If you’re a wine lover, there are so many great wine-tasting regions around the world that it can be hard to choose where to go. However, there are certain places that really stand out from the rest - and others that are up-and-coming that are definitely worth a visit.
Here are 9 fantastic wine-tasting destinations that you should consider when planning your next trip. Ancient cellars, historic castles, charming estates and breathtaking mountains await you on these wine-tasting journeys!
World's Best Destinations for Wine Tasting
1. Napa Valley, California
Experience some of the richest and full-bodied red wines in the world in beautiful Napa Valley. With a mild climate, it is beautiful to visit at any time of year and you can travel up and down the valley to various wineries. In the summer, check out a concert at Robert Mondavi winery, and sample the sophisticated reds at Inglenook just down the highway. Be sure to head to nearby Sonoma for some more great wine from places like Sebastiani and Ravenswood.
2. The Rheinegau, Germany
Germany is one of the top producers of fine white wines in the world, and the scenic Rheinegau region along the Rhine River is where the production of elegant German white wines began. Sample a selection of excellent Reislings at Schloss Vollrads and Schloss Johannisberg, which provide a fascinating and beautiful castle and estate setting to match the impeccable taste of the wine.
3. Margaret River, Australia
Close to Perth, the relaxing Margaret River wine growing area of Southwest Australia is a lovely escape from city life! In October and November, spring flowers are in full bloom, so consider planning your trip during this time to see the vineyards dotted with wildflowers. Try the Sauvignon Blanc and Semillion at Watershed Premium Wines and Voyager Estate Winery
4. Stellenbosch, South Africa
Located close to the beautiful city of Cape Town, Stellenbosch is South Africa’s best-known wine region. The geography of the region is particularly interesting: the area is divided into 7 subregions that specialize in specific wines. The wineries are surrounded by mountains, and the sandstone-rich soil of the west are well-suited to white wines, while the east is dominated by granite-rich soil and produces excellent red wines. Make sure to visit Kleinood, Warwick, and Lourensford Estate!
5. Mendoza Region, Argentina
Of the top five wine producers in the world, Argentina’s wine production has the highest growth. The country is best known for Malbec, brought by the French in the mid-nineteenth century, but is also well-known for its Chardonnay. The Mendoza Region is stunning due to its proximity to the snowy Andes mountains, and has several subregions that produce fantastic Bordeaux Reds, Sauvignon Blancs and native grapes. Visit family-owned Familia Zuccardi, Bodega Carmelo Patti, and The Vines of Mendoza, a unique community-operated grape growing project. You will get a special, hospitable family feel at each of the wineries that you visit.
6. La Rioja, Spain
For lovers of red wine, there is no better place to go than the region of Rioja in Spain! Located in the northern part of the country along the Ebro River, and close to the Cantabrian Mountains, the winemaking history of this region is centuries-deep. Bodegas Franco-Españolas in the city of Logroño is situated on the bank of the Ebro River and is a great place to start your tasting journey, while Bodegas Muga and Lopez de Heredia are also local favorites. We recommend visiting in the fall during harvest time, in September and October!
7. Douro Valley, Portugal
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its stunning beauty and history, the Douro Valley in Portugal is a fantastic place to go for wine tasting. The grapevines here were introduced centuries ago by the Romans, and they lasted thanks to the protective granite mountain ranges along the Douro River Gorge. Try the Port at Sandeman and the table wines - and welcoming, family-style atmosphere - at Quinta do Crasto and Quinta do Panascal.
8. Beaune, France
This charming region is known for its wide varieties of wine and its distinctive buildings with green and orange tiled roofs. You can get a great introduction to the region’s wines at Le Hameau de Beaujolais, and then move on to the world-famous Corton-Charlemagne and Clos du Roi. South of the village of Pommard, be sure to try the mineral-rich Chardonnay in the village of Meursault.
9. Tuscany, Italy
Try the best chianti in the world in Tuscany! From Siena or Florence, head from one charming town to another in the Tuscan countryside to try the wine. The dry, full-bodied red wine at Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and the vernaccia (Italy’s first white wine) in the city of San Gimignano are must-go destinations. Quite possibly the best dessert in Italy, cantuccini (biscotti) with vin santo (a dessert wine) is a fantastic and very local way to end a meal.
This article was written by Cathy Trainor.