Enotourism in Poland
According to the data of the National Support Centre for Agriculture (KOWR), wine production plays a significant role in the European Union and amounts to an average of about 170 million hectolitres per year. In some regions, viticulture even occupies more than 20% of the total area devoted to agricultural.
In our country, there are already 501 vineyards with a total area of over 750 hectares and more are being established all the time. Most vineyards are located in the belt of south-eastern, south-western and southern provinces, where climatic conditions are conducive to viticulture. In recent years, vineyards have also been established in the central and eastern regions of Poland, previously not associated with wine production (due to the terrain or climatic conditions).
According to Forbes’ ranking “10 Beautiful Travel Destinations For Wine Lovers”, the top three countries are: Portugal, South Africa and France. Particular attention was paid to the Portuguese Douro Valley, the South African Franschhoek and the French Bordeaux region. It is worth noting that Bordeaux is currently the European leader in sustainable enotourism. According to data contained on the European Commission ‘s website, in 2022 the city of Bordeaux served as the European capital of smart tourism. The region is famous for its record production results. Its average annual wine production reaches 5 million hectolitres there. There are currently 7,000 wineries and as many as 300 wine showrooms in Bordeaux, which is a good basis for the development of enotourism.
Also in Poland, due to growing interest in the subject, oenotourism initiatives are being undertaken. For example, in 2020, the Polish Tourism Organization presented Polish enotourism as one of the development sectors during the Vienna Ferie Messe Wien fair. It is worth noting that, this is not the only activity that results in the development of the tourist segment of the wine industry.
So far, Polish Enotourism has not been the subject of widely available public information. Currently, such a specific sector, only has commercial reports available. Eurostat, only tracks the number of nights spent in tourist accommodation, for the tourism sectors. While in the case of the wine sector, only data on sales, production and prices of wine in the European Union. In Poland, materials on this sector are administered by the National Support Centre for Agriculture (KOWR). This institution also does not publish information on the tourist activities of Polish vineyards. However, it has data on wine production and the number of vineyards. Information on wine production in Poland can be found in the article entitled Polish wines and vineyards. The sector’s tourist activities are mentioned on the websites of the institution supporting Polish tourism, i.e. The Polish Tourism Organisation.
According to KOWR data, the largest number of vineyards are registered in the Opolskie Voivodeship. The National Geographic Polska portal, in an article from November 2021, indicated the Lubuskie Voivodship. The Polish Tourism Organisation emphasizes that the largest vineyard area is located in the south-eastern part of the country. At the same time, the institution points to the special role of areas of Małopolska, Podkarpacie and Lubuskie in the development of domestic winemaking. According to the enoportal.pl website, there are 9 territorial areas in Poland specializing in wine production. These include the following regions: Szczecin-Gorzowski, Lubuski, Dolnośląski, Jurajski, Podgórzański, Sandomiersko-Świętokrzyski, Jasielski, Małopolska Gorge Wisła and Podkarpacki. There are a total of 10 enotourist trails in their areas. It is worth noting that, for example, in the Szczecin-Gorzów region there is the Lubuskie Wine and Honey Route, which also functions in the Lubuskie region located to the south.
According to available data, the group of Polish enotourist routes includes:
Carpathian Wine Route
For many years ,the term “Carpathian wine route” has been associated with the export of Hungarian wine to Poland. Over the centuries ,between eastern and north-eastern Hungary and today’s south-eastern Poland, numerous links in the wine trade have developed. The Carpathian Wine Trail in its current form, is an agreement between 31 vineyards from Poland and Slovakia, whose owners together with the Association for the Development and Promotion of Podkarpacie “Pro Carpathia” from Rzeszów (Trail Operator) decided to create a common tourist product. It is both a product in terms of cultural tourism, slow life tourism and enotourism. Launched in 2017, the initiative received support from European Union funds (under the Interreg V-A Poland-Slovakia Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014-2020).
Jasielski Wine Trail
According to the data published on the Trail’s website – Jasielski Szlak Winny was created in cooperation with the Department of Culture, Sport and Social Affairs of the City Hall in Jasło and the Association of Winemakers of Podkarpacie.The biggest attraction are Jasielskie Dni Wina (wine days) held at the end of August. This year, the event will take place on August 26-27, 2023.
