Glass Half Full: World Wine Regions You Must Visit

Glass Half Full: World Wine Regions You Must Visit

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Wine and travel are two things that have gone hand in hand for years. It is no coincidence that some of the greatest wine regions in the world are also the most beautiful – especially after you have enjoyed a glass or two of the good stuff! In this article, we are going to take you on a tour of some of the iconic countries and regions that are renowned for producing the finest wines. Hopefully, you will come away inspired and ready to plan your next big trip to one of these spectacular destinations.

South Africa

Set against a sweeping mountain backdrop, the town of Stellenbosch is best known for its tree-lined streets and collection of superb vineyards. The Stellenbosch Wine Route is the oldest in the country, and some of the signature vintages that you will find along the way include  chenin blanc and pinotage. Aside from the wine, there are also plenty of wildlife-spotting opportunities along the Western Cape.

Burgundy and Bordeaux, France

No list of wine countries would be complete without mentioning France. The two most well-known regions in the country are Bordeaux and Burgundy. Of course, if you are planning to get into the cellars in either of these areas, you are likely to need to book a tour which takes in some of the other great sights. Both are replete with rolling hills, and the starting point for a lot of Burgundy tours is the beautiful medieval city of Dijon. Taking the extra effort to book a tour will all be worthwhile when you taste the most exquisite wines of France.

USA

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Talk to people about wine in the USA and you will almost inevitably discuss the Napa Valley in California. However, only an hour away is the Sonoma County, which produces some wonderful wines but is often overshadowed by its neighbor. On the positive side, it means that you can visit without the huge crowds. And with over 400 wineries to explore, you certainly won’t be short of choice. Another part of the country that boasts hundreds of vineyards is the Midwest – find out about Stone Hill, one of the most famous. There are plenty of opportunities to go on tours and see some of the other popular sights around the region.

La Rioja, Spain

Centuries of wine-making history lie amongst the sleepy villages of this part of northern Spain. La Rioja is obviously most famous for producing its eponymous red, and it is a fascinating part of the world to visit in general. More than 500 wineries dedicated their craft to producing bottle after bottle of this hugely popular wine. Designed by Frank Gehry (the same architect who had the vision for Bilbao’s Guggenheim museum), the Marqués de Riscal hotel is a popular stopping point for wine-lovers from all over the world. Not too far away is the city of Pamplona, made famous because of its annual bull-running festival.

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Mendoza, Argentina

Over the past few years, Argentina has established itself as one of the world’s premier wine destinations. The pick of the bunch of wines that the country produces is its Malbec. Pay a visit to Mendoza and you can enjoy tastings, tasting dinners and tours. Of course, these are all very popular activities so you will need to book in advance. The main city is an attractive base to spend a few days. One of its most popular attractions is the Museo Municipal de Arte Moderno which is home to a host of modern art.

Tuscany, Italy

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The wonderful wine is just one of hundreds of reasons why you should pay a visit to Tuscany. Chianti is the wine most-associated with this region, and you will certainly enjoy a bottle or two while sampling some of the finest food on the planet! The rolling hills of Tuscany are replete with acres of grape vines, and you will get the best impression of the place by staying in one of the many medieval village. You will feel like you have stepped back in time when you see the winemakers still crushing grapes with their feet and visit some of the basement cellars which are carved into the very rocks themselves.

Yarra Valley, Australia

Moving all the way across to the other side of the world, the Yarra Valley is located an hour outside Melbourne and the landscape is packed with acre after acre of grape vines. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah are the main wines produced in this region and the towns of Yarra Glen, Healesville, and Warburton are likely to be where you will base yourself. There is no shortage of tasting rooms, as well as opportunities to visit the area’s many fine restaurants.

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia  

You may not naturally think about Canada as being one of the world’s great wine countries, but a trip to Okanagan Valley might make you think twice. The amazing thing about this area is the sheer number of wines that are produced here – just a few of them include Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay. Wine-lovers will be impressed by the high quality of the vintages produced in this area.

The Douro Valley, Portugal

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Up in the north of Portugal, the Douro Valley is one of the most beautiful regions in the country, as well as being one of its best for producing both table and port wines. Listed as a World Heritage site, you can get here easily from Porto, which is itself one of the country’s premier tourist destinations. Just some of the ways that you can enjoy this landscape to its fullest include by road, by train, on a cruise boat and even by helicopter. Each one will give you a unique perspective of this stunning part of the world.

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Hopefully, after reading this article, your mouth will be watering at the thought of sampling some of these wonderful wines, and your feet will be getting itchy to pull on your travelling boots!  

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