Traveling around the world and spending days tasting wine may sound like a dream come true for many. Fortunately, wine tasting is slowly but surely becoming a form of vacation in its own right. Wine-related tourism has seen a major increase over the last couple of years, with many wineries around the world offering dedicated scenic-view tasting rooms, tours of wine cellar and vineyards as well as wine-tasting dinners. These tours form a connection between the wine you’re tasting and the region of the world it originates from, adding an additional level to already exquisite wine tasting experience.
Barossa Valley, Australia
Most people won’t associate Australia as a wine country, but Barossa Valley has numerous wineries working hard on proving them wrong. The region attracts visitors from around the world, with most wineries offering experiences ranging from visiting wine-tasting room to dedicated guided tours. Shiraz is the quintessential wine produced in the valley, offering finesse and sophistication rarely seen in Shiraz wines found in other regions. Other significant wines you should definitely taste if presented with the change include:
You don’t have to worry about picking the right time to visit, as Barossa Valley offers wine-tasting opportunities throughout the entire year.
Napa & Sonoma, California
The Napa Valley in California has been the single most popular wine-growing area of the United States. Its world-class wines have been receiving international praise and each year they draw around 4 million unique visitors. Currently, there are over 450 wineries in the Napa Valley open for tasting which offer a wide variety of high-quality wines including:
- Cabernet Franc
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir
- Sauvignon Blanc
The valley also has a number of superb hotels, restaurants, spas, specialized wine tours and offers numerous exciting activities for those who’d like to experience the outdoors a little better.
When it comes to wine production, Bordeaux has always been regarded as the most respected region in the entire world. This region produces everything ranging from delicious, yet affordable table wines to some of the most prestigious and down-right expensive bottles you’ll ever see. Besides the wine-tasting opportunities, Bordeaux is famous for its Gothic architecture and elegant wine-tasting mansions, some of which have been around for more than 300 years. The chateaus Graves, Médoc, and St-Emilion feature the most exquisite tasting rooms, allowing for a very unique and memorable wine-tasting experience.
The Tuscany region of Italy has become synonymous with the world famous red wine Chianti. The diverse soil and climate conditions coupled with the rugged terrain are what makes this red wine so unique and its personality so hard to define. Tuscany’s secret to success is the Sangiovese grape, which went on to become the backbone of wines such as Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti, Carmignano and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Tuscany is also famous for its Super Tuscan wines, which are easily some of the most refined wines in the world.
Between the sloping hills are numerous medieval castles, houses, and acres upon acres of Sangiovese grape wines, with the wineries being open for tastings and various tours. Tuscany is a place brimming with what some might call “old world” winemaking culture. The makers still use their feet to crush grapes and store their wines in big vaulted cellars, some of which are carved right into the rock itself.
Barcelona is featured in the top 100 metropolitan areas in the world. This might make it difficult for some to imagine there being a developed wine-tasting market, as most wineries throughout the word require driving at least couple of hours from a major city in order to access them. Barcelona, however, allows visitors to see the splendor of the Catalunya wine country in a rather small region of space. Some wineries, such as Denominación de Origen being only 20 minutes away from the city. Other vineyards, some of which have been rated as the best in the world, are located only 90 minutes away from the center of this beautiful city.
Vietnam is a breath-taking country which not only has exquisite natural beauty, but also a rich and developed wine culture. The wine market itself is somewhat divided between fruit and grape wines, due to the country’s abundance of various, locally grown fruit. That is, until recently, when Vang Dalat or Dalat red wine soared in popularity on the count of its relative affordability and a rather amazing taste. Vietnam wine tours are some of the most unique in the world, featuring wineries and wine-tasting experiences inside castles and even on an island called Phu Quoc, where you can taste one of the better fruit wines out there.
These are just some of the most relevant and, more importantly, most exquisite world regions for wine aficionados. Other, honorable mentions include Canada’s very own Okanagan Valley, Mendoza region in Argentina, Cape Town in South Africa and Croatia’s beautiful coastal town of Istra. They offer some of the most breath-taking wine-tasting tours you’ve ever experience. Just make sure you don’t end up “tasting” too much wine, you don’t want to miss out on the beautiful scenery and spend the entire day strapped to a bed.