Wouldn’t you love to experience the most famous wine destinations across the globe? There’s nothing more charming than tasting wine with friends over the weekend. Wine tasting is so enjoyable that it has become its own vacation. The wine tourism industry has grown significantly in the past decade. This is due to the large number of wineries around the world that provide tasting rooms and tours of their vineyards and scenic views.
The beauty of wine is undeniable. It is a perfect accompaniment to a meal, as well as a great way to unwind after a day of sightseeing. Imagine sipping on a glass of wine as you watch the sunset in a vineyard. Consider what it would be like to do this every day for a week or more.
Many wine-tasting destinations in the world allow you to experience just that. Ranging from Napa and Sonoma in California to Bordeaux and Burgundy in France. Over the past few years, however, certain areas around the United States, South Africa, Canada, and Australia have risen to prominence as wine tasting destinations. In that respect, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best wine destinations in the world.
How To Experience The 10 Most Famous Wine Destinations Around The World
#1. Okanagan Valley – British Columbia
Kicking off our list is Okanagan Valley. On the road north from the Canada-US border, Highway 97 passes Osoyoos, the region’s viticulture center, and the mountains surrounding Okanagan Lake on its way to Vernon. Over 60 grape varieties are grown here, including Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, and a variety of fruit wines. There are also over 100 wineries in the Okanagan region, and Penticton offers a great starting point for a tasting tour.
#2. Bordeaux – France
Next, we explore Bordeaux. Known throughout the world for its exquisite wines that range in price from cheap table wine to some of the most prestigious bottles, Bordeaux is one of the world’s top wine-producing regions. It’ll take you some time to leave this elegant town of Gothic churches and 18th-century mansions before you can taste wines from the verdant vineyards of fine chateaus like Médoc, St-Emilion, and Graves. The tasting rooms and the estates where they are located are exquisite. Here you can also enjoy some of the finest cuisines in the country. Experience Bordeaux’s wine region through a wine tour.
#3. Finger Lakes – New York
The Finger Lakes is New York’s largest wine-producing region, with over 100 wineries around the lakes, dotting the panoramic hills. You’ll find tasting rooms and tours everywhere, and you can sample varietals such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Vidal Blanc, and Riesling. Visit the New York Wine & Culinary Center, where you can taste wine and learn about the region. Then check out the Cayuga and Seneca Wine Trails for popular wine routes. These two events showcase the best wineries in the region.
#4. Mendoza – Argentina
Fourth on our list is Mendoza. Argentina has established itself as a top wine-producing region in recent years, producing exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, as well as decent Syrah. There is a wide range of wineries in Mendoza that offer tasting dinners, tours, and regular tastings, but you will need to schedule these in advance since almost all the wineries require reservations. Vine’s of Mendoza — located off the main square — offers reservations, tastings, and information for the spontaneous wine drinker.
#5. Willamette Valley – Oregon
Over 200 wineries are found along Highway 99, which runs south from Portland. Unlike its California neighbor, the Willamette Valley produces mostly cooler-climate varietals, much like those grown in Alsace and Burgundy. This region is well known for the quality of its Pinot Noir, but you can also enjoy the flavors of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, and Riesling. There are picnic tables available at most wineries, so grab a picnic basket, a bottle of wine, and have an outdoor picnic with views of the Cascade Mountains.
#6. Tuscany – Italy
Next on the list, is Tuscany! Whenever you think of red wine, Chianti comes to mind, that delightful wine that goes so well with meats and pasta. In Tuscany’s gently rolling hills, dotted with medieval houses and castles, are acres of grapevines, with wineries open for tours and tastings. Old World wine culture is at its best here; grapes are still crushed with feet, and the wines are stored in vaulted cellars dug out of the rock itself.
#7. Cape Town – South Africa
Outside of Cape Town lies South Africa’s world-famous Cape Winelands, where fertile soil and a moderate climate allow growers to produce fine Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Wine-tasting holidays in South Africa are well prepared as the region has garnered increasing attention over the last few decades. The wines at Groot Constantia are among the best and the views are breathtaking at one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa. There are also wine routes in Stellenbosch, Paarl, and Franschhoek.
#8. Napa & Sonoma – California
There are over 4 million visitors a year to the Napa Valley wine tasting region, the most popular in the United States. There are more than 450 wineries in the region, and many of them offer tastings.
Among the wines produced in the region are Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. The region is also home to outdoor activities, superb hotels, restaurants, and spas.
Sonoma, the second most popular wine region in the US, produces grapes that are similar to those produced in Napa. Hundreds of wineries, restaurants, and boutique hotels fill Sonoma’s quaint little towns.
#9. Barcelona – Spain
A cosmopolitan city bordering the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona is bursting with gastronomic discoveries as well as Gothic and modern architecture. As well as being the capital of Catalonia, the city is also known for its dry white wines, meaty and ruby reds, and sparkling Cava. Garnacha and Tempranillo are the dominant grapes in reds, Parellada, and Macabeo for whites. There are nine different wine regions in Catalonia, and you can book a wine or cava tour from Barcelona to discover some of the region’s best wineries.
#10. Yarra Valley – Australia
Closing out our list is the Yarra Valley in Australia. In the Yarra Valley, an hour outside of Melbourne, you’ll find charming villages, crafts shops, restaurants, and a lot of wineries. It is primarily known for its Chardonnay, Syrah, and Pinot Noir, but there are also classic bubblies here. You can also find some of the region’s best restaurants and hotels in the tasting rooms. In this region, the major cities are Warburton, Healesville, and Yarra Glen. So, as you stop for tastings, you’ll get to see some amazing scenery.
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