The best Wine Tour Destinations
A wine-tasting tour can be the perfect way to explore a new or familiar region, meet the locals and soak up the true atmosphere of what is usually an exceptionally beautiful part of the world.
Row after row of grapes basking in the sunlight, glorious roses planted to help keep the vines pest free and welcoming hosts offering you the nectar of the gods: This makes for a wonderfully relaxing and rejuvenating break.
Perhaps your budget allows you to travel to Europe and experience the sophistication of the Old World. Maybe your tastes are more New World and you are drawn to Australia, New Zealand or exotic South America. You may prefer to stay closer to home and enjoy the wonderfully cosmopolitan wine areas such as California, Washington or the many smaller producing areas dotted around the USA. Wherever you choose to go, you are sure to be welcomed with a glass of wine and a friendly smile.
For that Old World charm it is hard to beat the Champagne region of France. Even the finest Champagnes taste better against the backdrop of the glorious French countryside. There are many chateaus that now operate as hotels and are home to world-class restaurants, making this a truly luxurious destination.
No wine producing area offers more breathtaking scenery than Tuscany, Italy. Many people choose to base their stay in the beautiful and historic Florence. Joining an escorted tour can be a wonderful option. For one thing you have a designated driver and are free to indulge in the fantastic wines. Second, they often visit the smaller, family-run vineyards. The tours tend to be more intimate; with the family acting as hosts, it is easier to get a true feel for the way of life. You are also more likely to get a tour from someone with a true passion for wine and learn much more.
Closer to home, and perfect for the shorter break, are California wine country tours. The region offers many great wine-tasting tours and yet again the landscape is breathtaking. Napa Valley wine tours are perhaps the most popular and widely known. It is a relatively small area, so great for exploring if you have only a long weekend. It is, however, home to about 300 wineries so if you want to stay longer, there is certainly plenty to see.
Wineries range from small family businesses to huge commercial operations. It is ideal if you can visit both the small and the large wineries and get a taste for both. Their methods are basically the same, but some of the smaller wineries still use Old World techniques and materials that have been abandoned by their bigger counterparts.
Like its European counterparts, Napa is a beautiful location in itself. A wine-tasting tour is a great reason to visit these areas, but it is by no means the only thing they have to offer. The wonderfully sunny and temperate weather required by the grapes, and the clean fresh air, makes for a perfect vacation spot.