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For wine lovers, a great vacation will always include a stop at a winery. And, we understand why! A winery has so much to offer. In one spot you get beautiful views, elegant ambiance, delicious food and wine, and even educational tours around the property. If you consider yourself a wine lover, we insist you make one of these top five countries your next vacation.
When people think of expensive, bold wine, they often think of French wine. Despite being a small country, France has 11 wine regions! For the true wine lover, you can set a personal goal of visiting them all.
If you can’t make it to all 11 regions, we recommend prioritizing Provence in the south of France. The quiet region of Provence specializes in producing some of the best rosés in the world. Anyone can spend weeks in the colorful countryside, appreciating wine, food, and culture.
For those who want more excitement, the region of Bordeaux is wonderful. A major hub in France, this area is perfect for the red wine lover. If you time your trip for the summer, you might even be able to attend the world-famous Bordeaux wine festival.
Australia has a history of producing wine dating back to 1788. Until the 1960s, Australia mostly focused on producing fortified wine that was great for storage and transportation. After an influx of immigrants from Europe in the 1960s, the focus shifted to full-bodied bold reds and sweet sparkling wines. These new wines helped to put Australia on the map as a major leader in wine.
Today, Australia is the fourth-largest producer of wine in the world. For wine lovers, a stop in Barossa Valley in Adelaide is a must. This is Australia’s most prominent wine region where beautiful wineries produce Australia’s most well-known wines, including Shiraz and Riesling.
In particular, we recommend stopping at Seppeltsfield where you can spend an afternoon on the ‘Taste Your Birth Year’ experience. The two-hour private tour includes lunch, wine tastings, and a taste of wine from a barrel from your birth year. Seppeltsfield has single vintage wine dating back to 1878, so everyone’s birth year is covered.
Italy’s history with wine begins over 4,000 years ago. That history is still present in every region of the country that you visit. Different areas of Italy specialize in various types of wines and are immensely proud of their product. It would be challenging to sit down at any restaurant in Italy and not have a wine menu (or a glass of wine) pressed into your hand.
We suggest you spend a few days in Tuscany, where you can visit wineries in ancient castles on a backdrop of beautiful green vineyards. Check out the Barone Ricasoli winery, which is the oldest winery in Italy. The winery dates back to 1141 and is the second-oldest in the world. Take a guided tour and end with a tasting of some of their award-winning wines, both whites, and reds.
You may think safaris and beaches when you hear South Africa, but this country has some of the most impressive wineries in the world. The first record of wine produced in the country dates back to 1659, and now wine production is a significant part of South Africa’s economy.
South Africa is known for producing a wide variety of wines. However, most South African wineries focus on white wines such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, and Chenin blanc.
Tourists love to go to the town of Stellenbosch, for the famous “Stellenbosch wine route” that includes over 150 tasting rooms. With so many wineries to cover, you might want to skip driving and book a tour.
While Spain doesn’t produce the most wine globally, it’s the country with the most acreage of vineyards. For the wine lover tourist, that means so much more land to explore. La Rioja is the most famous wine region in Spain. This region specializes in the Tempranillo grape, which is used to create deep, delicious red wines.
Spain is the perfect destination for travelers who don’t want to choose between wine and food. At wineries, along with delicate wines, you’ll be served decadent dishes like lamb chops, spicy chorizo stews, and vegetable menestras.
In 2019, three wineries from the La Rioja area ranked in the “top 50 wineries of the world.” If you’re going to be in the area, why not visit all three! The López de Heredia Viña Tondonia winery came in third place, while Marqués de Riscal (the oldest winery in the Rioja region) came in ninth, and Bodegas Vivanco placed 24th.
Be the envy of all your friends and visit all five of these destinations over the next five years. Wine not?