There are more countries producing wine nowadays than ever before, and vineyards are popping up in the least expected places. Even the Gobi Desert in the remote regions of Asia! As such, wine tours provide a fantastic insight into fine-wines from around the world.
Although, for the ultimate wine tour, the top three wine regions in the world have to be – Italy, France and Spain. In actual fact, these countries produce nearly half of the wine that is produced around the world.
Whether you are a wine connoisseur or a passionate wine drinker; there’s always something new to learn by visiting the wine regions. You will get to explore the vineyards and talk to the growers and producers! Wine is a lot more enjoyable and memorable when you hear all about the stories behind the wine production.
The wine producers will be more than happy to explain everything and love to answer your questions.
When to Book the Ultimate Wine Tour
In the summer months, wine tours and tasting rooms do get really busy. As such staff may not have as much time to cater for individuals within a group tour.
Therefore, if you are still visiting during peak season, try and arrive around lunchtime for the best experience. That way, you’ll hopefully be able to make the most of your time with your hosts.
Also, it’s worth noting many wineries are closed on bank holidays and have restricted visiting times out of season. So ensure you check this well ahead of your visit.
Do plan your tour in detail, as many wineries also offer excellent food and fine dining experiences. Take a good look at the surrounding region, and maybe choose a winery with an outdoor picnic area with great views. You can also bring your own picnic food and enjoy it with a bottle of wine bought at the winery shop.
Many of the wineries offer other experiences; such as cultural events, concerts and even art exhibitions.
Top 5 Destinations for the Ultimate Wine Tour
Choosing the top 5 wine destinations is quite tricky as there are so many wonderful wine tours around the world! However, we have narrowed it down – so take a look at our pick of the ultimate vineyard tours across the globe:
Of course, Burgundy is well-known for being one of France’s famous winemaking regions. There are plenty of wine tours out there, all with different options.
You can choose an overnight tour that will take you along pretty rivers and lush green countryside. Whereby you can also see stunning Romanesque churches and historic sites along the way. All organised wine tours should always be booked well in advance as they do get easily booked up.
Also, please note: the actual tasting rooms can be rather small, and the vineyards in Burgundy nearly always require reservations. However, once there, what better way to enjoy sipping wine amongst beautiful scenery!
Spain, La Rioja
La Rioja is definitely the destination for all wine lovers to head off to. Wine has been produced for 100’s of centuries in and around the various Spanish villages in the region. There are actually over 500 wineries in La Rioja that produce different types of full-bodied delicious red wine.
Many parts of the region boast high-tech wine-making, such as Bodegas Baigorri in Samaniego. Which looks just like a glass suspended box, with its famous award-winning winery situated just below. Then, there is the well-known winery hotel; Marqués de Riscal, designed by Frank Gehry.
Piedmont is full of superb vineyards and the region also features stunning Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury boutique hotels, and top of the range spa experiences. All nestled in scenic hills and the famous Alps – attracting wine lovers from all over the globe. In fact, it’s certainly among the top 5 wine regions in Italy.
Do note, that the major wine-tasting stops will require advance reservations, especially in the busy summer months. If you decide to visit Barolo, arrange a trip to the familial Fratelli Barale, that has been operating since 1870.
Portugal, Douro Valley
This region boasts gorgeous steep-terraced vineyards that are elevated above the Douro River, amidst amazing scenery. Douro Valley is one of the world’s oldest winemaking areas, dating back to when the Romans introduced vines during the third century A.D.
Visit the famous Sandeman winery with its wide-ranging tasting centre and breath-taking views. Which are even more impressive after a rather steep climb to Quinta do Crasto. There are lots of smaller estates to visit, that have lesser-known wines to enjoy – but are still delicious!
Germany, Mosel Valley
The Mosel Valley is like arriving within a fairy-tale landscape, with its beautiful storybook castles, lush green rolling hills, and winding river. However, the gorgeous wines are the main attraction for tourism to this amazing region.
Superb delicate Rieslings are the main wine produced in Mosel Valley. During which, you should definitely take the two-hour hike to one of Europe’s steepest vineyards at Calmont-Klettersteig. The breath-taking views will leave you speechless. For a much more relaxing wine-tasting visit, do take a trip to the former monastery Weingüter Mönchhof in Ürzig. This lovely old ancient place offers stunning outdoor wine tastings and is open in the evenings.
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A final note – the aromas are a major part of wine tastings, so do be mindful and don’t wear heavy perfume or cologne.
Also, tasting the various wines on an empty stomach can be a recipe for disaster! You certainly do not want to get intoxicated and not being able to enjoy the experience. So, ensure you eat well before the tastings and drink water between the wine tasting to keep you hydrated.
Book wine tours in a number of destinations around the world with tabl.com.