Sip a flavorful Rioja and you start dreaming of those sun-kissed hills of Spain. Look at a bottle of a great Cabernet Sauvignon and you immediately imagine the exciting wine tours of Napa Valley.
A bottle of Penfolds Shiraz is more than enough to send you to back to the Australian continent, making you remember vivid scenes and breathtaking aromas. But, all this only makes sense if you’ve had the privilege of going on a holiday to one of the top wine destinations around the world. These trips help you connect the wine you drink to the place they come from and tell you more about what’s in your glass, thereby making your wine drinking experience even more special. Today, Bookmundi celebrates the World theme with an article that introduces you to the most exciting top wines and wine destinations in the world.
Istria, Croatia (above image)
This wedge-shaped peninsula is famous for its dramatic history and delicious wine. Istria was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire before falling into the hands of Italy. It was later added as a part of Yugoslavia and is now governed by Croatia. The town offers great remnants of a Roman past, beautiful Venetian architecture, breathtaking sea views, countless festivals and delicious food and wine, making it one of the perfect holiday destinations in Europe. Vina Gerzinic is one of the top vineyards in the region, famous for its excellent wine and olive oil. Vina Matosevic is famous for its tasting room that presents artworks from the region and live music. Vina Matosevic was one of the first wineries in the area to experiment with acacia. The most prominent wines in Istria is the crispy Malvasia Istriana, Chardonnay and Teran. The ideal time to visit Istria is between the months of April to October.
Sonoma Valley, USA
If you had one last wish to make before leaving the world, wish for a trip to Sonoma Valley, home to some of the greatest food and wine and the most beautiful surroundings in the US. Located at an hour’s distance from San Francisco, Sonoma Valley produces some of the best cool-climate New World Chardonnays, Zinfandels and Pinot Noirs. The county also grows all kinds of fruits, vegetables and herbs to offer spectacular tastes and flavor. The Wine Road is home to some of the best wineries such as Thomas George Estates, Porter Creek and Arista. Sprits Works Distillery is also famous for its handcrafted whiskey and gin. The ideal time to visit Sonoma Valley is between the months of August to October.
The moment you step foot into Mendoza, the Andes gets etched into your memories forever. The Tupungato and El Plata peaks have been guarding over this incredibly special wine valley for years, and thousands of acres of vineyards offer perfect postcard-like settings. Bodegas Salentein is the signature winery in Mendoza in terms of its landscapes and architecture. Pulenta Estate offers a stimulating sensory game where you’re blindfolded and made to try out 15 different flavors to identify their aromas. Atamisque, a French-owned winery, is incredibly famous for its trout farm and award-winning restaurant that cooks the fish to perfection. Mendoza is known for its Malbec wine and has evolved into a spectacular region for wine travelers over the years. Mendoza malbecs pair perfectly with Argentina’s world-famous beef, roasted goat and hearty pastas. The best time to visit is during the spring or fall season.
Barossa Valley, Australia
Barossa Valley wines act as an ambassador of Australian wine, bringing the sunny tastes of the country’s wines to dinner tables around the world. The region itself has become very famous as a wine destination and is attracting travelers from all over the world. Nearly every winery in the region has cellar-door operations that range from tasting rooms to guided tours. Rockford, Yalumba and Henschke are ideal for those looking for great wines and history. Shiraz is the king here. It boasts of a finesse and elegance that can hardly be seen in Shiraz wines from other regions. Mataro and Grenache wines can also be found in Barossa Valley. There is no perfect time to visit as the valley offers year-round explorations.
If you are more into Australian wine tasting experiences, take a look at our Top Wine Tastings in Australia.
Popularly known as the Green Heart of Italy, Umbria is the only landlocked wine region in Central Italy. Unlike some of the more popular travel destinations in Italy, Umbria’s olive groves and vineyards have managed to retain that old-world character and unspoiled charm. The region is also served well by a number of beautifully preserved medieval era towns such as Orvieto, Assisi and Perugua. A trip to Umbria can never be complete without visiting Montefalco. The Arnaldo Caprai estate and Tenuta Castelbuono are perfect for guided tours. And don’t forget to stop by L’Alchimista, the legendary wine bar of Montefalco, to choose from more than 400 selections. Umbria’s most famous wine is the Sagrantino di Montefalco, a fiercely tannic red wine made from Sagrantino grapes. Other wines found here include blends of procanico and grechetto and orvieto whites. The best time to visit Umbria is between the months of June to August.
Being located in British Columbia, there is no doubt that Okanagan offers breathtaking natural landscapes and exotic sceneries that tantalize and seduce all kinds of visitors. Located at a distance of 240 miles from Vancouver, Okanagan is a year-round playground that presents more than 131 wineries and 8000 acres of vineyards for some of the best wine experiences of your life. The top producers of Okanagan include Black Hills, Church & State, Tinhorn Creek and Burrowing Owl while Painted Rock, Meyer Family and Blasted Church are most famous for their delicious wines. Kelowna, a major city located close to Okanagan, is the perfect base for all your wine tours. Some of the most prominent wines found here include Syrah and Cabernet Francs. Icewines are quite popular as well, and there is a unique Icewine Festival that is held each winter. Bookmundi recommends you to look out for Pinot Blancs from St. Hubertus Estate and Rieslings from Tantalus while visiting Okanagan.
Each year, more and more wine regions come into the limelight. Did you know that the Gobi Desert is also home to beautiful vineyards? There are many upcoming wine regions that offer an intriguing experience, but the wine destinations mentioned in this list always offer the best mix of food, wine, history and culture to their visitors.