Six different activities to try at vineyards

Instead of raising a glass, you can salute the sun with outdoor yoga classes at Château Gassier, near Puyloubier in Provence. Wine-tastings follow the classes

Traditionally, wine producers made wine and sold it. What stock was not bought in bulk by retailers they sold via their own boutiques, occasionally holding tastings to encourage people to buy a case or two. 

Now that has all changed and winemakers are branching out to offer a range of other imaginative activities and attractions.

Visitors can go on guided walks among the vines, discuss philosophy, practise yoga, watch movies … and learn about the entire process of winemaking. This rising popularity of ‘wine tourism’ is reflected in gleaming new centres such as the huge purpose-built Cité du Vin in Bordeaux. Here we look at six vineyard activities to try.


1: Barrel sleepover

Visitors to the Domaine le Rocher des Dames, near Beaumes-de-Venise (84), can sleep in an outsized wooden barrel (pictured below). “We built it to offer visitors a fun place to stay,” said Corinne Bernard, who owns the vineyard with husband Jean-Luc. “It’s a barrel, but it’s also a bit like a gypsy caravan or boat. We came up with the idea as a way of raising our profile, because we also offer other accommodation here at the vineyard.”

She says people like spending time with them because it is an authentic working vineyard where they can either escape and relax in the tranquility of the countryside ...

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