Whether you love wine or are a travel enthusiast, visiting wine regions worldwide can make for a great romantic trip. Below are our favorites for you, which stand out not only for their excellent wine but also for their beautiful locations for the perfect travel experience.
Where in the world to find wine regions
Wine is grown almost all over the world, but it differs in taste and quality. The specific composition of the soil in the area, but also the number of hours of sunshine, are responsible for the differences. A completely different wine is thus born in each vineyard, not only because of the difference in the variety. No matter where you go to taste the wine, you can count on the fact that it will be different every time.
Of course, you can enjoy a glass of your favorite drink at home or in a restaurant, but nothing compares to a visit directly to the vineyard. In addition to seeing how it is grown, you will absorb the local atmosphere and learn a lot of interesting things. Several world-renowned vineyards with international certification also offer tours, which is the perfect tip for a trip.
The vineyards are mostly located on steep slopes near the rivers, precisely so that the vines have enough sunlight. Such a trip can also be perfectly combined with hiking and walking or cycling through the vineyards and surroundings.
1. Tuscany in Italy
Tuscany is a region in central Italy famous for famous historic cities, beautiful rolling countryside, idyllic cypress avenues, and great wine. Few people do not associate it with wine, because it is one of the most important areas for growing vines. In the pleasant Mediterranean climate, you can taste Chianti, Montepulciano, or Brunella typical of the local vineyards. Thanks to the large area of 70,000 hectares, up to 2 million hectoliters of wine are produced here annually.
Local spa towns, but also endless beaches, and even the islands of Elba, which belong to Tuscany, are popular destinations. Here you can discover centuries-old cities, and visit world-famous monuments in Florence, Pisa, or the cities of Lucca or Siena. In short, Tuscany is one of the most diverse Italian regions, with something for everyone.
2. Bordeaux in the south of France
One of the most famous wine regions is of course in France, more precisely in the southwest, around the city of Bordeaux. The wine from here has a protected designation of origin, i.e. appellation d’origine protégée. At the same time, it is the country’s largest wine region.
If you happen to be nearby, be sure to visit one of the vineyards where you can enjoy a truly excellent wine with an intense flavor. Among the world-famous regions around Bordeaux are, for example, Pauillac, Sauternes, Saint-Émilion or Médoc. Of course, you can also buy your bottle in a supermarket, but the quality cannot be matched.
You will find around 8,000 vineyards with a total area of up to 121,000 hectares! Due to the size of the area, up to 6 million hectoliters of wine are produced here annually, with the predominance of red, which is up to 80%. The main varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Mouton Rothschild, and Petit Verdot. White wines then Sémillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon Blanc.
About 600 km northeast of Bordeaux lies another region with top wines, Burgundy. Combine a visit to the vineyards with a taste of the local cuisine and you have a wonderful gastronomic experience.
3. Rioja in Spain
The most famous wine region of Spain is undoubtedly Rioja. The vineyards, which date back to the 9th century, today have an area of over 60,000 hectares. The local wine ranks among the best in the world.
You can most often come across Tempranillo here, which, like other Spanish wines, is kept in oak barrels. At the same time, it is a variety that occupies more than half of all Rioja vineyards. If you prefer a dry, red wine, you’ll love Tempranillo. In addition to it, Garnacha, Cariñena, or Mazuelo grow here. Rioja will also enchant you with its beautiful nature.
Those who feel that they have tried everything related to wine should visit the local Haro wine center on June 29, when the annual “wine war” takes place here. The warrior must wear white clothes, and the tourist must resign himself to maintain a clean exterior. Ammunition consists of red wine, weapons are arbitrary – traditionally leather bellows, but also children’s water pistols or garden sprayers. The goal is to devalue the white clothes of neighbors or other enemies, including tourists. Above all, have a good time. The battle takes its toll, the volume of “ammunition” fired exceeds fifty thousand liters of wine every year. But it doesn’t matter, there are still plenty left in the local bodegas anyway.
