The Chloé Grandpierre Column no12
Wine Tourism - French style
Wine tourism is the future, it's undeniable

From humble beginnings 30 or 40 years ago, the wine tourism industry has grown significantly throughout the first decade of this century. Most tourism agencies believe it has tremendous growth potential stating that in some regions it is only functioning at a quarter of its potential.

As visitor demand grows, regions such as the Napa Valley and Bordeaux have to deal with continued success and the effects that come with it, such as crowds and the implementation of tasting room fees.

I consider myself very lucky to work in the wine world. Being a professional wine guide is part of my portfolio of services. You are perfect for working in wine tourism if …

You love people
Wine tourism is all about sharing and transmission. It is not just welcoming people for a sightseeing and tasting tour but also being a receptive, genial host.

You love wine
Wine is a product unlike any other. It is a living thing: the story of a timeless memory, a harmonious taste, a moment to be savoured. In fact it is almost endless, the story being renewed each vintage. You have to love people to be a storyteller and wine to make people dream.

You love heritage and tradition
In wine tourism, you work for an agency or at a wine property. Of course the wine is a story in itself, but it is also a part of the place’s history. Built in such a year, at such time, by such person, the property has a living history. You must be an ambassador of the culture you represent.

You have a good grasp of technical matters
Wine tourists love wine, are keen to learn and ask questions. Even if it’s not necessary to cover the theory and practice of vinification, the wine guide needs to know more than the minimum regarding wine production.

You have the ability to adapt
You must be able to adapt your discourse to the clients, not only based on their knowledge but also - and especially – on their sense of humour! You should have the tact of teaching without preaching: difficult but certainly not impossible

You are aware of different cultures
Somewhat parallel to the previous point, you must be aware of different national cultures and be able to adapt to them.

You are always well presented
Smiling, appropriately-attired, respectful, and courteous, in short the fundamentals of customer relations. As a wine guide you represent a property, a name, a brand sometimes, so it is essential to live up to the reputation of what you are representing.

Wine tours are among the most popular specialist holidays. Wine lovers are venturing all over the world - not just to France for Bordeaux - to explore the exciting world of wine.

Wine tourism is the future, it’s undeniable. It's our present and I am thrilled to be part of it.

Based on an article written by Chloé Cazaux Grandpierre, Chancelier Provincial (Bailliage Provincial of Aquitaine)