If you’re a wine lover looking for the perfect place to head for your next holiday, then we’ve put together a list of some of the best destinations you can head to to experience the incredible wines produced around the world.
While Croatia isn’t widely known as a great winemaking country, they have been practising the art of viticulture for over 3,000 years, so it’s fair to say that there are some impressive wines produced here. With over 130 grape varietals indigenous to Croatia grown in the country, most of which are not found in the rest of the world, the wines of Croatia are undoubtedly unique.
While there are vineyards all over Croatia, the Dalmatian Coast is certainly high on the list of places to visit for wine lovers. Vineyards are planted on the steep rocky cliffs, and here they get a great deal of sunlight, which helps to produce some highly-alcoholic wines – over 15% ABV is not uncommon! Be sure to taste wine made from the Crljenak Kaštelanski grape, as this is the original version of Zinfandel! The stunning coastal scenery, impressive national parks and delicious dishes of Croatia make Dalmatia a must-visit on any wine-loving travellers bucket list!
As well as being one of the most stunning islands in Greece, Santorini is also a wine lovers paradise. Home to the oldest vineyard in Europe, Santorini is the most prominent wine region in Greece. The volcanic soil in which its vines grow certainly adds some complex flavours to their drinks. If visiting, be sure to try a sip of Assyrtiko wine; a grape varietal that thrives on this island, producing impactful, rich wines packed with acidity. As a popular destination for holidaymakers, there are plenty of opportunities to embark on vineyard tours and wine tasting sessions in Santorini. As you explore the vineyards, you will witness the unique way in which vines are grown on the island – basket-trained, looking like a birds nest – to protect themselves from wind exposure.
Image Credit: Michael Clarke Stuff
The Bordeaux region in France is renowned for its wine, so it would seem silly to not include it on a list of holiday destinations for wine lovers! Bordeaux is packed with remarkable châteaux, each offering incredible wines, and many of which are open to wine lovers to tour and explore. As well as the vineyards and estates themselves, Bordeaux is well aware of its wine connection, so you will find La Cité du Vin museum here, providing you with an exciting insight into the world of wine.
Saint-Émilion is one of the best areas to head to, just outside the city, offering plenty of vineyard tours in a stunning location. Here you will find Les Cordeliers, a winery that stands within the ruins of a 14th-century Franciscan monastery. The ancient cellars of this remarkable winery have housed impressive sparkling Crémant de Bordeaux for over 100 years. For those looking to learn more about wine, you can also pay a visit to the Maison du Vin Saint-Émilion, which is a wine school that teaches the basics of wine tasting!
Home to a range of unique grape varietals and wine styles, Portugal is something of a gem for wine lovers. While many spots in Portugal will be perfect for those on the hunt for a quality glass of wine, the city of Porto is the place to head for those more invested in wine. In the city, you will find an abundance of incredible bars, restaurants and wine shops from which you can sample some of the very best wine Portugal has to offer.
Just outside of Porto you will find the Douro Valley, a world heritage site, that has long been used for growing vines. Here you can experience the winemaking process in full, with some vineyards offering the chance to pick and press some grapes of your own! Historic wineries in this region, such as Quinta da Pacheca and Quinta de La Rosa, also offer guided tours, giving you a great insight into the Portuguese winemaking process.
North of Porto, you will come across Vinho Verde, the biggest wine region in Portugal (and third largest in Europe), which produces the famous Vinho Verde. This delicate white wine is incredibly popular and pairs exquisitely with the delicious seafood dishes which can be enjoyed fresh in this area of Portugal.
Napa Valley, United States
California’s wine has long been growing in popularity and prestige, and Napa Valley is one of the best places for it! Many of the wineries in this region will offer tasting and tours, allowing you to experience the best of this area. For a more unique tour, hop aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train, where you can travel through stunning wine valleys, stopping at a selection of vineyards, and enjoying a fine dining experience – complete with plenty of delicious wine, of course! If you’d rather work for your wine, then there are also guided bike tours of some of the vineyards available.
Whether you’re planning on coming back with a suitcase crammed full with bottles, or will be investing in a selection of wine from your destination once you’ve returned home, make sure that there is enough room awaiting your new collection in a wine rack or wine cabinet!