Looking for a few more destinations to add to your wine and travel bucket list? Look no further than these regions.
A trip to any of the Italian lakes will inevitably end in wine and culinary delight, but it’s Lake Garda that reigns as the true king of the European wine pilgrimage. The region is sunny, sheltered and enjoys ideal amounts of rain, meaning the soil serves as prime grape-growing territory.
Follow the Garda Wine and Food Road that stretches 200km from Lake Garda all the way to Peschiera. You’ll saunter through rolling hills, along rustic riverside hiking tracks, discover an entire world of lakeside wineries from which to enjoy a swift glass, and enjoy an abundance of history and education along the way.
Must-see highlights include the 9th century Church of St. Pietro in Lucone and Rocca di Manerba’s Archeology and Nature Park. Get the full culinary experience and indulge the senses en route with cured meats, local cheeses, freshwater fish, olives and honey.
Try the wines of Custoza for a slightly bitter white or the wineries along the Adige River for a fine Bardolino.
This unique and historical region is home to some seriously impressive archaeological sites, incredible sailing, world-class windsurfing, indulgent spas, breath-taking scenery and some of the finest luxury homes in Greece.
Yes, you guessed correctly, it’s also home to some decent wines. Head to the south east coast to the medieval town of Monemvasiá. Set at the foot of what can only be described as a gargantuan rock formation, this stone settlement carries bags of history in its old and worn hands.
Overlooking the expanse of the Aegean Sea, this is the ideal wine-inspired getaway for those who seek tranquillity and relaxation in the process. Dine upon the roof of a tower house, wander the narrow cobbled streets, explore the castle or stroll through the 300 acres of private vineyards that stretch gloriously as far as the eye can see.
Wherever you choose to soak up the ambience of this quaint town, make sure you sample the local Malvasia wine. Up until 2010, production was carried out in countries like Spain and Portugal, but now the wine-making process has returned home and it’s ready to claim its rightful place on wine lists across Europe.
The word Tuscany rests on the lips of wine-connoisseurs everywhere, and rightly so. With well-known varieties like Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino enjoyed in restaurants all over the world, many dedicated foodies and winos ensure Tuscany is a must stop destination on their trail of wine-inspired travel, as it sits at the heart of a stunning region that’s ideal for cycling and hiking along the medieval pilgrimage trails.
Even a simple drive through the winding hills and country roads is considered an activity in itself. Rugged forests and Renaissance palaces live side by side among a people whose passion for the wine goes beyond growing and selling it.
Ask any vineyard owner about their product and you’ll be regaled with history and stories, all unleashed with some serious passion. Head to Florence, just a short drive from Chianti for Michelin-starred restaurants and some architecture-gazing worth stepping away from the wine trails for.
No list of wine-inspired travel destinations would be complete without a mention of the sweeping French countryside and its talent for wine production. Expertly combining a love of wine and fitness with a gourmet extravaganza are the Dordogne walking trails.
Lasting several days to a week, you’ll follow some of the world’s oldest trails via peaceful villages, alongside the gentle flow of the river and through lush fields of swaying grass. The slopes harbouring vines are accompanied by sunflowers and fruit trees, making for exceptional scenes of natural beauty.
Visit chateaus for regular wine tasting sessions along the way and head home with a rucksack that’s doubled in size. Not just wino friendly, this is a French food lover’s paradise. With black truffles and foie gras to be enjoyed alongside fine wine, this is an up and coming wine -producing area worthy of exploration.