There was once a time where to get a decent wine it had to come from France, Italy or Spain – and depending on who you ask, that might still be true. But thanks to globalisation, plus an appetite for new and exciting wines, more and more people are enjoying wines from new regions around the world.
Visit any wine store today and the shelves are teaming with all sorts of flavours – Shiraz, Malbec, Rioja, Ice Wine, Gerwurztraminer, Reisling, and Chablis are just a small handful of wines that have gained in popularity in recent years. Some purists insist that classic is best, while other wine lovers are expanding their horizons and searching for new and exciting flavours.
Wherever you stand in the wine debate, one thing is clear – one of the best ways to appreciate a wine is to visit the region it was made and sample with the experts.
So without further ado, here’s our pick of some of the best wine regions to visit from around the globe…
Hunter Valley, Australia
Just a few hours away from Sydney, Australia’s beautiful Hunter Valley is the perfect spot for a getaway. The region is famous for its dry white wines and home to some great vineyard tours, along with a number of five-star resorts and award winning restaurants. Its developed a reputation for being the perfect blend of relaxed and sophisticated – where you can enjoy yourself and speak to some of the most passionate producers in the industry about what makes their wines so special.
Food and drink has long been Italy’s forte, and nowhere is that more evident than in the beautiful region of Tuscany. The region is home to a whopping seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and along with tours of the local wineries, you can stop to sample famous varieties of cheese and olives made here too. There is plenty of private accommodation if you want to tour the area on your own, but many opt for one of the several dozen expert tours that regularly make their way through the area – it gives the opportunity to learn about the history of the place in between sampling bottles of wine.
Napa Valley, California
California’s Napa Valley wine region is undoubtedly one of the rising stars on the world stage, and peppered around the area are some of the most stunning vineyard retreats anywhere in the world. This is a place people come for wine vacations – where terrific wines, fresh local foods, and luxury accommodation are all easy to find. Its huge popularity though makes it one of the more expensive regions to stay in, but well worth it if you’re ready to splash out on a special holiday.
The hardy red wines from Portugal’s south-western coast are just the tip of the iceberg here, there along with boutique wineries you can find beautiful full service hotels and mouth-watering restaurants in Alentejo. And the best part? For most tourists, Alentejo is still safely off the radar, and the old villages and traditional architecture make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Have we missed any off the list? What are your favourite wine regions to visit?