Combining beautiful sights with a drop of the local vino has got to be every wine-connoisseur’s dream holiday. For those who have a stand-out favourite such as Spanish Rioja or a sweet glass of Port, the choice is clear. For the rest, these five destinations offer the chance to travel to destinations as widespread as the South American Andes and the canals of Venice, while sampling the best wines they have to offer. Wine trips are great for meeting people, making them perfect holidays for singles as you’re bound to bump into people who share at least one of your passions! Here are the top tips for a wine-lover’s holiday this year.
Situated near France’s warm Mediterranean shores, rural Provence is a favourite with holiday-makers of all kinds, but particularly revered by those with a passion for wine. The Argens Valley is home to seven wine-making regions, famous for its refreshing rosés and juicy reds. Visit charming Medieval villages like Carcès in between sampling sessions or take a cycle tour, passing by floral meadows, ruined chateaux and idyllic lakes.
Another European giant in the wine-making business, Italy also has countless wine destinations to choose from. The north-eastern corner has got to be a highlight, and with easy access from the coast, you can combine with a cruise, if you wish. Taste the première sparkling wine, Prosecco, along with Amarone reds from the province of Verona. There’s also plenty to do on holiday here, with beautiful lakes like Garda and the historic, ‘floating’ city of Venice.
Maipo Valley, Chile
Chile’s wine valleys stretch almost the length of the country itself, and there are many other regions worth focusing on during a visit here. For a classic Chilean wine holiday, try the nearest wine hotspot to Santiago, Maipo Valley, dramatically situated against the backdrop of the Andes. Known for producing some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world, you can visit the mountain vineyards before relaxing in the Continental-style cafés of the capital.
Monterey County, California
Up in North America, California’s Napa Valley often gets a lot of the attention from the wine community but more recently, Monterey County has come in for a lot of praise. Sights like Big Sur and waterfront city Monterey already draw the tourist crowds and you can taste Pinot Noir and Syrah varieties from all over the county on Cannery Row. To seek out individual samples, try vineyards near Carmel-by-the-Sea and Chalone in the Gavilan mountains.
Hunter Valley, Australia
New South Wales is home to Australia’s most famous harbour at Sydney, but it’s also where you’ll find the renowned wine estates of Hunter Valley. You can grab a day trip from the city or linger at one of the region’s converted Colonial-era hotels where the local Chardonnay and Shiraz are served. It’s also worth roaming around the floral Hunter Valley Gardens, the Yengo National Park or getting an aerial view of the vineyards from hot-air balloon.