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Well-being and Wine Travel with The Winerist

The first in a series of interviews with professionals in the wellness, food, wine and travel industries, I ask a few questions of Diana Isac, Co-Founder at the Winerist.

The Winerst is the first online platform which focuses on making wine travel simple, authentic and original. Read on to see how well-being and wine travel come together on Winerist breaks.

What is it about the culture of making and enjoying wine that you feel contributes to overall well-being?

For many years we have been hearing about the benefits of wine. We know that red wine is rich in anti oxidants. If consumed wisely it can be good for your heart, your body and your spirit. When it comes to wine making, you could write books about the people behind this art. They are amongst the most passionate, the most dedicated and most patient people I have ever come across. They will amaze you with their love for what they do. To me, they are in perfect balance, because they have found something they truly love and they will spend a lifetime perfecting the art of wine making. We work with these people not solely because we love their wines, but also because we love their spiritual approach to wine, to their lifestyle and the people who will be tasting it. Some of the most magical stories and afternoons of my life have been spent drinking wine and enjoying locally sourced foods provided by the wine maker himself. You come home recharged, hopeful and in love with what you do. This to me is the key to well-being.

How do you see this reflected in specific cultures?

I think the art of wine is ruled by passion in any of the regions we have worked with. In some cultures there is emphasis on food and wine paring, in others on active wine explorations such as bike tours through the vineyards and horseback riding through wineries. Most importantly wine is enjoyed with people, friends, family or visitors knocking on your door. I have never come across a producer who will not take pride and not share their wine with you with love. Of course their ultimate motive is that you take home a bottle of wine with you, but you will be surprised how much wine you get given for free and more importantly how much knowledge is shared with you along the way. I think I have been quite lucky and with Winerist we want to ensure that no wine traveller is turned away or is not getting the most amazing, authentic experience on a tour.

Can you give an example from a particular trip you’ve been on?

Wine tasting on the hills of the Duoro Valley

Wine tasting on the hills of the Duoro Valley

I can think of so many! One of my favourite regions for authentic Wine Travel is Umbria, but Languedoc Rousillon is one to watch. The small, boutique wineries here are guaranteed to impress you.

Do you try to integrate this aspect of well-being into your everyday life? What are the challenges and successes?
I love my job and I enjoy traveling and discovering these regions. There is history as a lot of our tours are history and trekking focused, there is active wine travel, wine and spa breaks and there is the foodie kind of travel too. They are all great for your well-being. When back in London you are recharged and with a new baggage of knowledge, recipes and oils.

What cultures in your opinion can we learn the most from in this regard?
I am a Londoner so I think that we are quite fortunate in this melting pot of cultures where we all mix and adapt and start allover. I truly think there are no cultures in the world we could not learn something from. Travel is fantastic because it teaches you to appreciate new things, appreciate where you come from and bring a piece of what you have learned back, whether it is a bottle of wine or pottery made in Sicily.

Where do you see the wine travel industry going in the near future?
I think bridging wine and travel has never been difficult. We are bound to see more wine enthusiasts and beginners embark on wine trips going forward. The wine travel industry is a fascinating world and we will continue exploring it for and alongside our keen Winerists.

WIne and BIke Bordeaux

WIne and BIke Bordeaux

Do you see a trend or interest in combining these activities with wellness activities?
They are not exclusive at all. A lot of our breaks focus on wellness and relaxation. Wine is an intrinsic part of it all. You just have to do everything in moderation, from yoga, to juicing to wine drinking. Balance is key and it is the path to well-being.

How might the Winerist cater to that interest?
Our experiences cater for all kinds of preferences, from active to yogis to spa lovers and wine explorers, we have it all. We do recommend the right balance and combination of activities. Some of our hotels can offer spa treatments, but they will also offer canoeing on the Douro, i.e. our hotels in the Douro Valley. Others will be family owned, private and beautifully restored French country homes, but you are within 20 minutes of Montpellier or Aix en Provence. We try to give you the authentic, perfect wine holiday dream. You can choose what suits your holiday best, spa, wine tours, cooking classes and more. Our tours are flexible and so are our hotels and villas. We want this to be a stress free, magical holiday. After all, our motto is “Wine Travel Made Simple’ so we stay true to our belief!

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