Blog: Olly WehringThe future of wine tourism

Olly Wehring | 11 April 2006

One final point from me, before I disappear into the Argentinean sunset for a couple of weeks...

Naturally, I’ve been spoilt rotten over here, with flagons of wine, enough steak to floor the most vociferous of carnivores, and overnights in hotels that I wouldn’t normally be able to afford in a month of Sundays.

One of these hotels got me thinking, though. This one located in the north-west of Argentina, is part of the El Esteco winery, whom I was a guest of last week.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not an advert – it’s just that, with so many winemakers in stunning parts of the world struggling a little (yes, Monsieur France and Matey Australia, I mean you), what better way of opening another revenue stream by opening a hotel? My esteemed peer and travelling partner, wine writer Simon Woods, noted on the trip that New Zealand has some pretty good hostelries attached to wineries, and I can attest to the superb set-up at the Fetzer winery in Hopland, California.

The arrangement at El Esteco, however, is that the winemaker has rented a chunk of its buildings to Starwood Hotels & Resorts, to run and maintain.

Although our hosts wouldn’t go into figures, this feels to me like the ideal path for wine tourism to take in what, for some, are troubled times.


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