Oenotourism and conservation: a holistic approach to special interest tourism from a cultural heritage perspective – the Azienda Agricola Model
Keywords:Azienda Agricola Model, agricultural heritage, ecological cycles, heritage marketing, terroir, viticultural landscape
In wine producing countries viticultural and oenological practices and traditions, trades and crafts, the built and written heritage, the history, social structures, economy, a number of intangible values and the viticultural landscape constitute the cultural heritage of a wine region. Thus, the touristic products of oenotourism are complex attractions with a substantial number of educational elements, such as on-site wine appreciation courses, organized wine excursions on well-known wine routes, wine festivals, international sommelier days or agro-tourism in wine estates where tourists may have the opportunity to participate in the harvest and learn more about the wine making process. The main target groups of wine-tourism consist of educated, mostly middle aged people with reasonably good economy and a clear intention to learn more about the culture and history of the country and its viticultural areas in an informal, entertaining way. An increasing number of vintners expand their agribusiness with a complete product structure such as grape seed oil, grappa, fruit juice, cheese, olive oil, food supplements produced from grapes, accommodation facilities from bed and breakfast to hotels and restaurants, creating herewith ideal conditions for tourism, often utilizing the network of completing, additional tourist attractions in the neighborhood. Special attention shall be paid to the organic viticulture and wine production based on the maintenance of ecological cycles in the vineyard, because it can be the basis of eco-wine tourism, and even wine-heritage tourism due to the revival of certain traditional cultivation methods, trades and crafts linked to the historical routes of the wine industry. In this study we analyze the main aspects of wine-heritage and the terroir as source for touristic product development and propose a model for micro-region based sustainable oenotourism and eco-oenotourism with increasing economic viability.
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