Wine merchants find new role as holistic therapists

Wine merchants might be surprised to hear of some recent uses for the grapes that produce the world's most desirable appellations.

According to health and beauty brand SIS Spa in Spain, Vinotherapy is increasingly popular on the continent - and that means more than simply sipping a glass of red wine each day.

While wine's internal health benefits and cardiovascular benefits are the subject of ongoing research, it seems the Spanish have decided to try out the external benefits too - although wine merchants might not approve of some of their uses for grapes.

Vinotherapy consists of "wine body wraps", bathing in wine, massages with grape oil, and skin peel treatments that incorporate grape seeds.

Just as region is important in winemaking, it is equally respected in Vinotherapy, as spas tend to use locally grown grapes - and some even go so far as to grow their own.

As a result, most spas already offering this kind of therapy can be found in Spain's wine-growing regions.

But wine fans might be hoping the trend doesn't catch on - and that those regions, which are among some of the world's most popular wine-growing areas, continue to use the bulk of their crops to create wine for drinking.