You find yourself in an airport with an unavoidably long layover (5-8 hours) so what do you do? Some people may just head up to the lounge if you have access and while away the time reading or meditating. But if you’re a serious (some might say masochistic) wine lover, you might weigh the possibilities of a winery visit if there is one nearby.
I got this inspiration from a recent post by the Points Guy. Roger Morris, the author, suggests 10 airports that lend themselves to long-layover winery visits: San Fran, Rome,D.C., Paris, Venice, Auckland, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Athens, Santiago. Of these, I would select these as the most feasible: Auckland, Venice, Barcelona and Santiago. There are wine regions very close to the airports and they are airports without a lot of congestion. I would have no problem suggesting any of them.
However Paris, and the recommended Champagne region, would be very treacherous. Paris is notoriously congested, and trains are frequently subjected to spot strikes. Nothing like the pressure of being stranded with a flight to catch. Athens is another city I would avoid a layover visit; plently of great wineries near Athens, but again you are subject to the vagaries of public strikes, and demonstrations. D.C. is OK as long as it’s IAD but in the city, you are asking for trouble. Rome is a definite no-no: Fiumicino is remote, and you again are subject to possible traffic congestions. San Fran is a maybe and the Points Guy calculates 53 minutes ‘in normal traffic.’ But since when is California traffic normal?
What about airports that didn’t make the list? Nice for example has an in-town airport and Chateau Crémat (which we’ll be visiting this October) is readily available. Seattle is another option and the headquarters of Chateau Ste. Michelle is a no-brainer. I was ready to list JFK or LGA because of their proximity to Long Island and Hudson Valley wineries, but then I remember the caveat about traffic congestion.
Here are two more: Geneva and Vancouver. Can you think of any other airports? Please share if you know of any.
If I want to get exotic, I could recommend Montevideo, Uruguay; or Vienna, Austria, or even Malpensa Milan. So I hope we’ve stirred your creative juices and remember that winelovers leave no stone unturned in their quest for new wine experiences.