After a long and stressful week, nothing spells out relaxation like a fine glass of wine. As the say “wine a bit and you’ll feel better” – indulging in a couple of glasses of wine at a lounge or at the comfort of your living room is one thing, but to enjoy them where they are made is an experience that will spark your senses to life!
Here at BookCulinaryVacations.com, we would like for all wine enthusiasts to enjoy this unforgettable by offering a vast selection of wine focused holidays at some of the most sensational wineries in the world. With that, here’s our pick of the top 10 wine holiday destinations that you really ought to visit!
Image credit: Italia Sweet Italia
For those who are avid drinkers of wine, Italy is a place we urge you to head to. Wine is extremely popular in Italy and the great news is in each of this country’s region, there are at least a handful of distinctive wines worth looking for. Whether it is red or white, you are guaranteed to discover some of the finest wines you have possibly tasted. It is no wonder that the Italians often enthusiastically use wine in their cooking. Like what W.C. fields once said cheekishly, “I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”
Explore the wealth of vineyards and wine cellars in regions such as Venato, Tuscany and Piedmont (the 3 major regions producing high-quality wines), and have a taste of their significant wines such as: Barolo and Barbaresco (red wine) in Piedmont, Orvieto (white wine) in Umbria, Montepulciano in Abruzzi, Vin Santo (also known as “holy wine” served as a dessert wine) found especially in Tuscany or even the Marsala (which is frequently used for cooking) - the list is endless. If you haven’t had enough of the wines in Italy, you can always buy a bottle or two to bring home to enjoy with your family and friends!
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When it comes to deciding on where you should go for a wine vacation, Greece may not be the obvious option. That said, you will be surprised to know that according to Wikipedia, Greece is actually one of the oldest wine-producing regions in Europe and was the first nation to have produced wine 6500 years ago. It’s safe to say that wine plays an important part in the Greek culture.
Among the spectrum of wine choices available here, there is one particular wine you simply must not misson trying out: Assyrtiko, Greece’s signature white wine. First planted in Santorini, it produces bone-dry citrus aromas mixed with an earthy, mineral aftertaste due to the volcanic soil of the island. Other wines available in Greece worth giving a taste are the Vinsanto (a combination of Assyrtiko and, Aidani and Athiri grapes), Agiorgitiko, Malagousia, Moshofílero, Muscat (usually consumed as desserts), Mavrodáfni and so much more!
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Located at the heart of Europe, Switzerland is a perfect holiday destination that promises to bring your body, soul and mind to total serenity. While you’re there, you can enjoy skiing, take a sightseeing trip to magnificent views, and gobble up their signature chocolates and cheeses!
Adding to that list, going on wine tours is also pretty common in Switzerland. Though fall is a grape harvest season (that is when festive celebrations are featuring the new wines), you are advised to visit during Spring because that is the time when wine growers are available for wine tours and tastings. You should especially check out the top-wine producing regions in the country, which are Geneva, Neuchâtel, Ticino, Valais, and Vaud. So, don’t wait any longer! Take advantage of the variety of wine tours in Switzerland and be on your way to explore the country’s major grape varieties like Pinot Noir (produces red wines), Chasselas (produces white wines), Gamay, Merlot and the Müller-Thurgau (also called Riesling-Sylvaner).
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When we think of France, love songs and romantic scenes are likely to automatically pop in mind as it’s renowned one of the world’s famed destinations for couples. Hence it’s of little surprise that the French enjoy cooking and sharing a delicious decadent meal with their loved one to show their affection. Fortunately for us, the typical French meals (except for breakfast) are usually accompanied with wine. With wine so freely available and often priced much more cheaper than water in France, this country is every wine lovers’ paradise!
It’s widely accepted that France has a reputation for producing some of the highest quality and most prestigious wines in the world. You can literally find fines wine everywhere in France especially in regions like Alsace (primarily produced white wine), Bordeaux (famous for red wines especially blended from Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot and sometimes Cabernet Franc, and dry sweet white wines), Burgundy (renowned for its famous Pinot Noir), Loire Valley, Champagne (home to major sparkling wines), Rhone Valley, Provence (best known for its rose wines), etc., which are the major wine growing regions. But of course, don’t just take our word for it. Head on over to this beautiful country to find out for yourself!
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Another country in Europe worth the travel to is Portugal. It has so much to offer starting with its vibrant culture, great food and idyllic sceneries. That said, if you are a wine enthusiast, then a drive through the Douro Valley is a must. Here at this enchanted valley, you will be able to find the grapes that produce port wine, which is the country’s most famous export wine. According to BBC, when this wine was first devoloped in the 16th century, it was light and sweet. However, in 1703, it has been changed to be much more rich and sweet.
