowd favorite tends to be the still rooms, where you get to smell the different aged “whiskys” as they say in Scotland.


Glenfiddich

Bombay Sapphire Distillery – England, UK

Tucked away in rural Hampshire, this world-renowned gin distillery is a work of art. They offer an array of experiences from a discovery tour to a masterclass that allows for you to mix your own gin cocktails. Tickets must be bought in advance.


Bombay Sapphire

Hakushu Distillery – Japan

Located in the Japanese Alps West of Tokyo, the glistening melted snow is used in the Japanese whiskey distillation process. This is a dream stop for the ultimate whiskey lover. The tour takes place deep in the forest and includes a tasting. Plan ahead, as the location is a 2+ hour train ride from Tokyo.

La Rojeña Distillery – Jalisco, Mexico

The oldest distillery in Latin America is home to the famous Jose Cuervo. On the tour, you will learn the history of Jose Cuervo’s family and how to properly taste the world’s best tequilas. The grounds are surrounded by beautiful agave plants at this “can’t miss” destination.

The Joy Spence Appleton Estate Rum Experience – Jamaica

Voted the #1 thing to do in Santa Cruz, Jamaica on TripAdvisor, this rum experience is unlike any other. To start, you are greeted with a welcome drink as soon as you enter the grounds. Then, you’ll learn the history of rum, followed by the sugar cane process. Finish off your tour at the gift shop and bring home some goodies for your family. Stay for lunch and indulge in the jerk chicken – you won’t regret it.

Breweries

Heineken Experience – The Netherlands

You don’t have to be a beer lover to attend this interactive brewery experience. You will learn all about the brewing process, the marketing history, and how Heineken continues to stay top of mind in the beer market. There are plenty of interactive photo opportunities throughout the museum. You even get to meet the famous Heineken horses. The Heineken Experience is centrally located in Amsterdam, which makes it easy to access for everyone.

BrewDog – Columbus, Ohio / Scotland

Brewdog is taking the U.S. by storm. They are headquartered in Scotland and recently opened DogHouse, which is a beer-lover’s hotel surrounding their Columbus brewery. It includes access to a 5,000 sq ft craft beer museum, brewery tour, a refrigerator in the bathroom (for the ultimate shower beer), and hops infused toiletries.


BrewDog

If that’s not enough, the partially crowd-funded Brewery just charted a plane, BrewDog Airlines, to fly 250+ BrewDog fans from Columbus to Scotland for a beer-filled trip. Dubbed the first brewery in the sky, they even have a beer specially brewed to be enjoyed at 40,000 feet above ground.

Travel Insurance

With most of these trips requiring admission tickets in advance, or even pre-planned transportation, that’s an investment you don’t want to lose. You can protect your investment, along with potential flight delays, lost luggage, and many other benefits with travel insurance. Get a quote here.



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*When partaking in any alcohol related trip, regardless of IMG coverage, you are doing so at your own risk. Please review IMG's benefits and exclusions in regard to alcohol consumption on our travel medical insurance and travel protection plans.

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