There is nothing quite as enchanting as enjoying a lovely glass wine as you relax and watch the sunset – unless, of course, you’re enjoying that glass of wine exactly where it was originally produced. Wine tasting is becoming more popular as a vacation, and the world’s finest wine producing regions have been quick to catch on to the trend. So if you’re wondering where you’ll be sipping your next Chardonnay, check out some of the world’s best wine destinations below.
When you think of wine, we know your mind goes straight to the beautiful rolling hills of Tuscany. In this quintessential Old World wine country, people still crush the grapes with their bare feet and wine is stored in vaulted basement cellars. Wineries abound and wine tours are well organized, making this the perfect destination for wine lovers. And the region is filled with other precious gems too including seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, incredible landscapes, a vivacious art scene and other food tours including cheese and olive tastings.
Over in the New World of wine, you will also be spoiled for choice when it comes to scenic vineyards and fine wines – especially in California. From world-famous Napa Valley with its luxurious lodgings and scenic views to the intimate feel of Sonoma Valley, the progressive boutique vineyards of Mendocino and the vintage wines of Gold Country – there is something for every kind of wine lover here.
Constantia Valley, South Africa
Just 30 minutes south of lively Cape Town, you’ll find South Africa’s largest wine country. The fertile soil and moderate climate here allow wine cultivators to produce some of the finest Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and more. You will have plenty of choice when it comes to deciding on your wine tour as well: Stellenbosch, Paarl, Groot Constantia and Franschloek all offer stellar wines and incredible views over Table Mountain.
The Douro Valley, Portugal
Another classic wine region in Europe, the Douro Valley in Portugal is where the world-renowned Port wine is grown. And you will have plenty of opportunities to explore it here. As Henry Vizetelly famously put it in 1880: “there are as many styles of Port wine as shades of ribbon in a haberdasher’s shop”. The Douro Valley is the perfect place to discover those styles and become fluent in the flavorsome language of Port wine.
The Chilean wine region is geographically organized much like the rest of the country: it stretches thinly from north to south offering a varied range of climate and landscapes on the way. But if you’re looking for the best place to really observe winemaking at its finest, the Chilean Patagonia easily takes the prize. The region’s dark soil and dry climate produces some lovely Chardonnay and Shiraz.
One of the most respected wine regions in the world, Bordeaux wine cultivators produce pretty much everything from delectable table wines to some of the most prestigious bottles in the world. You’ll have to head out of the historic town for a wine tasting tour in the vineyards, but you will be rewarded with delicious verdant wines in return.
Barossa Valley, Australia
Barossa Valley was originally founded by German settlers in the mid-1800s and today it is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions. Located in the south of Australia, just one hour from Adelaide by car, Barossa Valley beautifully combines excellent wines with a stunning natural landscape. Almost all wineries offer tastings and many are now beginning to open delicious on-site eateries in true farm-to-table fashion.