With a huge attendance and a full schedule, on 23rd and 24th November the 1st International Congress of Wine Tourism was held at the Law Faculty of the “Universidad Nacional de Cuyo”, in Mendoza, Argentina.
In this opportunity, a group of professionals from different countries of America talked about their respective wine routes and activities to promote the wine tourism.
Argentina presented the Plan of Wine Tourism Consolidation developed by Bodegas de Argentina. “In order to promote the wine tourism, it was created an observatory that collects tourism-related data sent by wineries. Then, data is processed in a system called “Enoturiscopio”. This way, we detected weakness and virtues and we work on the basis of results,” commented Juan Carlos Pina, manager at Bodegas de Argentina. There are other activities included such as fairs, development of a sustainability project and training of travel agencies, among others.
On behalf of Chile, the lecturer was Thomas Wilkins. “In 1997, we created the Wine Route of the Colchagua Valley. Firstly, we had difficulties because wineries were not ready for tourism, but due to some investments, this changed”. One of the greater progresses was the building of a railway line passing through the wineries of the valley, in 2003.”
The main wineries of Bolivia are located in the Tarijas region, in the south of the country. “This location enables 70 wineries in Bolivia to perform promotional activities within Argentina, as Tarijas has a border with Salta and Jujuy (provinces of Argentina),” pointed out Patricia Virreira, coordinator of the Wine Route. “We offer tourists everything related to the wine sector and we complement it with our industry of Serrano ham, goat’s cheese, honey and other products in which we are very good in Bolivia, “she added.
In her turn, Irene Faraon, from Wine Routes of Uruguay, was proud of the wine industry of her country. “Our market is small compared with Argentina and Chile, but we promote wine tourism offering our wine in every event related to tourism,” she maintained. As regards Wine Routes, she told that 13 wineries participate and focus on the human factor.
When it was the turn of Brazil, it was represented by Priscila Chiattone. “The forte of the Brazilian wine tourism is found in Río Grande do Sul and Pernambuco. In this region, we concentrate 50% of our wine production and wine tourism. We offer wine tastings, tours around wineries, vineyards and let visitors know about our history,” she highlighted.
The pisco and tequila routes
Peru and Mexico differed from the rest because of their products and presented their Pisco Route and Tequila Route respectively.
Alan Watkin, president at the Association of Pisco and Nazca Grape Producers (Peru), explained that the tour is focused on small pisco wineries whose production is artisanal. “We work mainly in the Ica region and we try to show visitors the roots of our culture.”
Furthermore, Mónica Campos from Mexico stressed: “the Tequila Route passes through Tequila, El Arenal, Amatitán, Magdalena and Hostotipaquillo”. The key to the success is that other kind of activities typical of the region complements the visits to the tequila-producing companies. We also work on the easy ways to reach these places, as the main producing regions are a long way from the city.”