Musement takes a glimpse at 17 of the world’s most famous wine regions.
This goes out to all those œnophile travelers who enjoy discovering destinations via the expression of their varying soils and vines. Musement has compiled a list of 17 wine regions around the world to inspire your next wine holiday!
1. Napa Valley, United States
As far as wine tourism goes, California’s Napa Valley is quite developed. Care to know the best way to discover this region’s most beautiful vineyards? All aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train!
P.S.: Certain options include a round-trip transfer from San Francisco.
Few know this, but Georgia is home to one of the world’s oldest wine-growing civilizations. If you’re staying in Tbilisi, the capital (and a popular food destination), and happen to visit the Georgian National Museum, you can explore archaeological discoveries that recount more than 8,000 years of wine history. These carefully preserved objects include fragments from jars used for preserving the wine as far back as the sixth century BCE.
3. Bordeaux, France
The Bordeaux region is undoubtedly one of the most famous wine destinations in the world—and for good reason. From Saint-Emilion to the Route du vin de Bordeaux, this region is the cradle of some of the world’s finest, best-known vintages. If you want to learn more about winemaking basics, don’t miss the Cité du Vin, an absolute must-visit.
4. Stellenbosch, South Africa
Grapevines have been cultivated in Stellenbosch since the first Dutch colonists settled in Cape Town in 1659. It’s the perfect place to sample some of South Africa’s finest wines in a truly exceptional setting.
5. Douro Valley, Portugal
6. Tuscany, Italy
Obviously, if you think of Tuscany, its hilly landscapes covered with green gilded vineyards before a setting sun may come to mind. The reputation of Tuscan wines has been well established, especially since a 2015 Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Bolgheri was voted “Best Wine in the World” by Wine Spectator in 2018. Countless wine tours and tastings excursions are available to you in the regional capital of Florence.
7. Lavaux, Switzerland
In the 13th century, monks terraced the Lavaux mountains to plant grapevines. This unique and characteristic wine landscape, overlooking Lake Geneva, has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is worth a visit.
8. Tokaji, Hungary
The production and history of Tokaji wines are among the most interesting in the world. They were the favorite sweet wines of Louis XIV, who called them “vinum regum rex vinorum” (“the king of wines and wine of kings” in Latin) by Louis XIV, and thus became popular at Versailles. Don’t leave Hungary without visiting this area’s historic wineries, such as those near the village of Szegi.
9. Piedmont, Italy
When you think of the wines of Italy’s Piedmont, Barolo and Barbaresco, the two red wine superstars of the region, may first come to mind. But have you heard of Timorasso? This indigenous variety was saved from a near-complete disappearance. Timorasso is a bold white wine with more body than the classic white grape varieties, particularly appreciated for its aging potential.
10. Hunter Valley, Australia
Located a few miles north of Sydney, Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine region and a must-visit for any food and wine enthusiasts visiting the Land Down Under.
11. Santorini, Greece
With its volcanic soil, extreme climatic conditions, and almost zero rainfall, Santorini’s vineyards must be grown according to a traditional method of pruning and weaving called “koulouri.” Used only in Santorini and Pantelleria in Sicily, this technique protects the grapes from wind and direct sunlight, a particular way of adapting to the local conditions. A must-see if should you have the chance to discover it!
12. Burgundy, France
A land of wine and gastronomy, Burgundy has always been a flagship destination for connoisseurs from around the world. It’s an inevitable destination if you want to discover the terroir of some of France’s greatest wines.
13. Sicily, Italy
Sicily is a destination that rarely leaves visitors indifferent. Its vineyards offer a complete and diversified palette of wines teeming with character that express, each in its own way, the authenticity of the terroir. From the dry wines of Mount Etna and Pantelleria to Marsala’s sweeter wines produced, the horizon of discoveries is just about endless.
14. Finger Lakes, United States
Rather unknown to Europeans, the Finger Lakes wine region in upstate New York—just two hours from Niagara Falls—has a stellar reputation on that side of the Atlantic. It was even voted “Best Wine Travel Destination” for 2015 by the magazine Wine Enthusiast. You’ll be able to taste exceptional oaked Chardonnay and some of the best Rieslings North America has to offer.
15. Champagne, France
If you’re a true œnophile and haven’t yet made the pilgrimage to Champagne, it’s surely on your list. Wine tourism is particularly well developed in Champagne, and local winemakers will happily guide you in your exploration of the Houses and cellars where the world’s most famous sparkling wine is produced.
16. Province of Mendoza, Argentina
With more than 70% of the country’s total vineyards, Mendoza is Argentina’s biggest wine-producing province. Situated in the west along the Chilean border and the Andes Mountains, you can imagine what incredible landscapes await visitors, making any œnological stay incomparable.
17. La Rioja Spain
In addition to its distinction as Spain’s oldest and most noble vineyard, La Rioja, home to some of Spain’s best-known wines, is particularly well-developed for wine tourism. After a visit to the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, we advise you to explore the vineyards by bike or on horseback, stopping for tastings along the way at various wineries.