Lower Silesian beer and wine route
The only route in Poland connecting vineyards and craft breweries. It makes it easier for people from all over the Poland and from other countries to visit Lower Silesia and get to know the local tourist attractions. Two Associations created the Trail: the Association of Lower Silesian Vineyards in partnership with the Lower Silesian Association of Craft Breweries. The project was co-financed from the budget of the Local Government of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship. On the trail’s website there is an extensive database of local vineyards. The portal’s last update took place in 2019.
Lubusz Wine and Honey Trail
This is the longest and oldest wine trail in Poland, it includes 4 cultural institutions apart from the vineyards, which show resources devoted to the wine history of the region. The trail loop runs through extremely attractive scenery. Cooperating with winemakers and beekeepers, hotels and agritourism farms on the trail can provide accommodation and food. According to the specialists, this trail is best visited in autumn during one of two of the regional events: the grape harvest which takes place in September in the capital of the region – Zielona Góra or the October Wine Harvest Festival, organized by the Ethnographic Museum in Zielona Góra-Ochla.
The Małopolska Wine Trail
The Małopolska Wine Trail was created on the basis of the Małopolska Wine Path, which was implemented as part of the “Vineyards of Małopolska II” project in 2006, by the Małopolska Regional Development Agency and the Polish Institute of Vine and Wine. Prepared as part of the initiative – a guide, map and mobile application allow you to get to know the region and vineyards and plan a visit. The creator of the Trail is the Gorce Tourist Organization and Małopolska vineyards. It consists of more than 40 vineyards. The most important attraction are the “Days of Open Vineyards” – a series of weekend meetings of wine lovers organized in the vineyards. This is not the only event organized as part of this trail.
Opole Vineyard Trail
The Opole Vineyard Trail is a thematic trail of culinary and cultural heritage of the Opole Voivodeship region. According to the assumptions made, each vineyard belonging to the Opole Vineyard Trail is to have a personalized information board informing tourists and visitors that they are just on the trail and can make use of the attractions and enotourist offer. The trail is organized by the Foundation for Partnership Events Partner from the Local Government funds of the Opole Voivodeship. Detailed information about the initiative are available on Facebook.
The Podkarpacki Vineyard Trail
The Podkarpackie Trail brings together vineyards with a diverse offer. It is worth noting that the region is considered the modern home of the Polish wine renaissance. Specialists emphasize that the local wine offer is very diverse. What’s more, the Podkarpackie Wine Trail crosses with the Jasielski Trail. As experts emphasize, this route is especially worth visiting at the end of August, when the International Wine Days take place in Jasło.
The Roztocze Vineyard Trail
The Roztocze Vineyard Trail is considered a pioneer undertaking in the field of enotourism of the region. At the same time, it is the easternmost of all Polish wine trails. The Roztocze Vineyard Trail is not too big, but it was developed in such a way that tourists can visit the monuments located close to it, as well as the most interesting corners of Roztocze. According to available data, the region does not abound in vineyards, but the soils present there and the large number of sunny days are conducive to viticulture. It is worth noting that the area abounds in numerous sites worth seeing as well as natural attractions.
The Sandomierz Wine Trail
Winemakers from the vicinity of Sandomierz, in cooperation with the Sandomierz Apple Trail association, created a tourist path leading through their farms, from this path the Sandomierz Wine Trail evolved. Characteristic for the region is the November Festival of Young Wine. Various events, such as open days, are held on the Trail every year. The vineyards offer not only accommodation for enotourists, but also wine tastings, guided tours of vineyards and wine cellars. The Sandomierz Wine Trail is an attractive development of the local tourist offer.
The Świętokrzyskie Vineyards Trail
The vineyards located in the region have united in the Świętokrzyskie Vineyards Foundation. Each of them has a different history and different enotourist attractions. As part of the community, they organize events with wine the main attraction. According to the jaksmakujepolska.pl portal (the Tastes of Poland), the initiative brings together several vineyards.
E-perspectives for business
The development and growing interest in enotourism has been recognised by the EU’s authorities and the scientific sector. As a result of this, work is underway on an enotourism platform co-financed by the European Union. Its aim is to increase the competences and integration of representatives from different European countries. The launch of the online tool is planned for 1 September. The project is coordinated by the University of Rowira and Virgili. The platform is implemented as part of cooperation between a total of 13 Academic institutions from Spain, France, Italy and Portugal. The project is to be implemented until August 31, 2026.