It’s amazing how today we can sip the most luxurious of fine wines from all over the world, without even leaving our local town. These wonderful bottles of refined pleasure come from some fascinating, rustic vineyards. Without further ado, here are probably the 20 most important wine-growing regions on the planet. Wouldn’t you just love to travel to these amazing places and taste the greatest wines!?
1. Mendoza (Argentina)
Mendoza stands high above sea level, where the dry air meets snow-melt irrigation from the Andes to create excellent fertile conditions. The two main varieties of grapes are the Malbec and the Torrontes. Great places to visit on your wine tour, whether you travel the region by bike or car rental, include Maipu (near Mendoza city), Lujan de Cuyo, Valle de Uco and Tupungato.
2. Burgundy (France)
Burgundy is a highly complex and sophisticated wine-growing region, where the different vineyards each have their own micro-climates, helping the resultant wines develop unique flavors. The region is quite large though, so there is plenty for you to see here, and you’ll struggle to do everything. It’s advisable to begin at the Cote d’Or, then take a handsome train journey to Beaune.
3. Willamette Valley, Oregon (USA)
Willamette produces some marvelous Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnays and Pinto Gris. Starting from Portland you can get to many of the region’s fine wineries, since the valley is some 175 miles long.
4. Wellington/Wairarapa (New Zealand)
Though this may be New Zealand’s smallest of 10 primary grape growing regions, it is thought to produce the most sublime wine in the nation. To see just where the local Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir derive their unique flavors, take a rented car around the entire country area of Wellington.
5. La Rioja (Spain)
Though all of Spain is famous for its wine, this region is superior due to the shelter it receives from the Cantabrian Mountains, which make it a more moderate climate than Spain in general. Wine has been produced here for a thousand years. The region is known for blends. The red variety most commonly used is Tempranillo, and the white Viura. Visit the local cities of San Sebastian and Bilbao.
6. Mosel-Saar-Ruwer (Germany)
It’s not all about beer in Germany. German Riesling is rightly cherished by locals, and this will be a great place to take a wine tour. While here, you should also check out the nearby regions of Pfalz and Nahe.
7. Napa, northern California (USA)
Napa is rightly synonymous with Californian wine, offering hundreds of different wineries and vineyards for you to experience on your merry tour. This area is only an hour’s drive from San Francisco. You could also head a hundred or so miles away to the slightly quieter Anderson Valley.
8. Tuscany (Italy)
Because Tuscany is so hilly and elevated, the grapes are afforded a little moderation from Italy’s blistering heat. Yet because they are they bit closer to the sun, they get lots of glorious sunlight too. The most notable wine here is dry Chianti. If you start off at Florence you will be able to take in Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Carmignano.
9. Maipo (Chile)
Chile is remarkably the world’s fifth largest wine exporter, particularly famous for its Cabernet. The grapes take their water from the Maipo River, which comes straight from the mountains nearby. Not so far from here you can find the northerly Atacama region, to sample the local Pisco, which is a brandy-like wine.
10. Champagne (France)
Champagne can be found about 1 hour east of Paris, and it makes a lovely train journey. The trademark celebratory sparkle that sets Champagne apart from so many others is provided by the chalky soils that mark the region.