Exotic Wine Lover’s Vacations: The Top 5 Global Experiences You Won’t Want to Miss
There is nothing as alluring as a holiday in one of the world’s most famous wine regions. Stunning vineyards are the perfect place for experiencing the best vintages known to man. These 5 essential trips around the globe will inspire you to dig into the world of vineyards and wine-tastings.
1. Sonoma County, California
It is not exactly surprising Sonoma County happens to be famous for its prestigious wines. Its closest neighbor happens to be Napa Valley. The region can sometimes be overlooked, and in-fact isn’t as crowded as you might think. It is only a one-hour drive from beautiful San Francisco and is indeed quintessential wine country.
Many of the wineries specialize in cooler-climate wines, like chardonnays and pinot noirs. With over four hundred wineries to explore, this stunning region is set in rugged coastlines and redwood forests. As you travel along HWY 116, you can stop at Merry Edwards, Paul Hoobs, and Iron Horse vineyards, or taste your heart out in Sebastopol, California, where several of the area’s vintners have convenient, cozy tasting rooms.
If you need a break from all that tasting, Sonoma County has more than fifty nature parks, with massive biking and hiking trails – not to mention kayaking and ziplining, as well.
2. Burgundy, France
Out of two powerhouse wine-making regions in France, Burgundy is a bucket-lister for every true oenophile. Contrary to many other wine-focused areas around the globe, getting through the door is a true challenge. You can’t expect to simply show up at Domaine de la Romanée Conti and ask for a tasting and tour.
There are ways to gain entrance though, including day trips from the beautiful, medieval city of Dijon, or overnight tours along the scenic canals and rivers, viewing the area’s rolling green hills and Romanesque churches.
All tours need to booked in advance. Tasting rooms in Burgundy tend to be on the smaller side, and the vineyards don’t normally allow tours without reservations. Despite the legwork required, this vacation is entirely worth it. The opportunity to sip Burgundy’s nuanced chardonnays and elegant pinot noirs are both worthy reasons to make this trek.
3. Barossa Valley, Australia
Only an hour’s drive from Adelaide lies the gorgeous Barossa Valley in Southern Australia. This scenic region has been impressing wine lovers from around the world by consistently producing bold Shiraz wines, along with some of the finest rieslings.
Australia’s charm and its welcoming atmosphere to visitors are common here. Nearly all of the wineries offer wine tastings, along with delicious eateries (on-site) and some even boast about their free tours! Feel free to spend the afternoon at Australia’s oldest winery, Yalumba. It has a cozy tasting room and is completely family-run.
You could also enjoy seeing the palm trees along the road to Seppeltsfield Winery, which is known for the Centennial Collection. This impressive line is from every vintage, dating all the way back to 1878.
The Barossa Valley is also known for its authentic farm-to-table foodie scene. A few places to try are Vintners Bar & Grill, Casa Carboni, and Appellation for cuisine that pairs perfectly with a glass of vino.
4. Piedmont, Italy
The Le Langhe in northwest Italy has been luring visitors for countless reasons: the luxurious hotels, five-star restaurants, scenic vistas, and so much more! The sumptuous Barbarescos and Barolos produced here are truly make this a destination wine lover’s vacation.
A couple of stops worth your time include Produttori del Barbaresco and Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Gresy. In Barolo, be sure to take the time to visit the familial Fratelli Barale.
You can combine your passion for wine and fine food by visiting Italy in the autumn months, when the area’s white truffles are in season and make their anticipated appearance in the local restaurants and markets.
5. Boschendal, South Africa
Boschendal Farm lies between the Drakenstein and Simonsberg mountains, just an hour’s drive from the city of Cape Town. With cottages spread across its expansive landscape, guests have the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Franschhoek wine farm.
With access to the farm, Boschendal’s guests are able to savor the best parts of farm living. There are farm tours and the option to just explore the farm on foot. Trails within the estate take you through the orchards and mountain fynbos. There are caves to explore, wine to taste, and plenty of opportunities to relax and take in the goodness of life.
A glass (or two) of vino is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Traveling to the famous regions where those glorious grapes are grown, and tasting exotic wines from sprawling vineyards – that’s what dreams are made of. These top five vacation destinations around the world are sure to please every wine-lover. Now, what are you waiting for, pack your bags!