Today I’m re-launching the blog as Dirt Cheap Wine Country and I hope that you’ll find it a refreshing departure from the usual wine blogs. Why the change?
In 2012, wine blogger Tom Wark issued a challenge on his massively popular Fermentation blog – The Top 10 Wine Stories Needing to be Written. One in particular caught my eye:
Dirt Cheap Wine Country It’s a counter intuitive wine country travel story—and probably difficult to write. But it could provide a fantastic counterpoint to the luxury-oriented wine stories that proliferate. Is there a way to “DO” wine country dirt cheap? From cheap hotels and cheap food to no-cost tasting room?
Indeed, why isn’t anyone telling that story?! There are many who want to live the “wine lifestyle,” and for whom travel to wine country should be the ultimate luxury experience. It often seems like every wine writer on the planet caters to these aspirational travelers.
There are countless others however, who travel to wine country for one reason and one reason alone: the wine and the connection to the people and places that make it.
They may or may not be budget-conscious, but they come to spend their money on wine, not lifestyle. They appreciate the quality of a few nights at the Renaissance, but are just as happy at a Best Western. They would like a nice meal or two, but in a pinch a taco stand will do just fine. They hope to bring home a few trophy bottles, but will fill the rest of their cases with bargains, or at least reasonably priced daily drinkers.
You see, my friends, as a regular wine country traveler for the past ten years, this is exactly how I travel. And as my high school english teacher taught me, for every one person with an opinion who chooses to share it, there are countless remaining, silent glad someone spoke up. I know that’s true because I meet you on every trip: whether you rode into Napa in an RV, were slumming it with us at the Holiday Inn Express, or gnoshing on biscuits and gravy at the Paso Robles diner. And we compare notes in the tasting rooms of some of the best wineries on the planet.
Until now my fellow budget traveler, aside from a few coupon sites, there’s really nobody talking to us. And that’s what Dirt Cheap Wine Country is all about. This is not a coupon site, or a wine review blog – there are plenty of those. This is how to “do” wine country dirt cheap! A wine country resource and community for the rest of us.
So welcome to Dirt Cheap Wine Country! I value your input and comments. Until we meet again in the tasting room – cheers!