A holiday is the perfect time to relax and unwind, and one of the best ways to accomplish that is with a glass of wine and a great meal, preferably with a beautiful view. Many travellers are discovering that they can achieve all of those things at one time simply by visiting wineries around the world.
Wineries have reached out to wine lovers and travellers alike, offering tours of their vineyards and winemaking facilities, presenting tastings of their different varieties and offering sumptuous food that is often prepared specifically for their local wines by resident chefs. In some cases, guests can stay at the vineyard, and even view the winemaking process. Some visitors have even found themselves assisting at harvest time.
There are many places in the world that pride themselves on their history of fine wine, and here are just a few of these enchanting locales.
This lovely South American country’s reputation in the winemaking community has grown by leaps and bounds, as has its wine tourism industry. The area of Mendoza is the largest producer of wine in the country. Fine reds of the malbec and cabernetsauvignon varieties are Argentina’s top selling wines by far, followed by other red wine varieties.
The rugged landscape of this region of Argentina with its Andean views appeals to the outdoorsy wine lover as well. Many tours involve hiking or cycling between vineyards, offering the visitor a chance to experience the beautiful scenery.
Winery tours in Argentina can be much more affordable when compared to tours in other parts of the world, much to the delight of the budget-conscious connoisseur.
Italy has a long and storied reputation as a wonderful area to experience fine wine. While many visitors come for the stunning architecture and history, plenty will find themselves drawn to a winery, sampling the finest that the country has to offer.
The Puglia region has long been renowned for its scenic beauty, and it is proving itself as a fantastic area for vineyard, as well. Many of the local winemakers are implementing sustainable and organic practices, much to the delight of environmentally conscious visitors.
Inarguably one of the most famous wine-producing areas in the world, France continues to be a top destination for wine tourism. On offer is everything from luxury tours of the finest wineries and restaurants to river cruises highlighting vineyards on the Rhone River to low-key family operations.
The most popular regions in beautiful France include Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy, Provence and the Loire Valley. Any of these areas is sure to delight the wine loving traveler.
New Zealand is often at the top of the bucket list for many travelers and for good reason. It’s a beautiful country filled with spectacular landscapes and wonderful people. However it’s New Zealand’s fantastic wines that keep many people visiting again and again.
Wine experts consider New Zealand wines to amongst the best in the world, with pinot noir and Bordeaux blends as the most popular. New Zealand is also thought by many to produce the finest sauvignon blanc in existence.
Wineries are spread across the north and south islands of New Zealand, and many tour operators are on hand to craft a perfect vineyard tour itinerary.
The history of winemaking in South Africa dates back to 1659, but it wasn’t until recently that their wines became popular outside of the country. Today South African vintages are sold by quality retailers around the world.
Much of the country’s wine production takes place in the Western Cape region, which is best known its production of fortified wine known as Cape port. The region also prides itself on its production of sparkling wine.
Wineries across the country heartily welcome visitors, and many travelers explore the Western Cape area simply by journeying from vineyard to vineyard. Of course, there are many tour operators on hand to assist with planning.
As wine and travel both become much more accessible to more people, it seems a natural progression for the two to intertwine. As this trend progresses, we can expect to see a generation of people with a deep appreciation for and an understanding of the process of winemaking and the parts of the globe where it is done. Hopefully, this will inspire others to venture out and discover the incredible things done on the vineyards of the world by equally incredible people.
About the Author: Anabelle Spratt is a seasoned traveler who loves learning about and experiencing food and drink culture around the world. She enjoys everything from top selling wines and spirits to locally crafted beers, but her favorite is a delicious glass of good red wine.