IWINETC - meeting the Wine World in Perugia
The International Wine Tourism Conference and Workshop - or IWINETC as the hashtag I tweetted most in the last week - has been organized (and I can really say very well!) by Winepleasures and Movimento Turismo del Vino "association created in 1993 that has encouraged Italian wineries to open their doors to visitors" and it has brought here in our little but proud region lots of talented wine bloggers, journalists, media and travel consultants from around the world.
For 4 days (3 days of Conference and 1 day of Wine Tourism Workshop) Perugia was the wine capital city and I can affirm that this event has been a real godsend for an undiscovered (wine) region as Umbria still is.
IWINETC has been a very rich event and summarizing even the main points is a very hard work (but you can find detailed info and updates on IWINETC website ), therefore in this post you'll read just what I liked most as a wine tourism provider, but also as a wine lover, just my personal impressions and points of view.
MY FAVOURITE SPEECHES
"Many Flavours of Italy" by Jane Hunt Master of Wine
The wine tasting of 16 (!) wines from Umbria and Italy guided in a so simple, but at the same time so professional way by Jane Hunt was definitely the highlight of the Conference from my point of view as a wine lover.
Jane Hunt MW at IWINETC
"Wine tourism does not exist. There is only tourism" by Michael Wangbickler
Michael demonstrated that wine regions must compete with the other non-wine destinations and that they must incorporate in their offer "a wide range of experiences and activities that capture the immagination not only of those who are vitally interested in wine, but also the friends and families who accompany them".
One of the slides that I liked most in Michael's presentation is the following (and I can proudly say that these suggestions have been our mantra here at Discovering Umbria since the very beginning):
The importance of the social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.) was also widely pointed out by most (of maybe all!) the international speakers. Besides, the fact that IWINETC itself also hosted a bloggers' trip with wine bloggers from abroad is a clear evidence of the increasing, critical influence of the so-called "Web 2.0" in (wine) tourism.
MY FAVOURITE WINES
And this is the most difficult point...Many Umbrian wineries attended the Conference and you know that I am a fan of the wines from the region, therefore it's impossible saying which ones were the best. In addition, giving that I was there to seriously work and not just to have fun (unfortunately), feeling like Ulysses in the Odyssey, I carefully avoided all those charming sirens who called me from every angle of the hall...
However the best wine experience that I had - keeping in my mind that I need to study more the international wines - was the tasting of the wines from Georgia showing once again that this ancient but new (for the market) wine Country could become in few years an important extraordinary competitor for our Italy. Italian wine-makers: attention, please!
MY FAVOURITE "MEET UP"
Apart from the business meeting with the specialized travel consultans I had the pleasure to meet during the workshop (and I take the occasion to thank all the very interested agents who came to my desk at Sala Podiani), and apart from the Magic Team Umbria on the Blog, Marzia, Mario, Rebecca, the owners and managers of some local wineries I collaborate with, here my favourite meet up: the one with Marcy Gordon, really a very nice person both "on and off" line and with Fabio Pittella, who was so kind to introduce himself saying "Ciao I'm Fabio and I am your friend on Facebook".
A very special thank to Anthony Swift, Chiara Lungarotti and Movimento Turismo del Vino for bringing this great Wine Event in our Umbria.