What is Wine Tourism – Enotourism – Vinitourism – Gastrotourism?

Like the WineTourism.com team, I am sure that at some point you have probably asked yourself what exactly wine tourism is? The fact is that wine tourism is still a nascent phenomenon, and there is no clear consensus in the wine world what definition should actually be used. The question is made difficult by the fact that wine tourism has its own names and definitions depending on the country you find yourself in. Furthermore, there are other terms that often pop up in relation to wine tourism, but that are slightly different.

Below we will go through some of the most common terms you will come across when exploring the world of wine tourism.

What is Wine Tourism?

A quick look at Wikipedia will redirect you to enotourism (see below) and gives the following definition :

”[Wine tourism] refers to tourism whose purpose is or includes the tasting, consumption or purchase of wine, often at or near the source.”

This is certainly true in part, and it applies especially to regions still in the early stages of developing the wine tourism industry. The conventional approach to wine tourism has been that cellar door sales are the primary – if not the only – source of income for the winery, and wine tourism activities are simply a method for boosting sales in conjunction with the visit. This is a natural way to engage visitors, expose them to, and upsell the range of wines available at the wineries.

At WineTourism.com we see wine tourism as any activity that allows visitors to experience the winery, the vineyards, or the surrounding wine region. A very natural way to do this is of course by tasting the wines of the region or the individual winery. However it is important to understand that the visitors to wineries are very often casual wine visitors – for them, the winery and region are in themselves a unique and beautiful experience, and for them the experience does not necessarily have to involve drinking wine (though it certainly can!). This can be anything from hiking or biking through the wine region, a guided biotope tour of the winery’s flora and fauna, a balloon ride over the region, or simply staying the night surrounded by a gorgeous vineyard landscape.

The best activities – the ones that create memorable stories for visitors – will succeed in connecting their activities with the cultural heritage of the winery or wine region.

What is Enotourism?

Enotourism (also: oenotourism) is the name commonly used for wine tourism by the European romance languages. There are local variations depending on country: Oenotourisme in countries like France and Croatia, and enoturismo in Spain, Portugal and Italy.

The word comes from the Greek prefix oeno-, which simply means ”wine” in Greek. Hence an ”oenophile” is a wine lover!

What is Vinitourism?

Vinitourism is another synonoym for wine tourism, chiefly used in Spain but can also appear in some English-speaking contexts. It is less common than referring to enotourism or wine tourism.

What is Gastrotourism?

Gastrotourism often goes hand in hand with wine tourism. As any wine aficionado will know, half of the pleasure with the wine lies in the food pairing. The United Nations World Tourism Organization defines gastrotourism as

”…a type of tourism activity which is characterized by the visitor’s experience linked with food and related products and activities while travelling.”