I'm not really one to blindly follow the latest fashions or must have bike that the bike industry are trying to push to get new bike sales but this gravel biking malarky seems to have hit a nerve. with the coming winter only going to make the local mtb trails even more of a chore a gravel bike seems more and more attractive.
I like the fact i can go out on the road. see an interesting path, take it and see where it goes but still have time to get in a decent length ride and a work out. you could do this on an MTB but they are always compromised on tarmac so you explore shorter distances. take tonight's ride for instance, i got home from work, got changed and headed out with a vague plan for a direction, it was getting dark but i still had time to do 23 miles of road , path and gravel track without needing proper bright lights all in an hour and a half. the bike propably isn't ideal and i've a few ideas on what sort of bike i might like, but that's to agaonise over for the future.
I think for riding in winter, exploring, light touring and commuting a drop bar, wide tyre equipped disc bike is the way to go