The top six wine destinations around the world designed for exploration
Oenophiles will love these stunning vineyards from around the world
As travellers tentatively begin to plan next year’s Spring escapes, we round up the most delectable destinations for wine lovers to explore. Whether you’re tasting your through the French Champagne region or heading further afield to sample traditional Canadian ice wine, these six destinations will delight your palate.
France’s Champagne region is globally renowned for producing some of the finest sparkling wine. One Traveller, the experts in mature solo travel, has just launched their no-fly tour discovering the best of the region. Exploring the most established wine-producing spots, indulging in a tasting at Veuve Clicquot and a scenic canal cruise through Châlons-en-Champagne past postcard-pretty vineyards are just a few of the itinerary highlights. Travellers will also indulge in a fine-dining lunch in Hautvillers Abbey - a former Benedictine monastery - after meeting grape growers at a nearby family-run vineyard in the valley and tasting their local wines. When they're not sipping bubbly, guests can delve into the history of Champagne at nearby museums or stop off at the grave of famed French monk, Dom Pérignon. Guests will stay at the four-star Hôtel de la Paix, which nestled in the heart of Reims is just a short amble from historical attractions including the city’s famed cathedral. This seven-day tour departs 1 May 2021. >>
This private tour offers wine enthusiasts the chance to navigate Trentino's heralded wines, through sampling and learning about the culture and heritage from which they have been cultivated. The area of Vallagarina, south of Trento, is recognised for its beautiful vineyards, interspersed with quaint villages and ancient castles. The varied scenery and climate makes the region’s wines truly unique, producing young and aromatic whites, to full-bodied and intense reds and extraordinary spumante. Stretching along the Adige River, into the city of Trento and finishing at the northern tip of Lake Garda, this tour boasts expansive alpine scenery, whilst also providing travellers with the chance to explore the culture of the region's capital city. Wine aside, Trentino’s fertile soils are known for producing a range of fresh and unique dairy products too, along with chestnuts and organic vegetables, which can be sampled on the trip. Wine lovers wishing to book this five-day bespoke tour should contact Taste Trentino to discuss dates and group size. >>
The Vienna Wine Hike which takes place annually from 3 - 4 October provides guests with the chance to explore the city’s glorious vineyards in areas including Kahlenberg, Bisamberg, Maue and Nussberg mountain - notably offering one of the most scenic views in the wine region. The combination of the nearby River Danube and the proximity to the Vienna Woods provide optimal climatic conditions for growing grapes. Wine tasting and offerings of traditional Austrian cuisine are included in the hike, and the views of the city in its golden fall splendour are a highlight. >>
Nestled in the picturesque countryside neighbouring Lake Ontario, visitors to the Niagara escarpment will be immersed in sprawling vineyards with over 20 wineries and a host of awe-inspiring chateaus. Winter is by far the best time to enjoy the region’s famed Canadian ice wine, a sweet dessert beverage made from grapes which have been frozen on the vine. With a Niagara Falls wine trail available in winter, visitors can hop from one winery to the next sampling delicious ice wine including Peller Estate, with its 10 Below Ice Wine Lounge and Inniskillin, one of the few places that offers a sparkling version of ice wine. However, thanks to the perfect climate and humidity, oenophiles can also taste chardonnays and pinot noirs in the summer or sip on late-harvest rieslings during autumn. From meeting grape-growers at the family-run Chateau Des Charmes with over 255 acres of award-winning vineyards, to tasting signature full-bodied wines at Colaneri Winery down the road, visitors are spoilt for choice all year round. >>
Arizona’s thriving wine scene is rapidly gaining recognition, with over 100 diverse wineries and dozens of gorgeous vineyards across the state. In northern Arizona, the popular Verde Valley wine trail features 10 stops across Cottonwood, including the scenic Page Springs Cellars where guests can not only taste fine wines but experience a creekside massage or yoga within the picturesque vineyards. Alternatively, one of Arizona’s more traditional wineries is Tucson’s charming Charron, where the soil and altitude makes for the perfect vineyard location. Here, visitors can enjoy a wine sampling and sumptuous picnic basket in the tasting room, surrounded by 360-degree views of the mighty Santa Rita Mountains. Meanwhile, Downtown Scottsdale is a hub for some of the state’s most acclaimed tasting rooms from Aridus, previously an art gallery with some of its artistic charm remaining, to Salvatore Vineyards Passion Cellars offering both vintage and freshly harvested wines. Visitors can simply download the walkable Wine Trail app and spend a day sampling their way through Scottsdale’s wine tasting rooms. >>
Just an hour's drive north from San Francisco lies the bountiful Sonoma County. Fondly known as 'wine country', it is home to 60,000 acres of vineyards, over 245 wineries and 17 distinct Viticultural Areas. Sonoma County has an array of different wine-tasting experiences on offer for connoisseurs looking to explore beyond the city, with travellers able to visit the underground wine caves, or sip from the county's highest winery - Bobdog Wine & Sy Pine Vineyards - which is perched 2,000 feet above Alexander Valley and offers breath-taking views. Sonoma County also hosts a range of annual wine events for enthusiasts, such as Winter Wineland each January, or the popular Sonoma County Wine Auction which invests in the local community through charitable auctions attended by wine celebrities and chefs.