If you are a wine lover, then traveling several hundred miles should not pose a major obstacle for you to quench your thirst for new bouquets. However, these journeys can be costly because great wines are produced all across the globe now, so France is no longer the wine hub of the world. In fact, every continent has several wineries which produce brands to die for, so you should gradually visit them all if possible. One way to cut down on the total cost of the adventure is to combine your vacation with wine tasting, as there are numerous other activities you can indulge in and around famous wine regions in the world. Care to find which exactly these are?
Saint Émilion in France
We start with the most basic of destinations: France. More precisely, the region around the city of Bordeaux is famous for its wines; after all, the Bordeaux wine got its name from this region in the southwest of France. At the heart of this country lies the historic town of Saint Émilion where full-body red wines have been grown for centuries. It features a rustic design winery of Les Cordeliers that is located in the courtyard of stands a Franciscan monastery dating back to the 14th century. Another thing that this part of France has a lot are castles or as they’re called in French, châteaus. The two most famous one in in the vicinity of Bordeaux are Château Coutet and Château Troplong Mondot.
Nearly every winery and restaurant offer the possibility to taste the local wines, so you will have no trouble picking out your favorite brand and bringing back a bottle or two (ah, those customs officers). Because of Europe’s mild climate, the best time to visit is spring, as the months of April and May see the largest influx of tourists.
Franschhoek in South Africa
Speaking of the French, they have left their trace and the passion for wine in faraway places around the globe. One such town is located near Western Cape in South Africa. The town of Franschhoek lies in a valley surrounded by high mountains, which is a perfect setting for growing vines. The Huguenot settlers came here in the 17th and 18th century and established a wine-making tradition that has been alive ever since and that had placed South Africa on every food travelers’ map.
Most distinctive wines that come from this region are red wines, such as Pinot Noir and Shiraz and white wines like Semillon and Chardonnay. The most famous vineyards in the area are La Motte, Solms-Delta, and Allée Bleue. However, wines are not the only thing that this part of South Africa is renowned for, as they have excellent local cuisine that you can try on many guided tours for gourmets. Due to the harsh African climate that includes summers that are way too hot to visit, the best period to come to Franschhoek any anytime from September to February.
Hunter Valley in Australia
Australia has had its own wine region since the 1800s. The Hunter Valley in New South Valley, north of Gold Coast and Sydney is already known to Australians but an interesting thing is that it is slowly gaining popularity outside the nation. This does not come as a surprise if we know that it boasts dozens of wineries which offer wines like Semillon and Shiraz. Most of these are family businesses but the biggest allure for potential guests is the all-encompassing nature of the offer. When we say “nature,” we mean quite literally, as the surrounding landscape is stunning and when combined with Hunter Valley accommodation deals it becomes clear why more and more tourists are pouring in year after year. Apart from classical wine tours, the area is popular with couples who want to get married here and business people who wish to organize conferences.
Santorini in Greece
For our final destination, we go back to the European continent. As if Greece wasn’t magical enough, the island of Santorini in the southern Aegean Sea boasts its wine industry as well. Perhaps you would expect mainland Greece to have better wineries but the Santorini archipelago is located on the edge of a volcanic caldera, which makes it so ideal for vines to thrive. The most famous local wine that is the pride and joy of Greek vignerons is a sweet and pretty string Vinsanto, in translation from Italia: a holy wine. This is a dessert wine produced from Assyrtiko, Athiri, and Aidani grapes that are meticulously sun-dried. The wine season coincides with the tourist season, so anywhere from June to September is ideal for enjoying in the finest wines Greek wines. Finally, alongside Corfu, Santorini is the ideal honeymoon destination.
The destinations listed here should be just the start of your wine tours. Once you taste the original Bordeaux (in Bordeaux) and tour the wine cellar in Hunter Valley, who knows where your passion will take you next.
About the Author
Nina is a digital nomad, yoga aficionado and a travel enthusiast with a distinctive taste for home decor and fashion design. She’s passionate about learning new things and sharing meaningful ideas. If you wanna see what she’s up to you can find her on Twitter.