Wine tourism is in fashion and advances unstoppably throughout the State. The Wine Routes take travelers to know the process of making wines and the principles of tasting, learning about the local culture.
The figures are still modest – no more than a million and a half people a year – but wine tourism, widespread and consolidated in France, Italy or in the Californian Napa Valley, advances unstoppably in Spain, the largest vineyard in the world. ” It is booming because wine is in fashion and because it is a very emotional tourism ”, says Mónica Figuerola, general director of Tourism of La Rioja, a community to which 70% of its visitors come attracted by the excellence of its wines and the culture created under it. English, German, American and even French, surprising as it may seem, were the main buyers of increasingly better wines with greater international prestige.
SECTOR PUJANTE The sector had a turnover of more than 5,300 million euros in 2006, directly employed 22,863 people and accounted for 1% of Spanish GDP. A year earlier, it was made up of 3,991 companies, a sector that, like public administrations, has known how to see that wine tourism can be, and is already in many places, a profitable business, as well as an added bonus to make its wines and wines better known. thus increase sales.According to the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs, each Spaniard drank an average of 18.57 liters of wine last year, representing a per capita expenditure of 57.01 euros. Total consumption totaled more than 844 million liters, worth 2,591 million euros. ”The last push is still missing for us to consider it a fully consolidated activity, but it has already been shown that it is not a fad,
It was four years ago when, under the protection of the prestige and quality of the Ribera del Duero wines and other gastronomic, monumental and cultural values of the area, the Valladolid City Council decided to join forces to turn the city and its province into a “ a reference in wine tourism ”. The results are satisfactory, with 20,000 more visitors in 2008 compared to the previous year and annual revenues of around twenty million euros. “Wine and gastronomy are two of our main tourist attractions,” says Cantalapiedra. WINE ROUTES The one in Ribera del Duero is, along with those of Rioja Alta, County of Huelva, Ycoden-Daute-Isora, Alicante and Ribera del Guadiana , one of the six Wine Routes of Spain pending certification by ACEVIN, the Spanish Association of Wine Cities, that understands the promotion of culture and oenological tourism “as a complementary tool for local development”. In addition to the aforementioned routes, another thirteen have long been helping the traveler “discover a different Spain” and can “live new experiences”, such as visiting wineries and vineyards, participating in tastings, witnessing a day of harvest and even undergo a wine therapy treatment.
The last “Tourist Observatory of Wine Routes of Spain”, carried out between November 2008 and January 2009 at the request of ACEVIN, concludes that the predominant profile of those who “let themselves be carried away” by one of these itineraries corresponds to national visitors (93 %) residents in medium-large population centers.
WEEKEND These are tourists who travel as a family or in a group, for short periods (weekends and long weekends), with overnight stays in hotels of a certain category and who organize themselves personally taking advantage of the recommendations of friends and family, with the help of the Internet and of the tourist offices in the destination. Their spending level, about 100 euros a day, is above the national average, and their satisfaction rate is very high. The Catalan Penedés is, with almost half a million visitors in 2008, one of the most successful destinations, although it must be taken into account that three of the most visited Spanish wineries are based in this region: Codorniú, Freixenet and Torres. The others are La Rioja, Rías Baixas, Ribera del Duero and Jeréz.