Wine tasting is not an everyday affair. It needs enthusiasm and adventure to sip and sniff citric Chardonnays to light Rieslings. Award-winning vineyards of the world, in the most scenic settings, double the excitement of wine drinkers and connoisseurs. There is also a cultural significance to wine tours that attract wine lovers.
Wine drinking is a gentleman’s habit. It is no surprise that veteran drinkers and beginners would happily treasure any opportunity to discover a wine destination. Put an end to your curiosity as we take you to some hand-picked wine destinations worth checking out.
1. La Rioja, Spain
Ardent red wine lovers have an excellent wine destination in La Rioja. Cuddled in Spanish hamlets, La Rioja’s 500 wineries produce age-worthy full-bodied red wine. Aside from the wine tasting experiences, there is some fabulous architecture to engage you here. Lopez de Heredia is one of the significant wine producers in La Rioja. World-famous architect Zaha Hadid had designed a modern bar here similar to a wine decanter. Manual sorting of grapes is customary in Bodegas Baigorri winery. Rioja wine tours take you through an authentic Spanish life dripping in cultural heritage.
Tour Tip: Treat your eyes to some famous works on wine at La Rioja from artists like Picasso.
2. Burgundy, France
The Burgundy region in eastern France is one of the best wine lovers’ destinations for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Many of the Burgundy wines produced are high-end vanity wines, though there are some affordable wines too. Burgundy churns out white and red wines lasting 3-7 years. Burgundy wine tours cover an overnight cruise along unspoiled rivers to day trips to Roman churches and hills. Besides wine, Burgundy is also a food lovers’ destination. Sample the famous beef Burgundy stew with beef cooked in red wine, beef broth, onions, mushrooms, and garlic.
Tour Tip: France makes excellent Bordeaux wines as well. Get a taste of full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot wine reds at Bordeaux.
3. Piedmont, Italy
Piedmont is a prolific wine-producing region in Italy. It produces some of the choicest and premium Italian wines. Piedmont’s elite ambiance makes you discover abundant vineyards. Piedmont’s Michelin-rated restaurants, lavish hotels with spas, opulent resorts, and homes, and scenic Alps’ foothills complete your wine tasting with a holiday experience. Barbarescos and Barolos elegant red wines made from the Nebbiolo grape are Italy’s most excellent wines.
Tour Tip: Visit Piedmont during the winters to savor this discerning Italian wine with Piedmont-grown white truffles.
4. Douro Valley, Portugal
Terraced vineyards on either side of the Douro River in northern Portugal are among the world’s oldest and majestic vineries. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Port wine is Portugal’s most famous wine since the 18th century. The region’s green hilltops, rolling landscape, rustic estates add to the Valley’s breath-taking look. Take the help of a guide in choosing the award-winning wine bottles in Douro Valley. Step into the city’s adventurous nightlife of pub-hopping and dancing. Or take a romantic river cruise of Aveiro canals riding in a traditional boat.
Tour Tip: Try the Portuguese dessert of “soft eggs.” It is the first pastry to get a protected status from the European Commission.
5. Stellenbosch, South Africa
South Africa has some remarkable wildlife and Cape Dutch architecture. But it is also home to the best wines in the world, like Chenin Blanc and Pinotage. The Stellenbosch Winelands is an authentic South Africa temptation. Your wine tour to Stellenbosch wine farms will get you closer to watching wine-making in high-tech cellars, big farms, and 130 wine estates while enjoying nature’s bounties. Most valleys and hill-based farms in Stellenbosch wine land have qualified locals as guides.
Tour Tip: Get aboard the Stellenbosch Vine Hopper, a tourist-friendly hop on hop off bus service for a study tour of the Stellenbosch wine farms.
6. Barossa Valley, Australia
Find a new side of the Aussies’ charm as you go on a guided tour of the Barossa Valley. Famous for producing Shiraz and Riesling wine variants, Barossa Valley is Australia’s most renowned wine region since the early 1900s. Barossa’s 40+ grape varieties bring distinctive taste and experience to wine lovers and connoisseurs. Several Barossa wineries offer free guided tours and on-site eateries for meals and wine. First-time and repeat visitors can enjoy the hospitality and the most sought-after Barossa wines.
Tour Tip: Pit stop at Seppeltsfield, one of Australia’s oldest wineries and its 100-year-old single vintage wine.
7. Yarra Valley, Australia
Imagine getting on a wine tour to the best-known wineries, craft brewery, artisan chocolate factory, and ice creamery. The Yarra Valley Wine tour in the land of Aussies helps you relish Chandon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir in the calm outskirts of Melbourne. Leisurely tour Melbourne’s award-winning Steels Gate Winery, Balgownie Estate, Yering Farm, and Domaine Chandon. You can customize your day tour to your convenience and host a party and corporate event at the Yarra Valley.
Tour Tip: Don’t miss the fantastic Aussie wildlife, such as koalas and beach-friendly penguins.
Wine tastings are a lifelong adventure for some. Before sampling the world’s best wines, pay equal attention to wine etiquette. Check post-pandemic travel restrictions before booking a guided wine tour to your preferred destination.