4. Mendoza in Argentina
Argentina’s cradle of wine is Mendoza, where more than 70% of the total production comes from. The vineyards here decorate the green valley of the Andes, where you will come across Malbec, which is typical for Argentina. The favorable climate and nutritious soil give rise to excellent, fruity wine. Interestingly, these world-leading wineries are some of the highest in the world.
Local pink wines are excellent, especially Sauvignon Rose or Pinot Blanc. As for red varieties, the most popular reds include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. Argentinian white staples are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chenin. Like many wine regions, Mendoza also offers a cultural experience, you can visit the local Museo Municipal and Arte Moderno museums, or admire the art deco-style buildings.
5. Alto Douro in Portugal
You can also go to Porto for great wine. In the Portuguese port town, you will come across wine practically at every turn, whether it is shops, wine cellars, or even wine museums. And what wine is specific to Porto? Port of course!
One of the oldest wine regions in the world will enchant you. In addition, the Douro wine region is the only place in the world where grapes for the production of true port can be grown. Therefore, it is not surprising that the local vineyards are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The surrounding beautiful landscape with villages, picturesque valleys, and rivers will put you on a perfectly relaxed note in no time.
6. Barossa Valley in Australia
If you head north of Adelaide, you’ll find yourself in Australia’s largest wine region, producing up to 60% of the total production. The first vineyards were built here by German immigrants over 200 years ago, while the area gradually grew to today’s 10,000 hectares. A typical variety for Australia is a fine wine with a heavier taste, called Shiraz. Among the most famous wineries are, for example, Jacob’s Creek, Penfolds or Wolf Blassi.
7. Stellenbosch in the Republic of South Africa
In the Republic of South Africa, about 50 km from Cape Town lies the world-famous wine region of Stellenbosch. The wineries here are a stone’s throw from each other, so you have the opportunity to taste all the local flavors of Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinotage, or Shiraz.
Do you prefer white wine? Then you can look forward to a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, or Chardonnay. Go to one of the wine cellars for a tour and wine tasting or visit the Stellenryck Museum to learn more about the production and origin of wine. Other important areas besides Stellenbosch are Constantia and Paarl.
8. Washington state in the USA
Most of you have probably heard of wine production in California, but it is not the only wine region in the United States. For example, in the state of Washington, you will find vineyards on 12,000 hectares of land. Riesling and Merlot are the most popular here. Up to 80% of local wine production is intended for local distribution, and thus only a very small part is exported.
An interesting fact is that local wines are often a combination of several varieties, which makes it possible to achieve a more intense taste. For those of you who are looking for a somewhat more rural experience associated with visiting vineyards, we recommend Napa Valley in California, where wine lovers from all over the world come.
9. Maipo Valley in Chile
Vineyards with wonderful wine in the Andes do not belong only to Argentina. You can also go to Chile for the perfect mocha from the Andean valleys. The history of viticulture in Chile’s Maipo Valley dates back to the 16th century, i.e. to the beginnings of local cultivation. Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Merlot, or Syrah, varieties are grown here on an area of 10,000 hectares between rocks on sandy and gravelly soil.
10. Moselle Valley in Germany
All of Central Europe is also famous for quality wine. You will not make a mistake whether you go to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Austria, or Germany. Many people go to Germany mainly for tourism, but it is also worth visiting the local vineyards, for example on the Moselsteig trail. Riesling, which was cultivated by the Romans and Celts 2,000 years ago, is typical here. Up to 90% of German wine are white varieties and are grown on an area of over 10,000 hectares. Due to the widespread popularity of wine, you don’t have to be content with just Oktoberfest. In Germany, you can enjoy countless weekend wine festivals, focused mainly on the popular Riesling, but also Müller-Thurgau or Pinot Gris.ArgentinaAustraliaChileFranceGermanyItalyPortugalSouth AfricaSpainUSA