At the same time we have consumers in countries such as the UK who suffer from high prices for wine (due partly to the numerous middle men) and who crave to drink authentic wines direct from living people. In addition there is a thirst for a knowledge about wine. We are too distracted for books, too busy to follow a ‘dry’ wine course. We crave a wine experience. Each wine has its own story, and it is best recounted in person by the passionate people that make it.

Once one has felt the passion direct from the winemaker, heard his story (and there are often generations of those), tramped in his or her vineyards and eaten the grapes from the gnarled vines (which themselves could tell a story or two), you are hooked. Wine is after all about what the French call ‘terroir’ and above all the people.

With a growing number of visitors to Bordeaux (3.3 million in 2011), the combining of wine tourism and direct sales seems an obvious step. Once you personally know the face the wine, the enjoyment is a different experience. Worldwide there is a particular growing demand for spending short activity-packed breaks.

Visit the region’s chateaux and vineyards, meet passionate winemakers, blend your own wine, sample direct from the barrel, taste a range of old vintages … there are numerous options for a fun-filled short break.