With the summer holidays just behind us, now is the time to start planning for your next holidays. Whenever The Wine Junkies take a vacation, wine always plays an important role. In this post, we recommend you our top 10 most beautiful wine regions in the world which are definitely worth your visit.
Mosel – Germany
When you say Mosel, you say Riesling. This stunning region in Germany is famous for having the steepest vineyard slopes in the world which makes it an extremely challenging task for the growers to grow and harvest their grapes. The Romans introduced viticulture to the Mosel region in the 2nd century. Although this region has a northern continental climate and therefore cool temperatures, the Mosel river works as a mirror and reflects the sunlight to the vines. Also, the top soil mostly consists of broken slates which are ideal for draining water from rainfall, and for keeping heat during colder periods. Besides some of the world’s best Riesling, the German Mosel region also allows you to travel through time as the area still looks the same as it did a few hundred years ago.
Hawke’s Bay – New Zealand
Wine is being produces for over 100 years in Hawke’s Bay making it the oldest wine growing region in New Zealand. Predominantly red varietals such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, although they also produce some very good Chardonnay. Some of the vineyards along the Tutaekuri, Ngaruroro and Tukituki river guarantee for some spectacular views. With its hot summers and mild winters, this is a great place to visit year-round.
Douro Valley – Portugal
The Douro Valley in Portugal was given UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2001 and is not only famous for its wine but also for wellness retreats and sustainable tourism.
Besides port wine, the Douro Valley also produces some excellent value red wines.
Some hotels in Porto organize boat tours. They take you down the Douro river and visit some of the wineries, and while getting there you enjoy the spectacular views from the river.
Bordeaux – France
This is without a doubt the world’s most famous wine region in the world. No other region in the world can match the number of chateaus that are around. The entire Bordeaux area is spilled with 18th century landmarks and breath-taking estates. This is where much of the wine history has been written, and is still being written today. Bordeaux breaths history and should be on every wine lovers list of places to visit. The wine region of Bordeaux was also awarded as World Heritage Site, along with other regions in this top 10 list.
Tasmania – Australia
Due to its more southerly latitude than its counterparts in the rest of Australia, Tasmania is rather unique in the style of wine it produces. Here, you will find wines similar to some of the European wines grown in more mild climates. It is therefore no surprise that the red Pinot Noirs and sparkling wines are renowned. Also, the island of Tasmania produces some great aromatic whites, and it is no surprise that some of the Rieslings are similar to those that can be found in Mosel.
Stellenbosch – South Africa
Located at the foot of the Stellenbosch mountain, and therefore ensured of spectacular views, Stellenbosch is a great place for wine lovers to explore. There are over 200 producers in the valley and with its Mediterranean climate, they produce some excellent wines made of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc and even riesling. But perhaps best known for Pinotage (a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault) this grape has become South Africa’s pride.
A great way to discover and experience the area is by following some of the renowned Stellenbosch wine routes which not only give you the chance to try some of the best wines South Africa has to offier, it is also famous for its cuisine and has some of the best restaurants the country has to offer.
Tuscany – Italy
What most people don’t know is that Italy is the world’s largest wine producer. A region where quality goes beyond quantity is Tuscany. Home to some of the most sought-after wines such as Tignanello and Sassicaia, Tuscany is heaven on earth for wine and food connoisseurs. Driving around Tuscany you will enjoy its rolling hills, the medieval castles and the centuries-old villages.
Mendoza – Argentina
Mendoza is Argentina’s largest wine producing region and unique for having the highest altitude vineyards in the world. Mendoza is famous for having the best Malbec’s, and although less famous, other great wines are produced from Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Chardonnay.
Many of the vineyards boast spectacular backdrops of the Andes mountains covered in snow. If you have a chance, try to visit Mendoza during the Grape Harvest Festival, which takes place right before the start of the harvest, in March.
British Columbia – Canada
British Columbian wine is probably Canada’s best kept secret. Everyone knows Canada for its delicious lobster, salmon and of course maple syrup, but little do we known of the great wines the country produces.
Most people think Canada is too cold to grow wine, and although the winters can be cold, British Columbia has a mild climate, excellent to grow high quality vines and produces very fine Merlot’s, Pinot’s and some more aromatic whites such as Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc.
British Columbia’s vineyards are spectacularly located and surrounded by glacier-scraped lakes, rivers and mountains. This is a great wine-growing region to discover before it becomes main-stream and its wines conquer the world.
Hua Hin – Thailand
Located in Hua Hin, Thailand, approximately 3 hours south of Bangkok, the Monsoon Valley winery is unique in every sense. Due to the exclusive microclimate in this specific area, they managed to grow vines here. The coast is just 35 kms away and provides cool winds at night and also explains the soil which is enriched with shells and fossils providing minerality to the wines. They refer to their wines as “new latitude” wines due to the 13th degree of latitude whereas most wine areas are in between the 30th and 50th degree.
The winery is open for visitors and it is even possible to ride an elephant through the vineyard.
Please share with us the most beautiful wine region you ever visited.
Albert & Willem