When the weather starts to get warmer and the vines begin to grow, a trip to one of the best wine regions can be a really fruitful experience. Not only do you get the opportunity to sample and learn about some of the finest wines in the world, but you also get to explore the beautiful regions they exist in.
Here are 5 of the best wine regions that you simply must visit before you die.
The Champagne-Ardenne region is located in the northeast of France and- you guessed it- it’s the birthplace of champagne, the most celebrated of sparkling wines. Because of its close proximity to Paris, you could easily make a day trip to the region.
However, if you really want to make the best of your trip, try to spend at least two nights there. This way, you can fit in a visit to the towns of Reims and Epernay.
In Reims, you can choose from a variety of wine production and cellar tours. Those tours include the world-famous houses of Taittinger, Ruinart, Veuve Clicquot, Pommery, and G.H. Mumm. While you’re there, be sure to pay a visit to Notre-Dame de Reims and the glorious basilica, Saint Remi de Reims.
In Epernay, the tourism is solely centered around champagne. It includes tours to the prestigious houses of Moet & Chandon, Perrier-Jouet, Martel and De Castellane.
Just like France, Italy is famed for its wine regions and Lombardy in northern Italy is one of the largest in the country. Lombardy also produces some of the finest sparkling wines around: Franciacorta and Lambrusco.
The region is known as the industrial capital of Italy but it has this really beautiful view.
Take a tour of the gorgeous Tenuta Montelio, a monastery estate where vines have been cultivated since the 13th century. While you’re in the region, you can also visit the many attractions that nearby Milan has to offer. Great examples include the Duomo cathedral and the Royal Palace of Milan.
Or why not hit the shops for a spot of upmarket retail therapy?
Catalonia is one of 17 autonomous regions in Spain and is home to more than 850 wineries. Because of the region’s warm weather, the wines of Catalonia are full-bodied and are generally high in alcohol content, particularly the red wines.
Red wine lovers should take a trip to Priorat, just south of Barcelona. It has a history of wine-making dating back to 1163.
There are a number of tours there that allow you to explore two to three cellars per day and sample many fine wines. Make sure you take the time to appreciate the incredible mountainous views the region has to offer before the wine gets to your head!
No trip to Catalonia would be complete without spending some time in Barcelona. There, you can enjoy beautiful architecture, culture, and art. Don’t miss the Sagrada Familia, the Casa Mila, and Park Guell. They are all designed by the architect Antoni Gaudi. Book your flights to Europe and start exploring!
Santiago is considered to be one of the best wine destinations in the whole of South America. Some of the most acclaimed wineries and vineyards can be found in areas such as Maipo Valley, Casablanca Valley, and Colchagua Valley. They are only a short drive away from the city.
Maipo Valley is perhaps the most popular choice for tourists, renowned for its cabernet sauvignon.
The best time to visit?
Harvest season in April.
Wine tours and tastings are very bespoke here and need to be arranged beforehand.
While you’re in Santiago, trek up the San Cristobál Hill for a panoramic view of the city. You should also pay a visit to the Parque Forestal, which is dotted with famous landmarks and sculptures.
Melbourne provides the perfect climate for winemaking, allowing the region to produce chardonnay, pinot noir, and shiraz.
Yering Station Winery, a 43,000-acre vineyard, is only an hour away from the city, making it the ideal place to sample some fine red wines. You can also have a delicious meal at the restaurants there.
Yarra Valley, Sunbury, and Mornington Peninsula are just some of the other celebrated wine regions near Melbourne. They all deliver varying results due to their unique geographical characteristics.
Aside from the wine tourism, spending time along Melbourne’s sunny shores will surely make you understand why it’s often considered the most “liveable city” in the world.
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Author: Irma Hunkeler
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” St. Augustine. Passionate traveler, food lover and music enthusiast.