Wine tours attract both wine aficionados and novice wine lovers alike for their diversity of offerings. A wine tour in any famous region can be limited to simple transportation between wineries to an all-encompassing trip that can include everything from transportation to meals to accommodations and guides. Wine tours are constructed for most budgets and there are so many to choose between, every person can easily find something suited to all budgets, travel styles, and tastes.
Europe Wine Tours
Europe Wine Tours Image: Michal Osmenda (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0
In Europe, wine tours are incredibly popular, with France in the forefront, presenting several wine regions across the country totaling almost twenty. The Bordeaux region in southwest France is one of the best known with more than 650 million bottles produced each year. The Champagne region is another leading region, located east of Paris.This is where Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier are produced. Tuscany, Italy is another major wine producing region within Europe with custom private tours and regular daily tours available. Here, wine tours are often paired with cooking classes, catering to the fast-growing wine and food tourism industry. There are thirteen regions including Franconian, Ahr, and Baden, producing everything from Pinot Noirs to Rieslings. Wine tours are also a popular part of tourism in Austria within three major wine growing regions of Steiermark, Niederösterreich and Burgenland.
United States Wine Tours
United States Wine Tours Image: jimg944 (flickr)
Napa Valley in California is a wine region well-known around the world. It is the leading viticulture region in California located in the San Francisco region. Wine growing began around 1965, with Robert Mondavi of Mondavi wines leading the way. Today there are almost 500 wineries in Napa Valley growing variations of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and more. The number of tour companies is astronomical. Everything from day tours and trips lasting weeks are available, catering to almost five million annual visitors. Virginia is another prominent wine region within the United States with roots in wine making dating back to the 17th century. Hot and humid weather in the summer months offers ideal conditions. Day-long wine country tours are most popular, with visitors able to explore up to four wineries in one day. Family owned and operated wineries offer artisanal wines throughout fifteen wine regions including Shenandoah Valley, Chesapeake Bay, and Monticello.
South America Wine Tours
South America Wine Tours Image: longhorndave (flickr)
In South American, Chile and Argentina are leaders in wine growing. South American wine tours often incorporate dinner and a Tango show into most wine tours, usually at the end of the day. Mendoza’s Malbec, Santiago de Chile’s Carmenere, and Uruguay’s Tannat are three of the most famous wines. The Mendoza wine region is one where tours concentrate on the vast wine growing area. Mendoza is well know for its exquisite hotels, amazing restaurants, and top-rated wine tours. In Chile, wine tours are often paired with tours of the striking Lake District. The ultimate wine tours in South American incorporate travel throughout the top wine region of Valparaiso in Chile before moving on to Argentina.
South Africa Wine Tours
South Africa Wine Tours Image: Marcus Hansson (flickr)
South African wine stands tall among wine-making around the world, comprising a large part of the market with unique, dazzling varieties. The wine regions in the South Africa’s Western Cape draw the highest number of visitors. The Stellenbosch region deserves all the recognition it gets; there are more than 135 wine farms in Stellenbosch, one of the oldest South African towns. The largest number of wineries and wine tasting venues are here. The town boasts an Old World atmosphere, with tree-lined streets and a consummate vacation atmosphere. Pre-scheduled day tours private day tours, and custom, packaged overnight tours are the most favored.
Top image: star5112 (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0