Revolution in the Strade del vino: enhancing wine tourism and the territory
Changing them radically is the only way to bring success to Wine tourism that today in great difficulty. It certainly is a shock action, something that will not better what is already existent but something that radically changes from the base. A few days ago the Assessore all’agricoltura della Toscana Gianni Salvadori ( councillor for agriculture for
Tuscany) asked me <<Is there really the need for so many Strade del Vino ? Are they useful? >> As they are today, no.
by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
However there is a possibility of making them successful. One can change the Strade in local competitive systems able to create development and job opportunities but we must have the courage to change them.
Here below I will list the first phase of this change the most upsetting but able to give the Strade an aspect as a destinations, or rather of unique places, places worth the journey. The first phase is to dive them among a “Strade del vino organizzate” and “Strade del vino libere” just like at the seaside.
The comparison is not disrespectful regarding noble wine territories. It is useful to point out to tourists where they will find services and were they must manage alone.
keeping the wine as protagonist it is possible to use other aspects of the territory to make every production area unique and exceptional. Obviously when the wine offer is associated with another excellent touristic service it is a good idea that the two elements develop a coherent message,, so they must offer themselves as two parts of the same culture . here is an example: in lucchesia where the wine is born in the middle of the famous
villas, the exceptional factors must be emphasis zed in every situation: from overnight stays, restaurants, events, up to entertainment. In other words the overlapping of the same identity strengthens the touristic appeal because the visitors emotion grows. Evidently a similar technique can be discriminating: those hating the noise made by motorbikes and young men dressed black leather with difficulty will visit a Strada del vino that proudly boasts being in the motor district but maybe someone might choose that location just for the possibility of meeting Valentino Rossi.
One must consider the opportunity to add in the name of the Strada a reference to an attraction which can be associated to a wine, for example “Strada del vino e degli antichi sapori dei Colli Bolognesi” with an explicit reference to pasta, cold meats and cheeses pride of the region and the city.
I consider the presence of a Museum next to the Tourist office in every Strada del Vino, as per the Tuscan regulations, an opportunity to tell about these specific characters and a possibility to organize experiences such as workshops or proper courses for “foodies”.
Here below I will list the groups into which it is possible to divide the majority of the 150 Strade del vino in Italy. Obviously the definition of these sub directories signify a big job in analyzing and verifying, but, in my opinion it is an obligatory phase to interrupt the present depressing homogenous offers.
Strada dei grandi vinifor denominations of international prestige. There should be only 10-15 in all of Italy. Strada
del vino e dei panorami for areas of particular beauty. They must emphasize this resource with trekking routs, signposted panoramic roads, and they must be equipped with observation points. Rooms and restaurants ..with a view.
Strada del vino e della natura where one or more natural elements have a unique character and are particularly famous: waterfalls, animals, parks, oasis, or exceptional naturalistic experiences.
Strada del vino e dello sport those with a racing track, or connected to motor bike passion. Those close to skiing resorts or characterised by the location of a particular sport, or productions of a sporting item.
Strada del vino e dell’arte for denominations which contain monuments, museums, cities of art, and other attractions of particular fame and unique character.
Strada del vino e della storia for those areas with archaeological remains, important historical references.
Strada del vino e degli antichi sapori when together with wine there is associated some famous food stuff, which is exclusive to the area. Be it the wineries, the gastronomic laboratories, and the cultivations must alls must be accessible. The touristic offer must base its appeal on the combination of food and wine
Strada del vino e degli antichi mestierifor denominations which associate to wine specific artisan productions exclusive to the area. This must make accessible both the wineries and the artisan workshops.
Strada del vino e della civiltà contadinafor denominations where the rural culture is preserved in the architectural heritage, in the agriculture, and in the lifestyle of the inhabitants. The charm and originality of such an offer is in the integrity of the landscape and in the family type of hospitality offered by the producers. Obviously the significance of the word farmer, connected to wine production must not signify an antiquated way of winemaking and nostalgia for times past, but manual care and attention in the productive phases and in the family running
of the vineyard and winery. Are you surprised by this last group? I would like to inform those who find it lacking in appeal that the majority of wine lovers quite on the contrary dreams of meeting a wine producer who is passionate about his work and who reaches excellent quality in wine making because he loves his work and transforms it into a piece of art.