Celebrations International Travel Blog

Top Five Destinations For Wine Aficionados

Posted on: February 26, 2010

This is the text of an article I wrote for WhereI’veBeen.com that was published on their site today.  Enjoy!

Wine Grapes

1. France:  This country has a long history of excellent wine-making, and many newer wine-producing regions have learned from the French techniques and used them to produce their own wines. The varied regions of France produce abundant varieties of wines, sparkling wines, and champagnes. Amongst France’s best-known wine-producing regions are: the Loire Valley, Alsace, Champagne, Burgundy, Beaujolais, and Cognac. Visitors to France will have a wonderful opportunity to explore and enjoy the products of this world-renowned wine destination.

2. Italy:  The sunny slopes of the Italian countryside are known to produce some of the best wines in the world. Whether you explore the hills of Tuscany and enjoy a glass of Chianti, or prefer Asti from the northern regions or the sweeter taste of Marsala from southern Italy, this country has something to please everyone’s wine palate. Known mostly for red wines, Italy also produces some excellent white, sparkling, and fortified wines. And of course, good Italian food enjoyed in a pristine, authentic setting will only make your wine taste better!

3. GermanyGermany’s wine regions are so numerous that they are more often referred to as “wine routes,” or areas wherein travelers or visitors can follow one particular route and expect to find several wineries, whether large or small. Germany’s proximity to the Alsace region of France has resulted in a number of French and German wines that share some common characteristics. Similar to other wine-producing regions of the world, some of the best German wines come from small-scale, “boutique” vintners and estate wineries, all of which travelers can visit if they wish, although they may need help from locals or a destination specialist in order to find the location and arrange the visit. Germany is also renowned for its beer production, something that is often of interest to wine lovers. Since fine German cuisine makes use of both good wine and beer, Germany is a destination no culinary traveler should miss!

4. Australia:  Avid wine lovers should definitely plan a visit to the land “Down Under.” This amazing destination offers you the delights of the Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley, the Adelaide Hills region, and the McLaren Vale region, just to name a few. The vistas in these regions are varied, all vast and beautiful, with gourmet dining and luxury accommodations to complete your ideal wine tour vacation. You can take a sunrise balloon ride over the vineyards. You can even enjoy your newly-discovered Australian wines with a bush lunch (picnic) in the Outback!

5. South Africa:  Cape Town is the gateway to some of the most breathtakingly scenic wine-producing lands in the world, many of them within an hour’s drive, and others a longer journey through spectacular landscapes. Each of the regions has its own unique character, as do the wines produced there. The well-developed Western Cape includes historic villages, charming guest houses, gourmet restaurants, and world-class golf courses. Travel along the coast, enjoying the spectacular scenery of the famous Garden Route. A wine tour of the Western Cape and Garden Route will prove to be a delightful experience for all.

Adrienne Mitra is the owner of Celebrations International Travel, a full-service agency focused on serving a number of niche markets, including culinary travel, cruises, tours, all-inclusive resorts, and group travel. Adrienne and her family are avid world travelers, and they are especially proud of the custom work they do for clients.

3 Responses to "Top Five Destinations For Wine Aficionados"

A great summary, but I would like to add that in France, perhaps the most famous region is Bordeaux, which is much more geared up to welcoming wine tourists than it used to be, having put in lots of investment into wine tasting rooms, tour facilities and so forth. I also enjoy wine travel in the Rhône Valley and further south in Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon. All of these regions have welcoming family-owned wineries.

Perhaps the most famous wine tourist destination of all which you didn’t include has to be California, which has created a real industry out of wine tourism. I should add of course that not only does California (not just Napa, but Sonoma, Santa Barbara – featured in the Sideways movie and many other regions) produce some wonderful wines, it has spectacular scenery, very welcoming wineries and some fantastic restaurants.

I could go on to list others, but … a top five should be just that and I’ve already added another!

Hi Wink,

Thanks for your comments. The reason why California wasn’t included on my list is because our culinary tours currently focus on international destinations. We have several sample itineraries for culinary tours posted on our Culinary Travel Homepage. These are meant as examples only, to give travelers an idea of the types of things that we can include on their own unique, customized culinary tour. For international destinations, we can create culinary tours just about anywhere travelers want to go.

We are currently working towards offering a number of domestic destinations for culinary travel, and California is among them. I definitely agree that California is a great wine destination. Last fall, we enjoyed a drive through the Wine Country of Temecula on our way to a wedding. I was amazed at the number of vineyards in this region alone, to say nothing of Napa Valley and Sonoma. I have to admit I loved HGTV’s dream home last year that was located in Napa Valley!

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This is blog based on the experiences and interests of travel agency owners Adrienne and Agni Mitra. Through our blog entries, we will share our travel experience and expertise. We will also have other entries of interest to inspire your travels.

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