If you’re a wine lover in need of adventure, Europe is a great place to go on a tasting journey. From the charming flower fields and vineyards of France to the drier Mediterranean climates of Italy and Greece and the off-the-beaten path beauty of Bulgaria, there is something for every wine lover in Europe. Here are seven fantastic places to visit in Europe for a great wine tasting experience.
Explore Europe's Greatest Wine Regions
The wine from this region has been celebrated as the best and highest-quality wine in the entire world for centuries. Visit gorgeous estates with historic cellars and try the famous rich red and exquisite white wines. Domaine de Chevalier, Chateau Pape Clement and Chateau La Dominique, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Chances are you’ve heard of the magic of Tuscany, and seen it in more than one movie. The region is famous for good reason - the charm of the old stone cities surrounded by rolling hills in the countryside will make you want to stay forever. Some of the best-traveled and best-loved wineries in the area are Sovestro in Poggio Winery in San Gimignano, Antinori Chianti Classico near Florence, and Castello di Ama, which is in a 12th-century castle. Come for the Chianti; stay for the landscapes that inspired Da Vinci.
Visit wineries and walk through vineyards in this interesting and unique part of Spain. Known for its warm, Mediterranean climate, Catalonia is particularly well-known for Cava, which is produced in the Penedès region. Take a few days to relax in one of Catalonia’s several wine therapy wellness centers, like at Peralada Resort and Wine Spa in Girona. Parés Baltà Winery and Alta Alella (which is near the sea) are two particularly popular destinations.
Winemaking goes back centuries upon centuries in Bulgaria, yet the country’s wine regions are often overlooked for the more-popular tasting routes in France, Italy, and Spain. For a wine lover who craves a little adventure, though, Bulgaria has much to offer. The Black Sea is an incredibly beautiful part of the world with idyllic beaches, green mountains and inviting, clear water. Venture off to former royal summer palace Chateau Euxinograde near Varna and Domaine Boyar to try some world-class wines.
The climate in this part of Croatia near the border with Italy is well-suited to grape growing and is an easy trip from Venice or Trieste. The soil here is ideal for making rich, full-bodied red wines. Many festivals are held during the spring and summer, which will make your visit even more fun. Be sure to check out Kozlović Winery in Momjan with a setting of a medieval castle and Saints Hills Winery, whose wines are featured on menus all over Croatia.
With over 250 producers in this stunning region, and also home of the Festa da Vinha e do Vinho (or Festival of the Vine and of Wine) every November in Borbo, this is a great destination to put on your itinerary. The area is known for its red blends like Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Make sure to visit Herdade do Esporão, which has been in operation for 700 years, and Adega da Cartuxa, which has many wines that cannot be found in the United States and elsewhere.
The subject of countless postcards and calendars, Santorini is a dream destination for people all over the world. A lesser-known fact, however, is that the island also produces phenomenal wine. It also happens to be the site of the oldest vineyard in Europe! Check out the Kotsoyannopoulos Wine Museum and then head to Antoniou Winery, built into a cliff, Argyros Estate, or Santos Wines Winery, where you can enjoy a glass or two of wine at sunset in an immaculate setting.
This article was written by Cathy Trainor.