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  • Top 10 wine destinations in the world

    Douro Wine Region

    Douro Wine Region, © sograpevinhos.com

    A good glass of wine has the power to transport you to a sunny vineyard in Bordeaux, a winery in Tuscany or a Napa Valley wine train. But if you are a traveler at heart, you will take your passion for wine further than the neighborhood wine bar or restaurant, and go off in search of the unusual or delicious wines on the planet.

    Wine is a drink that is produced and marketed in many parts of the world, so naturally there are a lot of available travel destinations for wine lovers. If you want to celebrate your fascination for the fermented grape juice in style, then go on a trip to one of the top 10 wine destinations in the world.

    The climate and soil of each of these regions are favorable for the five basic wine characteristics:

    1. sweetness
    2. acidity
    3. tannin
    4. fruit
    5. body

    If you already have a destination in mind or will find one you really like after you have read this post – and want to visit it, do not waste your time and search for some great travel deals to the given wine destination immediately.

    Marlborough Wine Region, New Zealand

    Marlborough, photo by Phillip Capper

    Wairau and Awatere Valleys in Marlborough have vineyards stretching as far as you can see, in a picture perfect setting of the type that you can only find in New Zealand.

    This is the largest grape region in New Zealand, and many large wineries have their headquarters in the area. There’s also a famous wine festival taking place every February, where you can sample not only over 200 types of wine, but also delicious gourmet food. The regions typical wine sorts are:

    • Savignon Blanc
    • Pinot Noir
    • Chardonnay

    Douro, Portugal

    Douro region is as beautiful as it is difficult to access, but once you taste the sweet and heavy Port that is created in Douro, you will not mind having climbed up and down the scenic terraces or endured the fiery summer heat. Other, non-fortified wines, made of Portugals exceptional grape sorts like Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Tinta Barroca are also associated with the Douro region, especially light claret and rich Burgundy-style wine.

    For a guided tour in Port wine production visit Sandeman in Avintes.

    Don’t miss the on the130 hectares (70 hectares with wine grapes) property of Quinta do Crasto located on the right bank of the Douro River, between Régua and Pinhão.

    Not far away is the Port wine property Quinta do Panascal in Valença do Douro.

    The best travel season for Portugal is March to June and September for the grape harvest.

    Cape Winelands, South Africa

    Cap Winelands, photo by Lollie-Pop

    The area around Cape Town can boast of some pretty impressive scenery, but some of the best views can be found splat in the middle of the wine region.

    The city of Paarl  is surrounded by some of the largest vineyards in the Cape Winelands, but if you wander off the beaten track you will find many other small but very interesting vineyards too. Durbanville, Darling, Stellenbosch, Helderberg, Paarl, Constancia, Franschhoek, Wellington, Walker Bay and Darling are in Cape Town’s neighborhood.

    When you have time and are willing to drive a bit more, consider visiting Worcester, the Little Karoo, Tulbagh, Robertson, the Swartland, Breedekloof, Olifants River and the Northern Cape.

    Barossa Valley, Australia

    Barossa Valley is one of the most beautiful wine regions in Australia, and it hasn’t been slow to garner international praise either. Wine is so beloved in Barossa that winemaking is even offered as a course in schools, and several of the wineries in the area are famous for their signature wines. A lot of the wineries offer tastings, and a wine tour is a good opportunity to visit Barossa thoroughly.

    Piedmont, Italy

    Piedmont, photo by Roberto Ferrito

    Piedmont is nestled at the foot of the Alps, and the cool foggy climate of the area helps create some mouth-watering wines. The best known wines from Piedmont are Barolo and Barbaresco, but there many more wines for a traveler to taste.

    Although most wineries are located on the Langhe Hills and Monferrato Hills, the whole region is a paradise for wine lovers and you can easily fine some fine cellars to visit, especially if you come with your own car or rent one. Note that is you are coming with a car you better take some wine to taste at home instead of savoring it on site.

    Tokaj wine region, Hungary

    Small as it may be – you might not even have heard of it before, the small central European country of Hungary has got a lot to offer when it comes to excellent wine. The area is used for to be  The Tokaj region produces the world famous Tokaji Aszu, a slightly liquorish, sweet white wine everyone instantly falls in love with.

    Other specialties of the area in terms of good wine include the Tokaji Harslevelu and the Tokaji Samorodni. These are also sweet wines but aren’t so thick as the Aszu. You will like the area too, especially in the Summer and Fall when the scenery is either stunningly green or show all the beautiful colors of the Fall landscape.

    Virginia wine region, United States

    Virginia winery

    Virginia winery ©Ted Eytan/Flickr

    Apart from its great wines the wineries of Virginia – our first US member of the list – have other appeals too. They are easily accessible for anyone from New England and the whole East Coast area  which makes it a more affordable wine destinations, you don’t even have to book a flight but go by car for instance.

    You can best enjoy the lush countryside if you spend a few days on one of the many horse farms of the Virginia and connect you wine tastings with some amazing horseback riding and walking as well.

    Hunter Valley, Australia

    This other Australia destinations is great from many points of view apart from its high quality wines. It is only a few hours away from Sydney, which makes it a great day-trip or weekends trip idea if you are vacationing in the city.

    But due to the well organized wine tours, the line of 5 star hotels and the large number of fine restaurants, Hunter Valley could be a great destination on its own as well. Just get a cheap flight to Sydney and taste some of the best wines of Australia.

    Oregon, United States

    Oregon winery

    Oregon winery ©vsz/Flickr

    The second US wine destination on our list is Oregon and its wineries produce the some of the best Pinot Noir in the world. For a classy meal you should eat some fresh sea food in one of the high end restaurants of the wine region. The salmon freshly brought from the nearby rivers could be perfect company for a nice glass (or bottle) of Oregon Pinot Noir.

    The beautiful landscape is a great appeal of the region. In the Spring you should come for the colorful tulip seas that bloom all over the area, while in the Fall you must see the breathtaking and sad beauty of the foliage.

    Tuscany, Italy

    What wine destination list would be complete without mentioning Tuscany? The many wineries and the region in general is visited by millions every year. There are lots of well organized wine tasting tours you can participate in – just book ahead – and many wines you should not miss.

    The landscape is also stunning, no wonder the area has got not less than seven UNESCO sites. If you are not a wine enthusiast, you will love the amazing Italian restaurants and may go on a cheese or olive tasting tour as well.

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