Are you looking for new destinations for wine tourism? Take a look at these 6 UNESCO World Heritage Site Wine Areas.
Wine tourism has been gaining popularity in recent years. In addition to enjoying the wonderful landscapes of the chosen destination, wine enthusiasts always take the time to get to know the local wine culture in depth, visit the wineries and vineyards, travel the designated wine routes and, of course, enjoy the samplings and tastings.
Choosing the best destinations for wine tourism can be a difficult task, but today we bring you a selection of wine areas declared World Heritage Sites that are undoubtedly a good starting point.
In 2015, UNESCO declared a set of ‘climats’ (the term used in Burgundy for a wine-growing plot) located on the slopes of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune as a World Heritage Site. There are more than 1,000 climats in this area, each one with its own name, history and taste. The famous Burgundy wines made from the vines here are the result of the natural characteristics of the terrain and the work carried out by winegrowers to shape the plots over the centuries.
A good starting point to discover this area is Dijon, capital of the old Duchy of Burgundy, or Beaune, whose historic centre is a true marvel. It is possible to take tours and excursions from both cities to visit the vineyards of the region.
Under the name ‘Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato’, five distinct wine-growing areas and the castle of Grinzane Cavour became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. The areas recognised are the Langa of Barolo, home of Barolo wine, the Hills of Barbaresco, grown mainly with Nebbiolo grapes, Canelli, famous for its sparkling wines from Asti, Nizza Monferrato, considered the capital of Barbera, and Monferrato, with its peculiar Infernot (cellars dug into the rock several metres deep).
In addition to wine, the beautiful landscapes with small hills full of vineyards and the picturesque villages in the area are a real attraction for travellers. To fully immerse yourself in the wine culture of Piedmont, Alba or Asti are two ideal destinations.
Alto Douro, Portugal
The winemaking tradition of this region dates back more than 2,000 years and today, farmers continue to use traditional cultivation techniques. The area, bathed by the Douro River, extends along 13 municipalities in the northeast of Portugal. As in many other wine regions, travellers not only come here to learn and taste the wines, but also to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Douro Valley. This destination is the ideal place to try the famous Port wine, and if you do not like fortified wines, you can always opt for the wines of the controlled Douro designation of origin.
Tip: take advantage of your getaway to the Douro Valley to visit the city of Porto, believe us, it’s worth it!
The Wachau Valley is the ideal destination for those who want to alternate culture with wine tastings. Thanks to its architectural wealth and agricultural tradition, this area, through which the Danube River runs, was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000. In fact, along with the many monasteries and abbeys present in the territory, the terraced vineyards on the banks of the river are one of the hallmarks of this Austrian valley. If you like dry white wines, this region is for you.
One of the most glamorous wine regions is undoubtedly Champagne, the birthplace of exclusive French champagne. In addition to the historic vineyards of Aÿ, Hautvillers and Mareuil-sur-Aÿ, UNESCO included in this cultural asset different places related to the production of sparkling wine following the champenoise method, such as the Saint-Nicaise Hill in Reims and the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay. Discover the network of galleries and underground cellars where champagne is still fermented, or visit prestigious wineries such as Moët & Chandon or Taittinger and marvel at the landscapes of Champagne.
Tip: If you are planning a trip to Paris, remember that many Champagne tours and excursions depart from the French capital.
The winemaking tradition in Lavaux dates back to the 11th century, thanks to the work carried out by the monastic communities of the Cistercians and the Benedictines. Today, travellers from all over the world flock here to admire the terraced vineyards on the shores of Lake Geneva. These terraces, buttressed by stone walls, stretch from Montreux to Lausanne, and are grown mainly with the Chasselas grape.
If you want to discover this bucolic Swiss region, take a look at the many tours and excursions that depart from Lausanne: from wine tastings to guided tours that mix tasting experiences with cultural visits to such iconic places as Chillon Castle.