Welcome to Carpe Travel!

Hi, I’m Elaine Schoch (pronounced the German way – Shock)

I’m an award-winning travel writer, wine judge and certified by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). At Carpe Travel my goal is to help guide ALL WINE LOVERS – from novices to experienced pros – on their wine adventures. To arm you with insider tips, must-visit spots, and things to see and do beyond the vines.

For thousands of years people have been pontificating about wine. What is great. What is bad. What are THE only varietals of wine to sip, and so on. At Carpe Travel, I like to pontificate about the back story of wine, its region, the people making it standout, and of course where to sip, stay and what to do beyond the vines.

With every 50 states in the United States producing wine, combining a vacation with a visit to wine country has never been easier. I’m personally fascinated with the American wine industry – even those beyond California. Albeit, I do adore California…and cover it extensively. It’s impossible not to, California produces 85 percent of the country’s wine and is home to 138 of the 239 established American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in the United States. It’s those remaining 101 AVA’s that absolutely fascinate me.

When Prohibition killed wine making in the United States in the 1920’s, it killed an industry that was booming in places such as Missouri, Tennessee, New York, Idaho and Texas. These are not places one typically thinks about as producing good, quality wine. (But they did, and they’re doing again!) When Prohibition was repelled in 1933 it took decades for winemaking to even be legal in some states, let alone the time it took to get growers up and producing. Today, every state in the country produces wine – even Alaska! When you think about it, we’re still in the infancy of American wine – it’s the perfect time to get out to explore and watch it grow.

My goal is to guide you on your wine adventures in the United States. Albeit, I do also sip quite a bit in Italy, and have plans to explore Canada, Spain, France and Germany. But these trips are more few and far between given I have two young kid – Princess One and Princess Two – who’s interest and knowledge in wine is quite extensive BUT their school schedule, music lessons and gymnastics tends to slow our travels down during the school year.

As I’ve said before, it’s soooo easy to combine any vacation into a wine country visit. And, so that’s what I do.

I plan to visit at least one winery in EACH of the 50 United States. My long-term goal to visit every AVA in the in the country… Along the way, I’ll be making a lot of stops. Every wine region has a story, and it’s so much more than what’s in the bottle. At Carpe Travel, I’m sharing those stories, one sip at a time. Let me guide you on your next wine adventure, especially the one right in your home state.

 

How Carpe Travel came to be…

I studied journalism and ended up doing tech PR and marketing for more than a decade before I began writing Carpe Travel. I left the corporate world in 2011 and began life as a self-employed public relations and marketing consultant, now turned wine judge, freelance writer and editor here at Carpe Travel. Why the change?

I started to see life a little differently and needed to change things up. A few years earlier my dad had been diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer and died a few weeks later (yes, weeks). His “someday I’ll do this or that” never happened… He was only 55 years-old.

My first “someday” happened a few months after he passed and lost my job. It was time to go somewhere. See something new. Have an experience. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately depending on how you look at it, I had just bought my first house, so I couldn’t really strap on my backpack and “take off”. So I settled for hitting New Orleans for Jazz Fest. I made my “someday” list on that trip and started making things happen when I got home. It took a few years to save the cash but by then I also had enough professional experience (and contacts) to make a living doing consulting work and travel writing. On that list included a visit to Italy, where I fell madly in love with wine.

Fast forward to today and I’m now married to “The Husband” and we have two little Princesses, Princess One and Princess Two. (For my family’s privacy, I’ve chosen not to use their names. I do still post photos though. They can’t have it all…) 

We travel extensively with and without the Princesses, which is why there’s a lot of tips and ideas on things to do beyond the vines. I hope you’ll follow all of our adventures here and on Facebook or Instagram.

 

Awards and Accolades

 

Where Else Can  You Find My Work?

 


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