Photo courtesy of Anthony Swift at Wine Pleasures

At the end of March, I will be speaking at the 6th Annual International Wine Tourism Conference which will be held in the beautiful city of Tbilisi, Georgia 29-30 March, 2014. I will be speaking about the culture of wine, wine as culture, and the people who make the wine integral to this very special culture. I hope to demonstrate to my audience how people in wine tourism can/should include the overall history and culture of a region as a selling point for their wine tours, especially in unknown or unfamiliar regions. Wine-loving clients have often already been to wineries and want to experience something unique. After a while something many of us experience is something I call, “barrel overload.” Yes, technical questions are important, but what makes a winery special is often its relevance in the culture or its history. Except for a few tweaks here and there, most wineries start to look and feel the same. So what can we do differently?I am going to discuss these points and hope to relay the information as a Socratic seminar rather than lecture about what I think people should do. I plan to talk specifically about the region I am passionate about: Lazio as a wine region. Lazio has a wealth of indigenous grape varieties, terroir, and an incredible number of traditions surrounding wine. My talk will integrate points about both the culture of wine and wine as culture with Lazio epitomizing a region overlooked for its incredible wine potential and wine heritage for the sake of a major city, Rome.I am also excited to meet colleagues and learn how I can improve our services for Antiqua Tours guests. After all, our guests are usually on holiday and at the end of the day, all they want is to experience fantastic wine, food, and culture.
If you are attending the conference, please stop by my seminar. From the conference programme:

Wine as CultureAn overview of the importance of local cultural heritage in visiting a wine region. Case Study of Lazio. We will discuss why the humanities and people of a region as important to experiencing a wine region as the vines and wines themselves. People as Terroir (wine makers, local farmers, visiting nearby towns) and as an example we will talk about the Lazio wine region and getting visitors beyond Rome for a well rounded cultural experience which includes people, wine, food and cultural heritage. Why wine is not enough in wine tours. Learn why cultural heritage can sometimes sell wine regions, especially in unknown regions. And most importantly: Be a cultural ambassador to your region!
March 29, Session 1.4 at 16:00 in Queen Tamar

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