In a simpler time, you had one or maybe two choices for a wine tasting adventure – France or Italy. Nowadays, it seems that quality vintages can be found in every corner of the world, with wine tasting becoming a vacation unto itself.
Prominent wineries offering tasting tours overlooking their magnificent, expansive vineyards along with impeccable service and fine-dining are growing in popularity among wine aficionados and travellers alike. So why dream about it when you can experience a wine adventure for yourself? Here are the world’s top 10 wine destinations you have to visit in 2018.
When you think of wine and natural beauties, Tuscany might be the first place that comes to mind, and rightfully so as this ancient Italian wine-making region still stands tall as one of the most prominent travel destinations for any wine connoisseur. Enjoy a glass of old Chianti while revelling in the beauty of the vineyards embraced by the sloping hills in the distance – truly an unforgettable experience.
Finger Lakes, New York
While the U.S. might not be the first thing that comes to mind, any avid wine lover will attest to the quality of the vintages stored and served in the wineries of Finger Lakes. Boasting an amazing array of over 100 wine houses spread across the hillsides surrounding the lakes, you will have the chance to taste the opulent aromas of a local Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Vidal Blanc.
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Just north of the U.S. border, in Canadian British Columbia lies Okanagan Valley with more than 100 wineries and their signature vintages. This fertile land brings numerous varietals to life, including Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. You will also get the chance to taste a variety of fruit wines as well.
Probably one of the most iconic wine regions in the world, Bordeaux is a true wine aficionado’s must-see. While France has more than several esteemed wine regions, such as Loire Valley, Cognac, and Dordogne, the famed Bordeaux wine tours will give you the chance to enrich your palate with wines from the venerated chateaux of Medoc, Saint Emilion, and Graves.
Yarra Valley, Australia
Australia is slowly becoming one of the prominent wine countries of the world, with Yarra Valley situated near Melbourne being the most promising prospect for an upscale wine tour. Enriched with quaint villages, restaurants, and numerous wineries, the region’s own Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah can be enjoyed while relishing the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Napa & Sonoma, California
Napa Valley is also one of the most famous wine regions in the U.S., with more than 450 wineries situated within its borders, offering a vivid and diverse display of vintages such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. In the neighbouring region of Sonoma, you will find similar grapes along with boutique hotels and quaint towns that have preserved the timeless aesthetic appeal.
Cape Winelands, South Africa
Another wine region growing in popularity among connoisseurs and aficionados across the globe is the Cape Winelands in Cape Town, South Africa. The combination rich soils and a moderate climate allow the production of many fine wines, among which are Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Be sure to visit the famed wine routes of Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, and Groot Constantia.
Famous for its dry white wines and brooding red vintages, Catalonia is home to nine wine regions where you can find numerous esteemed wineries. The region is dominated by unique Catalan grapes such as Garnacha and Tempranillo, as well as Macabeo and Parellada. Be sure to visit Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia during your trip.
Argentinian wines have long been established as some of the best wines in the world, with the palate dominated by Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Be sure to book your tastings in advance, as the region’s wineries require reservations, oftentimes being fully booked for months.
Home to grape varieties unique to the region, Crete is truly a place to sip on exquisite wines forged from local Thrapsathiri, Mantilari, and Kotsifali grapes. The region proudly produces its magnificent white wines along with an array of opulent reds worth experiencing. Combining Cretan wines with their national cuisine is as close to a perfect seaside adventure as you can get.
In every corner of the world, there is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered by an avid wine traveller. With these top 10 wine destinations in your itinerary, 2018 is bound to be remembered as one of the most exciting year-long adventures of your life.
Marie Nieves is a travel blogger who loves unusual trips, active holidays, gadgets and creative ideas. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag.
Most of her free time at home she spends walking her Labrador Retriever named Max. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences.