For wine enthusiasts, there’s no time quite like the summer to enjoy a great wine drinking experience. Of course, there are plenty of >great summer wines, but the true reason that the summer is a special season is that it is the perfect time to do a bit of wine-related tourism! Great wines come from all over the world, and while you can typically enjoy impressive variety from sources as easy to reach as the closest Marks and Spencer, sampling a fine wine at the very vineyard that produces it is an unparalleled experience. So, if this is the kind of summer vacation that sounds appealing to you, here are 5 spectacular wine regions around the world to consider visiting.
1. Douro Valley, Portugal
For most wine tourists, the most important factor in planning a trip besides the actual wine is the beauty of the location. In this regard, you can do no better than the Douro Valley in Portugal. Rolling hills with terrace vineyards overlook the Douro River in this quiet, peaceful, and gorgeous region. The wine is lovely, the vineyards are historic, and the experience is unique.
2. Monterey County, California, United States
The United States’ west coast is full of diverse wine country, but nothing quite meets the experience of Monterey County. Unlike many renowned wine regions in the world, this isn’t a remote or quiet location, but rather a small sample of all California has to offer. Luxurious resorts, the Pacific coastline, and close proximity to San Francisco give you plenty to do during your vacation, and of course, you’ll get plenty of that famed California Chardonnay.
3. Lavaux, Switzerland
Terrace vineyards overlooking Lake Geneva make for one of the more visually stunning European vineyard locations, and the Lavaux region is well-suited for casual tourism. With miles upon miles of walking trails, as well as train rides that take you by and through vineyards, this is a great destination for the true wine enthusiast. Plus, if you’ve never seen the lands surrounding Lake Geneva, you’re in for a treat!
4. Hunter Valley, Australia
The Hunter Valley makes for a very interesting vocation, as it is located just a short drive from Sydney. Some folks like to stay in the city and take day trips to the valley to tour vineyards, though accommodations and fine dining are also available in the Hunter Valley itself. Be sure to try the Semillon, which is unique to Hunter Valley, as well as the Shiraz, which is a favourite in the region.
5. Stellenbosch, South Africa
A bit of a surreal town on the banks of the Eerste River and surrounded by mountains and vineyards alike, Stellenbosch makes for a charming visit to South Africa. There’s an impressive variety of local wine to sample, but the Cabernet Sauvignon is perhaps the best of the bunch.