As once said, good things come in small packages. Choosing the perfect wine experience, like wine appreciation, is significantly individualized. Whether you’re a novice wine drinker looking for your first wine holiday or a seasoned oenophile looking for the next big thrill, there’s a wine-soaked location for you. However, with approximately 100 wine-producing countries on the planet, picking where to travel may be difficult.
Check the Best Wine Vacations
1. Napa Valley, California
For first-timers, understanding American wine culture requires a visit to Napa Valley. Despite accounting for only 4% of total wine production in the United States, Napa Valley’s reputation for making quality wine is world-renowned. It serves as a yardstick by which various domestic areas define or assess their performance. Napa’s wines were judged to be as good as, if not better than, France’s most distinguished offerings in a blind tasting in 1976, the Judgment of Paris. It compelled the world community to pay attention to American wine. Napa is becoming an oenological powerhouse as well as a tourism magnet. Tours, tastings, and food pairings are available at wineries (reservations are necessary). Global culinary classics such as The French Laundry, opulent hotels like giants Auberge and Meadowood, and an expanding, fun-loving bar culture are all found in the vicinity.
Do you want your wine to include overtones of American history and revolution? Virginia is the place for you. Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s historical residence, is located in Charlottesville and features its vineyard (naturally) and a wine elevator in the dining room (excellent). If you have an insatiable appetite for American history, the 48-room Keswick Hall and Golf Club in adjacent Keswick features 48 bedrooms in a 1912 Italianate palace. Jefferson Vineyards is a short drive away and provides tastings, lodging, and delicious Viognier. Alternatively, you may visit Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison, Virginia, and then visit adjacent James Madison’s Montpelier, the founding father’s old home.
Six Senses Douro Valley’s sommelier-guided tours, which include an archaeological site visit to Freixo-Tongobriga (an old Roman city), loads of wining and eating, and a trip of “excavated and reconstructed villages and monasteries.” With a tradition of fresh seafood and spiced meats that combine seafaring customs and a history of international imperial trade, the Iberian Peninsula embraces the sun, captures the soulful flavors of terraced hills, and introduces new ways to enjoy centuries of tradition, whether with a glass of port or a bowl of Caldo Verde. Compared to other European wine regions, Portugal’s Douro Valley is a bargain. The Linha do Douro railway departs from downtown Porto and travels through the breathtaking wine region. The wines have a stunning range of flavors attributed to the area’s diverse soils. As a result, three different Rotas dos Vinhos, or wine roads, in the Alentejo, Portugal’s most extensive wine growing region, have merged into one.
When the film adaptation of Frances Mayes’ “Under the Tuscan Sun” was released in 2003, we all had the impression that Tuscany was a location of romance, chianti wine, olives, delicious cuisine, and, of course, sunshine. Today, many visitors come to this magnificent region in northwest Italy to escape the rush and bustle of Rome or Milan and instead enjoy the Italian countryside. The blend of castles-turned-wineries-turned-hotels, graceful cypress trees, flowing slopes, and spreading vines is divine. Italy is one of the world’s most well-known wine and cuisine destinations. From Tuscany’s rustic cuisine to famous cheeses, Bologna’s delicious ragu, to Piedmont’s wines, Italy’s culture is inextricably linked to its wine and food.
No place is more abundant than the region that produces the world’s most opulent wines: Champagne. Vineyards in this region are typically owned and run separately from the big winemaking houses, thus trips to wineries often do not include vineyard touring; instead, they focus on cellar tours and tastings.
It is critical to plan ahead of time; you will need to book prior appointments and arrange for transportation. Base camp is an excellent option in Épernay. It is home to a limited number of luxury hotels and several of the region’s most well-known houses (including Mot & Chandon, Perrier-Just, and Pol Roger).
Explore the rich and legendary history of Champagne’s crayères (French for chalk quarry) to learn how history and wine connect. Explore the rich and legendary history of Champagne’s crayères to understand how past and wine click (French for chalk quarry). The Ancient Romans first constructed it to mine chalk. The Route des Vins is a self-drive extension of the German Weinstrasse in Alsace that follows the Rhine below Strasbourg. This is excellent Riesling land, passing well-groomed slopes of tethered vines beneath, past geranium-draped hamlet hidden behind ancient gates. They are overshadowed by the densely wooded Vosges mountain range, where a succession of fortresses flanks the Rhine, always on the watch for potential attackers.
If you like sun, sand, and natural vistas, head to Australia’s Margaret River Region for a sip-and-surf wine holiday. The location, which is around three hours south of Perth, has a variety of vineyards and helicopter tours, wine tasting trips, and surf courses for sporty wine enthusiasts. The nearest wine area to Sydney is still a considerable distance away, so many visitors prefer to join a tour. These are exciting journeys laced with Aussie humor. The great valley names are McGuigan, Stonehurst, and McWilliams, specializing in Shiraz, a grape that thrives in Australia’s hot, dry interior. The best months to visit are September through February.
How to Save Money on Your Next Food & Wine Vacation?
The best way to save money on your next food and wine vacation is by using a travel agent who has experience in the field. They will have access to cheaper and more off-season options.
The great thing about this is that you’ll be able to have the perfect vacation, without having to spend a fortune on it.
To get started, we recommend looking into some of these travel deals sites, like Expedia, Hotwire or Groupon, or even Facebook groups like Travel Deals. They offer discounts that can really help you save money on your next vacation.
Do check this list of the best wineries and vineyards near New York.