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Wine experience on the move

Open spaces and wine tourists on the move. The spirit of wine reinvents itself in new offers.

Simple and genuine

The last few years have seen a growing demand for food and wine tourism and this is certainly very positive if you consider that our country does not provide basic training to consumers, so much so that an analysis published in the spring of 2019, states that in Italy only 25% of wine consumers know what they drinking. It just so happens that the number of wine tourists in Italy is estimated to be around 23% and growing, which suggests that those who know wine and those who travel to deepen their knowledge of wine are almost overlapping profiles.

Behind the growing interest of wine tourists, who are partly young and looking for genuineness, I believe a need for knowledge of the world of wine, rather than the drink itself, filters out.

The wine tourist is often a digital native and knows perfectly well the channels where it is easier to get wine at the right price. So, if he or she decides to embark on the experience of the journey and book a winery experience, it is because they are moved by a curiosity that goes well beyond wine for its own sake, that is, a human need for contact and relationship with the people who make wine and tend to the grapes from the first bud to the harvest, often with surprises that are not at all welcome.  After all, wine continues to be perceived as a food very close to the earth, even when it does not boast the definition of “natural”.

It is not easy to “make it easy”

With this belief, I began to imagine the trips through the vineyards. When I started to deal with wine and had yet to undergo any training, my curiosity was basic. It was the same curiosity that I imagine a curious wine consumer still feels and that no one at the time was able to satisfy. 

The world of wine is complex, both the production and distribution aspects, and “making it easy” in a few words, without creating confusion in the minds of those who listen to you, is a challenge.  So I started to plan the wine hikes so as to allow wine tourists a “full-immersion” experience in the territory, lasting longer than a mere visit to the winery, so that we could discuss wine production in Italy and beyond, and clarify where and if needed.

I provide the basic cues and some explanations and then allow some time for an exchange of views and questions with the wine tourists, so that when we arrive at the winery, the production process is a little easier to understand.

It is better on the move

Some research suggests that food and wine tourists need to diversify the experience and that hiking (trekking) is one of the required activities. Walking at production site, besides being a pleasant activity and within everyone’s reach, has more positive effects:

  1. It brings the wine tourist closer to the producer’s work;
  2. It contextualizes the space in which the territory is explained;
  3. It makes it easier to understand the peculiarities of the territory.

Several authoritative sources believe that a learning activity is enhanced when the person involved in such activity is on the move.

Valtenesi, a rosy vision of wine…

Despite the growing interest for rosé wines, even in the national market and even though in Valtenesi the designation of origin includes rosé wines since the beginning, the territory still does not enjoy great fame on the Italian wine scene.

Its agricultural territory is actually pretty variegated, ranging from beaches to hill ridges, and presents interesting itineraries to be explored, with unexpected views when reaching the highest points, where vineyards find ideal exposure. 

This type of territory offers a new concept of rosé wines, more faded in colour than the traditional rosé winemaking of a few decades ago, together with the reds of the vintage wines or wines aged in barriques. 

The absolute protagonist is the native grape variety of the territory, Groppello, present pure or more often in blends with Marzemino, Sangiovese and Barbera.

… that affirms itself during the early years of National Unity

During our walk, we will make forays into the history of this place and the people who inhabited the territory during the first Kingdom of Italy.

How important were these people at that time?  And at the end of the unification process, which countries were our “neighbours”, in particular with respect to the wine?

As it often happens, Lombardy is a decisive territory for the evolution of events and everything that happens is integrated in the daily routine. This propensity to “grind” and incorporate events in an almost automatic way, makes us think little about the origins and consequences of specific acts, underestimating their historical importance. For example, when we talk about Napoleon III we know that he had expansionist aims for northern Italy, but we do not talk about his intuition about the classification of wine during the Exposition Universelle in Bordeaux. But we will have the opportunity to talk about this in depth, as we walk through the vineyard…

Enoexperience instead of wine experience

Wine experience can be defined as a visit to a winery with a tasting. This definition has been included by now in the food and wine dictionary and it is not debatable. So it is correct to distinguish a wine experience from an enoxperience.

When you use the prefix “eno” when talking about wine, you are not referring to wine tout court, but to all the knowledge, traditions, interpretations and innovation that Europe considers from the origin of the word to the present day: climate, successes, problems, disadvantages, wars, parasites and millenary knowledge in continuous evolution in search of new solutions. If we “adopt” the idea that the wine we are tasting “contains” all this, then our attention to these details also starts to change..

Go Drink: one name, a common destiny

Getting to know “Go Drink” was an experience that only the world of wine makes possible. “Go Drink” is already an aggregator of wine tourists, although not necessarily on the road.  According to a periodic calendar, within the circuit a member suggests a “social” tasting at home and the people who decide to participate pay a fee. All this takes place in Milan, which, as mentioned above, innovates, evolves, moves on…

During the emergency caused by Covid-19, tastings moved online and, with the enoxperience in the vineyards, we experience the formula “at the origin”, in other words where the grapes are cultivated and where they are processed.

Nature, like people and wine, do not like to be stuck in the same routine and fixed patterns. As soon as they find a way to “escape” to a new dimension, they spontaneously tend to fill new spaces.

With “Go Drink” we do exactly that, we meet new wine lovers and make it easier for them to share the experience with us.

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Patrizia Marazzi Wine Tourism Wine Expert

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