Two women toast rose wine glasses

The World’s Best Wine Regions

Drink Up... From Old World Europe to Southern Hemisphere Classics

Few things complement a fiery sunset, an exquisite five-course dinner or a leisurely afternoon like a glass of wine. With the ability to turn any ordinary vacation into an extraordinary one with just the pop of a cork, it’s no surprise the world of wine tourism is growing at such an exponential rate.

Instead of simply sampling local varietals at dinner, expansive wine tours give you a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the world’s best grapes. Whether you’re heading to the centuries-old Chateau’s of France or the burgeoning wine cellars of South Africa, a wine journey is the perfect occasion to deepen your knowledge of wine, which will come in handy only for the rest of your life.

And while France, Italy and Spain produce nearly half of the vino in the world, quality wine is now being made worldwide, with new standouts emerging yearly. Venture to boutique wineries in smaller regions like Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and South Africa, and you will be amply rewarded with varietals that dance on your taste buds.

Old World Europe = Modern Wine Perfection

France - The Bordeaux region produces what is known as perhaps the most prestigious wines, predominantly full-bodied, oak barrel aged red varietals, from rich Cabernets to herbal and plum flavored Merlots. You’ll also find plenty of sumptuous reds in Burgundy, too.

Italy - While every region of Italy produces good wines, Tuscany is where the grapes for bold Chianti are grown and produced in old world-style: by foot-stomping in barrels. Medium-bodied Sangiovese wines are another excellent choice, perfect for pairing with freshly rolled fettuccini or pappardelle pasta.

Vineyard in Tuscany, Italy.
Tuscany: Have a fun experience at a vineyard in this popular wine region. Go old school and do some foot-stomping in barrels.
Spain has the largest acreage of vineyards in the world and is famous for its Tempranillos and brandy. Bordering the Mediterranean Sea, Barcelona also produces the light and effervescent cava sparkling wine, as well as a variety of dry white wines.

Germany is known for its many sweet white wines, namely Rieslings, but you can also find fine Gewürztraminers. The least ripe, ideal as an aperitif, is a Kabinett; while Spatlese and Auslese are made from late-picked grapes and the sweet dessert wine Eiswein (ice wine) is picked as the grapes begin to freeze.
Village Beilstein at Mosel River, next to Cochem in Mosel Valley (Germany)
Germany: Village Beilstein is located on the Mosel River next to Cochem in Mosel Valley.
Portugal is home to the renowned dessert wine, Port, which is made from a blend of several grape varietals. However, Portugal also produces the lively fresh white wines of Vinho Verde - offering subtle lime and peach flavors.

Southern Hemisphere Classics

South Africa is known for their Chenin Blancs and signature Pinotage, as well as brandy, but you’ll also find Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdo, Shiraz and more. Most of the vineyards are located on the Western Cape near the coast—which you can explore on a hop-on/hop-off wine tram for a unique travel experience.

Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa
South Africa: Located in Stellenbosch, Delaire Graff Estate offers a variety of wines including award-winning Semillion/Sauvignon blends.
Australia’s diverse land truly offers something for all tastes, growing some of the world’s oldest grape vines in over 60 wine regions that produce more than 100 different varieties – including many world-famous wines. Sip premium Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs, Syrahs and Australia’s signature spicy Shiraz in picturesque settings, such as overlooking the Sydney Harbour after just hiking over its bridge!

New Zealand is famous for its Pinot Noirs, with intense fruit flavors, and grassy, dry Sauvignon Blancs. Because of the cooler temperatures here, the grapes have a longer ripening period, resulting in full flavor development with a fresh acidity. Taste your way through three significant wine regions—including can’t-miss Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough—and over 120 wineries on the Classic Wine Trail.
Vineyard in New Zealand
New Zealand: Visit vineyards located on North Island and Waiheke Island.

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