Wine pairs beautifully with cheese but it goes even better with travel. Visiting wine destinations around the world provides the opportunity to sample long-standing vintages and discover emerging varieties and modern vinification techniques. A country’s wines draw out the flavors in the nation’s dishes and are best experienced as part of a meal or tasting at a vineyard.
This is a handy guide to the world’s best wine destinations.
Wine is produced in every single region of Italy and a number of these are home to the oldest wine-producing regions in the world. Tuscany stands out as the most prominent wine Italian region with its vine-clad hills and cypress trees. The flagship wine, Chianti, compliments the majority of Italian foods and is recognizable by its distinct hue of bright red.
Recommended winery: Antinori nel Chianti Classico
Boasting an esteemed list of red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines, France naturally ranks highly as one of the world’s best wine destinations. Bordeaux is the number one region for reds where flavorsome and full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Grenache varieties lead the way and are best enjoyed alongside a cheeseboard. Meanwhile, those visiting the balmy South of France will appreciate a chilled glass of rosé from the Provence region. The Alsace wine region route presents over 1,000 wine producers scattered among rural France.
Recommended winery: Maison Joseph Cattin
Portugal’s wine heritage is less well-known in comparison to its European neighbors. That makes it the ideal choice for travelers who long to get off the beaten path – especially those with a taste for velvety Port wine. Sitting alongside the Douro River, the Douro Valley is the world’s oldest demarcated wine region where aromatic Vinho do Porto is produced in terraced vineyards. For those with a softer palate, head to the Dão region.
Recommended winery: Quinta do Seixo
Located at the tip of the African continent, South Africa’s Mediterranean climate lends itself to wine production. Cape Town is the gateway to the delectably crisp Pinot Noir and Riesling varieties that characterize South African wine. Boutique wineries flood the hills of the Franschhoek Valley – a tapestry of family-run vineyards where you can sample a glass alongside a traditional braai.
Recommended winery: Dieu Donné Vineyards Cellar & Tasting Room
Often overshadowed by Argentina, the skinny nation of Chile excels in red and white wine production. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes are typically used for whites alongside Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for reds. However, it’s the Carménère and País varieties that have become established as the signature wines of Chile. The wines of Chile are packed with flavor yet light-bodied – pairing flawlessly with your choice of seafood or barbecue.
Recommended winery: Viñedos Emiliana
Last but not least, our very own California is one of the world’s best wine destinations. Thanks to the state’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the climate is cool and ideal for the production of fruity, powerful wines. Although originally from Croatia, the California region is noted for its bright Zinfandel and sunny Chardonnay wines.
Recommended winery: Robert Biale Vineyards
Remember to take my quiz to find out which of the world’s best wine destinations is your perfect match. When you are ready, contact me to plan your next wine vacation.
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