Another renowned wine found in Portugal is the Vinhos Verde or also known as ‘green wine’. This light refreshing and fruity white wine is commonly produced in the Minho region that one should not pass up on. Besides these two options, there are other abundant varieties of white and red wines that one should go on wine tours and discover them at the different regions like Alentejo, Lisboa, Algarve, Madeira or Dão.
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After your holiday in Portugal, why not stop by its neighboring country Spain? The Spaniards are famed for their spirit of living life to their fullest, so you will be sure to have the time of your life with lots of good food, wine and dancing! But, since we’re talking about wine holidays, let’s focus on how fantastic the wines are in Spain!
Total Wine has mentioned that Spain has a more land devoted to grape-growing then any other country. With the Mediterranean climate (warm temperatures and cooling breezes), it is much more favourable to grow vines, so there’s an abundant of wine options to choose from. Go ahead! We encourage you to sample this nations’ incredible wines like Alicante, Cava (a sparkling wine famous in Spain), Txakoli, Monastrell, Tempranillo, etc. through wine tasting and tours offered all around Spain. A visit to the Catalonia region is also highly recommended as it is the home to award winning red wines!
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Though this gorgeous country is not as popular of a holiday destination as the other European countries we’ve listed above, Croatia is an European gem blessed with picturesque views and beautiful blue waters. What you may not know is that in Croatia, there’s plenty of amazing dishes that will treat your taste buds such as Crni Rizot (black risotto), Pasticada s njokima (queens of dalamatian cuisine), Skampi na buzaru and so much more! While you’re there, don’t forget to indulge in a glass (or four) of Croatian wines as well.
Traditionally consumed with meals, wine is a common beverage in Croatia. Usually the wine is diluted with either still or sparkling water to develop a drink known as gemišt (a combination of white wine and carbonated water), and bevanda (a combination of red wine and still water). Add Dalmatia, Istria, Slavonia and Plešivica to the list of must-visit wine regions for they are are the four primary areas in the country, where you can find the main grape varieties that produce world-class Croatian wines!
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‘The land down under’ aka, Australia is hands down one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. From Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane to Melbourne and so much more, you will be able to experience the best of the best holiday adventures, admiring the wondrous landmarks, exploring the country’s outback, indulging delicious foods and enjoying some of the incredible wines in this country that is also a continent!
All across Australia, there are more than 60 wine regions and has been reputed in the world. With each canton (region), you will be sure to find distinctive and innovative flavors. Some of the few regions that you must most definitely drop by are Barossa Valley in South Australia (world’s oldest Shiraz vineyards), Margaret River in Western Australia, Perth (award-winning Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonney) and Yarra Valley near Melbourne (known for its flagship Chardonney, Pinot Noir and sparkling wines). You can also join some wine festivals that take place throughout the year, where a delightful spectrum of unique wine flavors of Australia are proudly showcased.
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As the third largest country in the world, USA is a vast destination for travel enthusiasts to explore. Why you asked? Well, within the country itself, there are more than 50 different states, all unique in its own way, for you to discover! You can literally find every activity you possibly dream of in USA, and of course, this includes going on wine tour and tastings!
As you probably known or heard, Napa Valley (in California) is one of the most popular destinations for winery tours and tastings. But you may be surprised that it is not the only option within the US that is worthy of visiting. Thinking of going on a wine tasting this weekend? There are also great wineries found in Texas Hill Country, Willamette Valley (Oregon), Fennville (Michigan), Finger Lakes (New York) or Columbia Valley (Washington), where you can find the best yields like the Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling, Syrah and Merlot.
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If you love the great outdoors, then New Zealand is the perfect destination for you to jet off to! This country possesses plenty of jaw-dropping sceneries starting from its vast green valleys, pristine beaches, glaciated mountains and steaming volcanoes. What makes us fall head over heels however is their mouthwatering food and wine!
With the country’s cool-climate and fertile soil, there’s an abundance of wineries around. Thanks to the land’s distinctive characteristics,the wine found here are pure, vibrant and intense! While you’re here, you simply can not leave home without discovering New Zealand’s well-known award winning wineries for example: in the Northland, Auckland, Waikato / Bay of Plenty (also known for good harvest of kiwis and apples), Gisborne (try the Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer), Hawke’s Bay (oldest wine-producing regions), Waiheke Island and Wairarapa (reputated for its Pinot Noir wines).
Thanks for taking the time to check out this post. To read more great content on food, wine and travel, please visit our blog section. If you’d like to take a peek at the variety of wine holidays you can travel to, feel free to peruse through the choices here!