Top Wine Tours, Vacations & Wine Tours Destinations In The World
If you imagine yourself a bit of a wine connoisseur – or just enjoying a drink in the evening – there are hundreds of brilliant wine destinations across the world.
Whatever your drink, there is a wine region to explore and taste. From the obvious to the underrated, these are the best places in the world for a wine tour.
Here is our pick of the best wine tours around the world …
Taste wine your way in the Okanagan, Canada
Little known internationally, the Okanagan Valley remains relatively unknown to the British. Surrounded by mountains to the north and desert lands to the south, and aside from beautiful and sparkling Lake Okanagan, the vineyards here produce some of the best Pinot Noirs in North America.
It’s full, fruity, and varied from vineyard to vineyard, so trying them all on an epic visit is essential. Hire a car in Vancouver and take a drive through the countryside of British Columbia. You can stop at wineries, cider orchards, and even breweries on the route to Kelowna and Vernon, where exceptional hotels and restaurants await.
Highlights to drink are Summerhill Pyramid Winery, where the bohemian owner thinks putting his wine in an artificial pyramid will make it taste better, and Mission Hill. The latter was visited by Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge and has a spectacular open-air restaurant.
Sparkling seaside resort. Owned by Swarovski, millions of crystals adorn the walls and artwork of this place. The luxurious spa is a wonderful evening break, and the lake-view rooms have beautifully placed soaking tubs.
2. Enjoy great wine tours in Slovenia
This small country produces some really powerful wines, and its compact size means it’s easy to taste in a few different regions. Fly to Ljubljana and hire a car – it’s less than two hours from one of the surrounding borders, so switch east if you like reds and west if you prefer whites.
Pullus offers a plethora of award-winning wines, from mild Muscats to lively Sauvignon Blancs. Visit them in the historic town of Ptuj – a spa town – for an idyllic break. Otherwise, head to the rolling countryside of the Ljutomer-Ormoz district in search of fabulous whites from the Jeruzalem Ormoz winery. You will be forgiven for thinking you are in Tuscany.
Slovenia also produces fantastic orange wines, made from white grapes but vinified as a red. The skins are left in the juice for up to a month, producing a unique color and flavor. Head to AjdovÅ¡Äina and taste some of the best in the Faladur tasting room. Head to Maribor in the north to see one of the largest wine cellars in Europe and the oldest vine in the world.
A farm, or the Terme Ptuj. The latter has a fantastic spa with geothermal water, and the tub in your room is supplied with hot mineral water from the basement.
3. Taste robust reds in Portugal
Here, it’s all in the name. Famous for its port, of course, Portugal is a brilliant wine destination. Taste fortified black wine in the cellars of Porto, the capital, alongside local delicacies such as pastel de nata and hard cheeses, before heading out to the countryside for a tasting.
The Douro Valley, cut in the middle by the picturesque river of the same name, is one of the best wine regions in the country. The sloping vineyards that stretch away from the riverbanks produce a variety of fine red grapes including Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barroca, and Tinta Roriz – ideal if you’re a fan of Rioja or Ribera del Duero.
The whites include Malvasia Fina and Rabigato, and the main winemakers are Niepoort and Quinta do Crasto. Visit it by car or – even better – explore it from the water on a river cruise.
Quinta de Casaldronho – a state-of-the-art wine hotel in the heart of the region.
To book:Take the 8-day Riviera Travel river cruise along the Douro Valley
4. Taste wine with a view of the Western Cape, South Africa
The well-tended vines and pretty orchards of the South African vineyards are a touching sight for any wine lover. Set against rocky peaks, this stunning valley is home to some of South Africa’s finest wines.
Stellenbosch is the hub, with hundreds of estates dotting its expanse. University town, it is less stuffy than many wine destinations and offers a selection of excellent bars and restaurants to match its fun loving population.
Domaine Delaire Graff. It’s not a great deal (with low season rates starting at Â£ 695), but views like this don’t come cheap. Breakfast, wine tasting and evening canapes are included.
To book: Stop in Stellenbosch with the Riviera Travel South Africa Rovos Rail trip. which includes a stay on the luxury train, game drives in the Kruger National Park and lots of excellent wines.
5. Take advantage of the wide range of wines from France
A classic wine pilgrimage, France could well be considered the cradle of an exceptional wine. In the south, you will find fabulous rosÃ© blends in Provence, Grenache and Carignan in Languedoc Roussillon, and Syrah and Grenache blends in the RhÃ´ne.
Elsewhere, there are magnificent whites in the Loire, brilliant bubbles in a world famous Champagne and rich reds in Burgundy. There is no end to the wine adventures available in France, and a wine tour of the country could last for months.
However, all wine holidays here should start in Bordeaux, where the CitÃ© du Vin museum pays homage to the humble grape, the history of the industry and the pioneers of wine today.
Wine tastings are available in cellars and vineyards across the country, but head to Beaujolais to see France’s response to Tuscany and sample the country’s ânewâ wine culture. Drive from the UK and you can refuel wherever you stop to take home a bit – the perfect souvenir.
Chateau St Pierre de Serjac, halfway between Toulouse and Marseille. The hotel now has an operating cellar and bottled its first vintages in 2018.
To book: The Riviera Travel cruise through Burgundy, RhÃ´ne and Provence offers the opportunity to taste some of the best French wines, during a serene cruise through magnificent bucolic landscapes.
6. Take a ride on the California wine train
America’s most famous wine region, California wine tours are a sightseeing staple here. But go beyond the obvious (Napa, Sonoma) and explore a little-visited but exceptional region producing some of Cali’s best wines under the radar. Enter the Tri-Valley – a region of three valleys with exceptional wines on offer.
It is one of the oldest wine regions in the country, and the region prides itself on being “a pioneer in viticulture”. There are 28 wineries to visit in the Livermore Valley wine country. Rent a bike and spend a few days exploring. The best part? You can ship your favorite bottles to your home for free.
Of course, Napa and Sonoma wine tours are popular for good reason. If you want to explore the big hitters, don’t miss a ride on the Napa Valley Wine Train.
The Purple Orchid, a magnificent hotel next to several vineyards. You never need to be more than a few hundred yards from the next vine.