Wine tasting is such a delightful way to spend a day or a weekend. In fact, it has become so popular that it has developed into a vacation itself with wine tourism booming in the past decade. Wineries all over the world now provide tasting rooms with exquisite views, wine tasting meals and vineyard and cellar tours as part and package of an overall experience.
Falling in love with wine is easy though; it’s the perfect partner with excellent cuisine, the ideal way to unwind after a long day, and just the thing to enjoy when relaxing with family and friends. And who can pass up a glass of vino as the sun sets over rolling hills of vineyards every day for a week or so? It’s no wonder winery vacations is the new ‘somewhere hot’ to go.
The 5 best Wineries in the world
1. Champagne, France
Need we say more? Except for ‘Champagne only comes from Champagne’. With its beautiful landscapes, scenic routes and picturesque villages, live the champenois lifestyle in this historic province which lies about an hour and half drive from Paris. Take your pick from hundreds of winegrowers, champagne houses and cooperatives to visit and discover the magical processes that turns pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay grapes into those tiny, sparkling bubbles that makes your palate tingle with every sip.
For that complete oeno-experience, you cannot miss one of the best wineries in the world where the world’s most glamourous alcoholic beverage is created. From cultural tours, private tours, chauffeur-driven tours or self-drive tours, Champagne in France is simply fabulous.
2. Medoc, France
With more than 100 kilometres of fine sandy beaches and producing many of the finest wines in the world, Medoc in France is the perfect way to combine sun, sea and a glass of red. Located north of vibrant Bordeaux but quite hard to pin-point on a map, people travel from far and wide for the chance to tour some of the greatest wine chateaux in the world.
The region has optimal climate and soil for the dean of red grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon. For you lovers of red wine, with its long history of producing full-bodied red wines, the Médoc is one of the best wineries in the world.
3. Alto Douro, Portugal
From spirited bubblies to heady reds, we move to the home of the famous Port Wine – Alto Douro. A UNESCO World Heritage listed site, the Wine Region is a cultural landscape sculpted by the Douro River and shaped by winemaking. Extending from the city of Porto in the North of Portugal, the Port here is internationally known for its quality and flavour.
Wine production has been taking place here for more than two thousand years so the vintners sure know their grapes. This long tradition of viticulture has produced an outstanding scenery of beauty that is representative of the full range of activities associated with winemaking; from the terraces, quintas, villages and chapels to the winding roads that pattern the landscape.
4. Conegliano Valdobbiadene, Italy
In the hills of north-eastern Italy, more specifically, in the hills lying between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene in the Veneto Region, sparkling wine was born. Not just any sparkling wine, we speak of what is today one of the best-known and most popular sparkling wines in the world – Prosecco. It has become an icon of Italian style and it is here, some 50km from Venice and 100km from the Dolomites, that the best quality is obtained, identified with the D.O.C.G. (denominazione di origine controllata e garantita).
Wine has been produced in this area for centuries, and over time, ongoing wine-labouring (like the planting of more vineyards) has created the unique environment that it is today. As such, it has been put forward to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is why it is one of the best wineries in the world.
5. Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Once known for the malvasia grape which made the wine a favourite with European royalty, the Canary Islands were once famous for their wine. When it was replaced by Madeira wine, their popularity decreased but in modern times, the wind has changed again. Some of the most unusual and visually striking vineyards can be found in the Canary Islands and none more interesting than the vineyards of Lanzarote.
The vines here grow in the black soil of volcanic ash carved into circular hollows (to protect them from the wind) that resemble the Moon’s craters. For those with a palate for the unfamiliar and wines of complex nature, head to the extra-terrestrial vineyards of Lanzarote. Combine this with the Island’s other worldly landscapes and warm temperatures that draw millions of tourists every year, and you have all your bases covered for the perfect oeno-experience.