Destinations for those whose idea of adventure is sipping on the right glass of wine.
Whether you consider yourself a connoisseur, or simply appreciate a good glass of wine, nothing is as enchanting as a vacation to one of the world’s great wine regions. Stumble upon beautiful vineyards that serve as incredible backdrop for tasting some of the best drops available.
While the wine world has so many lush vineyards and standout wineries, we’ve put together our top five recommendations to inspire you to drink some incredible wine.
It would be a crime to place the ‘City of Wine’ anywhere but first. Bordeaux is commonly thought of as the premium wine loving destination, with a history of wine production dating back to the eighth century. Home to one of the largest wine fairs in the world, Vinexpo, can even attend Bordeaux Wine School, with technical and practical programs on everything and anything to do with wine.
Bordeaux wines are primarily red, and consist of a blend of different grapes that are generally bold and earthy, with fruity flavours. The region is home to Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots, and many of the best vintages are from 2009 to 2015.
In addition to the city’s strong wine focus, it’s difficult to look past the beauty of Bordeaux. The Place de la Bourse, a stunning palace built in the eighteenth century, cannot go unrecognised, while the Bordeaux Cathedral is yet another spectacular architectural site.
If you’re looking for quiet and relaxation away from the bustle of the city, check in to La Villa. Bringing a touch of comfort from home, it’s only a few minutes walk from the Place de la Victoire if you want to do more sightseeing.
Image from 7summitsproject.com
The Mendoza Province accounts for nearly two-thirds of Argentina’s wine production, and is home to numerous vineyards. The region became popular through its utilisation of the Malbec grape, with several sub-regions offering different varieties of Malbec wine. For example, Maipú offers red fruit flavours with earthy tones, while the Uco Valley is known for elegant wines that age well. The Malbec grape isn’t the only notable feature of the region’s wine production, Mendoza also has a history of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir production.
The landscape is lush and green, with the mountains creating the perfect backdrop for the multitude of vineyards spanning close to 145,000 hectares. It’s well worth a visit to taste the wine and enjoy time in the sun-filled restaurants of the region.
If you’re looking to stay somewhere you can immerse yourself in Argentinian culture, look no further than the Casa Glebinias. The cosy, brightly-coloured atmosphere is a great addition to your trip around one of the world’s most exciting countries.
Tuscan wine is overtly exceptional. The premier wine of Tuscany is from Chianti region and is made with Sangiovese grapes, that turn the wine a ruby-red colour. They age quickly, within two years, and are tremendously versatile when paired with food – especially traditional Italian dishes with tomato-based sauces. The richness and acidity of the tomatoes pair well with the wines of the Chianti region.
If you are looking for a break from wine tasting, or fancy a peek into Italian culture, Tuscany is the place to go. The region is home to incredibly beautiful cities like Florence, Pisa and Siena that are small enough to still hold some of that old-world Italian charm.
Your accommodation will depend on which area of Tuscany you’d like most to visit, but you can’t go wrong with a trip to Florence- and Portrait Firenze is the perfect mix of elegance and comfort.
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Set against majestic mountains, Stellenbosch is home to two of the largest wine-making regions in South Africa. Encompassing different forms of terrain, each is ideal for producing different kinds of grapes.
Stellenbosch is also home to world-renowned Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Meerlust Rubicon and De Toren Fusion V, and is also the original producer of Kanonkop Pinotage – a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsaut. There is also Reyneke Wines, South Africa’s only certified biodynamic winery.
If you’re also a nature lover, Stellenbosch is the place for you. In addition to the large number of beautiful vineyards and historic oak-lined streets, there are breathtaking natural reserves, like the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve and the Jan Marais Nature Reserve. Stunning scenery and waterfalls make them especially great for hiking enthusiasts, while many of the Stellenbosch wineries offer additional attractions including wildlife adventures or carriage rides through the vineyards.
If you’re looking to stay somewhere intimate, we recommend Eendracht Hotel. In one of the most historical areas in the town, you’ll find yourself immersed in the best of Stellenbosch hospitality.
Sonoma County, California
Sonoma County is California’s most profitable wine regions, with seventeen different areas dedicated to viticulture, all up they contribute to an annual production rate almost twice the size of their closest neighbour, Napa Valley. The region is most known for Merlot and Zinfandel, although many focus on cool-climate wines such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. There is also a stunning array of different textured red wines on offer, from rich and full-bodied to softer varieties.
Often overlooked, there tends to be less crowds, but Sonoma County is quintessential California wine country with close to 400 wineries to explore. If travelling along Highway 116, you can stop at Iron Horse, Merry Edwards, and Paul Hobbs vineyards, or sip flights in Sebastopol.
In addition to the endless vineyards to roam, Sonoma County has more than fifty nature parks with ziplining and kayaking, and is also home to a vibrant community of artists and musicians.
When it comes to accommodation, The Guerneville Lodge is refreshingly natural, located in the stunning Russian River area it has the option for both lodging and camping.