Hi, I’m Elaine Schoch (pronounced the German way – Shock)
I’m an award-winning travel writer, wine judge, certified by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 and certified American Wine Expert. 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 it again!) When Prohibition was repealed in 1933 it took decades for winemaking to even be legal in some states, let alone the time it took to get growers up and producing.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/writer here at Carpe Travel. I am also a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association, the Society of American Travel Writers, and a Founding Member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association.
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. 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 are 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, Accolades & Professional Associations
- Bronze Award for the 26th Annual North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) Awards Competition
- 2016 Silver Award for a Travel Feature by Parenting Media Association Editorial & Design Award
- Best Luxury Travel Blogs 2016
- TOP LUXURY TRAVEL BLOGS OF 2016
- Member of the North American Travel Journalists Association
- Member of the Society of American Travel Writers
- Founding Member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association
Where Else Can You Find My Work?
- Adoption Today: How a Scared Little Girl Taught Me That We Can Conquer the World (page 20)
- Casual Travelist, Where to Travel in 2017
- Colorado Parent: 10 Places in Colorado to Take Your Kids (before they grow up)
- Dining Out, Denver & Boulder, Weekend Wine Tasting in Denver
- Ecophiles, The Real Cancun: A Volunteer’s Experience
- Expedia, Football Getaways in Turin
- Fox News, Good Day Colorado, Holiday Travel Made Easy
- Global Mom, Elaine Schoch with Carpe Travel
- Hipmunk, Fun in the Phoenix Desert Sun
- Johnny Jet: Travel Style
- Lenten Witness Project: Did I Dream That? Adoption, Samuel and Siberia.
- Mapping Megan: Adopting “Carpe Travel”
- Mile High Mama: Ten Travel Hacks Every Parent Should Know (and use)
- MomZetta: Genius Ways to Travel with Kids
- MomZetta: The Firsts with a New Daughter
- Motherhood Unadorned: Stress Saver Tips for Traveling with Kids
- Nerd Wallet: Don’t Lose Your Booze. How to Bring it to the US.
- SeeYouSoon.ca, From Family to Wine Travel, An Interview with Elaine of Carpe Travel
- Snow.com, Skiing, Boarding, Snowshoeing, Shopping, Dining—The Beaver Creek Experience
- SmarterTravel.com: Flying with Pets
- Suitecases and Sippycups: Colorado Mine Tours: Tips to Prepare Kids
- Suitcase Stories: Ten Tips to Help Avoid Hotel Thefts
- The North Texan, Travel Tips
- Turin Epicurean Capital, 14 Fun Facts to Know about Turin
- Travels With Baby: Puerto Rico with Kids: San Juan’s 5 Best Activities for Kids
- Trekaroo.com: A Review of YMCA of the Rockies
- Trekaroo.com: Exploring Rocky Mountain National Park with Kids
- Trivago: The Perfect Pairings: Where to Sip Wine & Stay in Finger Lakes Wine Country
- Trivago: Eight Excellent Pairings: Where to Sip and Stay in Paso Robles
- Trivago: Sip and Savor the Big Flavors of Texas Wine Country
- Utrip: Five Things to Do in Turin in 24 hours
- Walking on Travels: 5 Things to do in Denver with Kids
- WearEverYouGo.com: Eight Tips for Planning the Perfect Wine Trip
- Who Needs Maps: Hangover Remedies Around the World
- YHA: Top 12 Hostelling Hacks: Tips for Travellers
- Expert Advice: 15 Travel Bloggers Share their Favorite Things to See or Do in LasVegas