For a long time, I’ve had a very dull fascination with postcodes. I used to hate British postcodes because they are so hard to type – with letters and numbers mixed up. On the other hand, they have the great plus that each postcode covers a maximum number of around 100 properties, sometimes even just one house – the average is around 15. It was only when I started using internet mapping that I found how really useful they are – type in a British postcode into one of these services and you can locate exactly where you are going. The same applies when you use Satellite Navigation devices.
In the USA, zip codes apply to a huge area, as do postcodes in most European countries, so here you need a street address for internet mapping or Sat Navs to be efficient. But, here’s the rub. Unlike in the USA where even remote farmhouses have a street address, in much of the countryside in Europe the postal address is simply the name of a house, if you are lucky there’s a hamlet (often called a lieu-dit in French, meaning ‘named place’) and then the postcode of the closest administrative town, which could be several kilometers away. So, there’s no chance of finding a remote winery in France simply by tapping in their address into an internet mapping site or your Sat Nav. Cue GPS codes.
Just as we were planning to add GPS codes to our guides on Wine Travel Guides, Eric Asimov, the wine writer at the NY Times, wrote on his blog, The Pour, about how producers kept giving him GPS codes to find them on his wine tour of Burgundy and that next time he visited he would make use of them with a Sat Nav – I was even able to make a comment about it. Well, finally we’ve got there and have added GPS codes to the contact information for all the recommended wine producers, places to stay, eat and shop as well as the attractions shown on the guides – that’s around 1400 locations in all on the current tally of 46 guides!
You no longer need to get lost on your wine tour – read our latest press release and please spread the word.
For a worthwhile discount on subscriptions to Wine Travel Guides, use the code D1BLG08 or if you are already a subscriber, buy your friends an original wine gift with one of our Gift Subscriptions – you can still make use of the discount code.