Wine tourism as a discrete field of research is inchoate, yet there has been rapid development in this field since the mid 1990s. The hosting of the first Australian Wine Tourism Conference in 1998 was the first forum in which wine tourism researchers from the public and private sector were able to present their work to their colleagues. Importantly, much of the wine and tourism industry were involved in that conference and served to guide the direction of wine tourism research from that point on. Hence much of the research that is presently available is applied and practical and includes a body of work on wine tourism conceptualisation, wine tourists and wine tourism destinations. Initially most of this work took the form of case studies and cross-sectional 'snapshots' of wine tourism, with a noted absence of any theoretical underpinnings or conceptual framework to set the context of the research. This article reviews existing attempts to frame wine tourism research and suggests an approach that recognises that wine production and tourism are located at opposite ends of the industrial spectrum, with very different economic conditions applying in the wine and tourism industries. Within this framework, the key research questions that confront all wineries and wine regions seeking to develop wine tourism can be addressed in a more pragmatic and strategic way.