Are you a wine lover? If so, you are not alone-the American wine industry is worth $220 billion and continues to grow. Ready to take your love of wine on an adventure?
Do you love wine, vineyards, and food? Wine vacations are perfect for you! If you’re unsure where to go, here are the seven best destinations for wine.
1. Burgundy, France
France is famous for food and wine, and Burgundy and Bordeaux are two powerhouse wine areas. You need to do some planning to get into the wineries. You need to book ahead, so make sure to prepare before your trip. You can’t walk in wineries like you can in the United States.
You can do an overnight tour on a barge, do a day trip to Dijon and see its medieval style, or take an organized tour. The tasting rooms are rather small, so this is why the tastings and tours fill up rather quickly.
The vineyards are surrounded by rolling hills in quaint villages. You will feel like you are in a fairytale as you sip on your favorite wine. Other places to see include the Morvan Regional Natural Park, numerous abbeys and chateaux, and Beaune, a walled village with majestic charm.
Burgundy is the perfect place for chardonnays and sophisticated pinot noirs. Get your reservations early and enjoy!
2. La Rioja, Spain
There are more than 500 wineries producing full-bodied reds in the La Rioja region. La Rioja is not a type of grape but the region, known for Tempranillos, Graciano, Grenache, and Mazuelo wines. Most of these wines are best aged for at least five years.
You can check out some old winemaking techniques or visit the Bodegas Baigorri in Samaniego, which is a glass box that appears to hover over ground with an award-winning winery inside.
Check out one of the most famous winery hotels, Marques de Riscal. You can also visit the boutique wineries. Try some of the local tapas like the spicy chorizo.
Looking for other adventures in the area? Take a side trip to Santo Domingo de de la Calzada to see its breathtaking cathedral, San Millan de la Cogolla.
3. Barossa Valley, Australia
Australia is a once in a lifetime trip, and it also has some fabulous wines. The Barossa Valley impresses wine lovers all the world. The Shiraz wines are bold and satisfying, and you can also enjoy refined and light rieslings.
You can check out some of the wineries with tastings, free tours, and enjoy on-site cuisine. Check at Yalumba, which is the oldest family winery in Australia. The tasting room is divine with a relaxing fireplace.
Take a drive down to the Seppeltsfield Winery. This winery is widely known for its Centennial Collection.
The Barossa Valley is also big on the foodie scene with lots of farm-to-table options. If you want some wine pairings, try Casa Carboni, Appellation, or Vintners Bar & Grill.
4. Napa and Sonoma, California
You can’t have a list of wine vacations without including our own Napa Valley and Sonoma County. There are more than 400 wineries in the Napa area.
Popular wineries include Mondavi, Duckhorn, Hess, and Francis Coppola. Wines are normally fruity, and you can find some of the best full-bodied Zinfandels in the world.
You can venture outside of wine country to find other attractions such as Old Faithful, 50 nature parks, or miles of hiking and biking. Take a ride on the wild side while you zip line through these parks.
Sonoma is only about an hour drive from San Francisco. You can check out wineries such as Paul Hobbs, Iron Horse, or Merry Edwards. There are other area vintners with relaxing tasting room options.
California has great cuisine that is easy to pair with wine. Like sushi? Read more here on what wines go best with sushi.
5. Tuscany, Italy
Tuscany offers wine lovers the classic, rich Chianti. Along with these fabulous full-bodied wines you can find some of the most beautiful rolling hills and vineyards in the world.
Chianti wines are organic, and the wineries focus on natural ways to protect the grape vines from disease. Some of the larger estates use Roman terra cotta vats to produce wine. Smaller wineries may let the vines grow near weeds and wild grasses to prevent using harmful chemicals.
Try out the Castello del Trebbio for a winery in a former palace. Tuscany is a place for romance, sun, and of course, wine!
6. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa is a roaring, cosmopolitan city with some of the world’s best landscapes. The city has beautiful beaches, impressive cuisine, dazzling nightlife, and amazing vineyards.
If you go about 30 minutes south, you can find the Constantia valley. This area is the oldest wine-making region of the South Hemisphere. You must check out the views of Table Mountain while trying one of the area’s best chardonnays.
Other area attractions include Nelson Mandela’s jail cell, The District Six Museum, or a national soccer tournament. This vibrant city has it all and some delectable wines to go with it.
7. Mosel Valley, Germany
The Mosel Valley is dazzling and puts you in a fairytale state of mind. The rolling hills and storybook castles cannot be beat. If you are a fan of rieslings, you must visit this area.
You can come in the late summer for local wine festivals at fall harvest. You are sure to have fun as you dance and enjoy festive costumes.
Try some outdoor tastings at some of the steepest vineyards like Calmont-Klettersteig. The views (and wines) are worth the hike. If you need help finding the best wineries (and hikes), check out the tourist office in Koblenzoffers for expert advice and helpful details.
Looking to Book One of These Wine Vacations?
If you have decided one of these wine vacations are perfect for you, check out our blog for fun and useful travel information. Looking at one of these exciting European wine vacations? Take a look at what you should pack on your trip to Europe and other exciting outdoor activities to enjoy on your trip.