If your favorite pastime involves saddling up to a wine bar for a tasting, you’re in luck.
There are so many places this passion can take you – and even more wines to taste.
Around the world, or even just in the United States, there are wineries that are just waiting for you to finally book that vacation and come taste their wine. You don’t want to let these good people down, so let’s get started. Time to plan your wine-themed vacation.
First step, choose your location.
8 Must-Visit Travel Destinations for Wine Lovers
- Tasmania, Australia
This destination is first on the list because it’s an entire experience, even beyond wine tasting. Tasmania is a remote area of Australia – even to most Australians. But you’ll soon fall in love with this heart-shaped island and its delicious wines.
Because Tasmania has a cool climate, sparkling wines are the must-try variety. But don’t stop here. While you’re saddled up to that tasting bar, make sure the sommelier splashes a hearty pour of Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.
- Napa Valley, California
The Californian Wine Country is known throughout the world, and many people visit the US just for the wines. So if you’re already here, you’re going to make a stop in Napa Valley.
There are so many big name wineries here, but you may be surprised to learn that you’ll find some of the best wineries in Napa Valley off the beaten path. So don’t be afraid to explore. Just be sure to get a designated driver!
- Bordeaux, France
As if you needed another reason to vacation in France, Bordeaux is like the motherland of red wines. What you may not know is that the Bordeaux wines are actually a blend that includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.
While you’re here, you’ll find that there are two primary regions: left bank and right bank. Interestingly enough, you can tell a lot about the blend a winery uses based on its region.
- Douro Valley, Portugal
Since this is a vacation after all, you may want to visit a locale that’s almost as well-known for its scenery as it is for its wines. You’ll find the Douro Valley just a few hundred miles from the city of Porto (where you can sip on some amazing Ports). The 18th and 19th century wine estates you’ll find in the Douro Valley seem to be plucked straight from a fairytale. You won’t want your vacation to end.
- Piedmont, Italy
This region of Italy isn’t on most tourist itineraries – unless, of course, they are oenophiles. The Piedmont region produces two of the world’s best wines: Borolo and Barbaresco.
If you’re familiar with these wines, you’re probably already researching flights. But if not, you may want to learn more about Italian wines. They will delight your palate, for certain. Oh, and one of the best things about a European wine vacation are the wine and cheese pairings. Don’t miss out.
- Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
Hawke’s Bay is the second largest wine region in New Zealand, and you’ll want to plan your visit for late may when the grapes are in harvest. Harvest time is always the best time to visit a winery because they typically have fun and educational events or festivals. In contrast, harvest season begins at the end of summer in California, so you can plan to be present on at least two continents for harvest this year.
- La Rioja, Spain
Cathedrals, castles and quaint towns line the city of La Rioja, Spain. But the best reason to visit is the wine tasting. Actually, wine is so much a part of the culture in La Rioja that you may not know where the wine tasting ends and the rest of your vacation begins. It’s all interwoven, and that’s possibly the best part about visiting La Rioja. It’s an experience.
- Moselle Valley, Germany
If you’re a fan of Riesling, a trip to the Moselle Valley in Germany is like a trip to the motherland. And here, you’ll get to understand why there’s so much diversity within this wine varietal – as you take in beautiful and varied scenery. While you’re here, you don’t have to limit yourself to Riesling (although there are plenty to taste). If you visit the Mosel Weinmuseum, you’ll get the opportunity to taste up to 160 types of wine. Again, a designated driver is highly recommended for this trip.
Everyone should have the opportunity to explore their passions. Even if your biggest passion is wine tasting. Wine is actually complex topic with lot to learn, so you can turn it into a trip that’s as educational as it is fun.
And you don’t really have to travel the world to taste great wines. Start by exploring the wineries in your local area to get a better feel for what you like.