A year in the vineyard: April

A vineyard visit is not simply an excuse for a few free drinks, says Jonathan Hesford

Anyone who has visited the wine regions of California, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand finds it incredible how little wine tourism there is in France.

It seems that many wineries here are reticent to invite visitors. Outside of Bordeaux and Champagne, there are few opportunities to experience how wine is made.

One of the reasons is that many French people feel they already know enough about their national drink, so they tend not to partake in wine tourism other than to arrange a group tasting or go on a balade through the vines with a picnic.

The second reason is that, in most cases wine production remains an artisanal, family affair ...

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