Vineyard souvenirs and 10 best places in the world for wine tours

(To learn more about the vineyards of the world, listen to episode # 47 of my podcast, Places I remember with Lea Lane, here or wherever you get podcasts.)

In my many years as a travel writer, I didn’t just walk around the block, I toured the vineyards, drinking beauty with wine.

Because the experience takes place privately outside, the world of wine offers endless possibilities to explore right now, with safe practices – from wine tours and wine tastings to tasting new blends created by local wine makers. innovative winegrowers.

French vineyards, terroir is derived from the Latin word “terra” which means land or land, and was originally coined by the French to express the “sense of place” of a wine. There is no English equivalent. And you can feel it when you are in a wine region.

One of my first trips to a wine region was during my honeymoon many years ago in the Burgundy region of France. We rode in a green British MGB racing roadster, up and down, through gentle vine-covered countryside.

I remember a six-course meal there in historic Beaune, starting with a dozen garlic butter snails and a glass of gem-colored wine. I had never tasted land snails before, but since then I order them whenever I see them on a menu. None has been so good for me without this French wine setting and this local grand cru.

Years later, in France, I traveled to Provence, where rosé is produced, and I sipped it chilled, facing the blue of the Mediterranean. And later I traveled Bordeaux along the west coast of France, visiting famous wineries such as Petrus and Chateau Margaux, tasting great local wines in a historic setting.

I remember turning pasta and sipping Chianti Classico outdoors among the hills of Italy. And I visited vineyards in northern Spain along the sea, near the great food town of San Sebastian.

And then there are the Austrian taverns, Heuriger, along the country roads of eastern Austria, where local winemakers serve special licensed new wine every two months during the growing season. Everyone hang a sign outside, or a pine branch or wreath around a lit light to show it is open. The Austrian name comes from the Austrian expression for wine of the year (heurigen) and comes from an order of the emperor in 1784. The wine taverns still maintain a cozy atmosphere and offer regional specialties and local wine .

I fondly remember the stunning vine-covered slopes along the Moselle and Rhine as I glided on a river boat, drinking German wine picked from these same vines a few years before.

And you know where else has good red wine? Bulgaria. I visited a few small wine estates about fifteen years ago, in a countryside clad in vines.

In South Africa, the wine region near Cape Town is exceptionally beautiful, with mountains framing valleys. The most important South African wine regions are around the towns of Stellenbosch and Paarl. They offer successful reds with full-bodied chardonnay and bright and refreshing sauvignon.

Cities are like stage sets, and it’s a beautiful part of wine regions – food, beauty, and charming towns.

I remember all the wine dogs and their vineyard owners that I have met in New Zealand, in the Marlborough region where their great Sauvignon Blanc is produced. And I remember staying at a lodge in a vineyard outside of Melbourne, Australia. Near my window when I woke up, kangaroos were jumping in the distance, like giant rabbits.

One of the newest destinations in the world for wine growing. La Ruta del Vino (The Wine Route) near San Miguel De Allende. And in South America, Chile and Argentina are known for exceptional reds, as well as gauchos on ranches and chunky slices of beef to taste with the powerful wine.

In the United States, I visited wineries in Napa and Sonoma in northern California; Virginia; upstate New York around the Finger Lakes, with their excellent whites; Northern Michigan and even northern Florida where a winery produces blueberry wine.

A native of Missouri, George Hussmann helped put Napa on the winemaking map. The Missouri River Valley was the wine capital of the United States long before Napa was a household name.

The rocky soil of the Ozarks and long, hot summers provide ideal conditions for growing grapes in Missouri. Locals called it “Rhineland”, but the industry collapsed during Prohibition, also hampered by anti-German sentiment after the World Wars. In recent decades it has returned, with American varietals and local grapes taking center stage in its bottles.

Hermann, west of St. Louis and home to many wineries like Stone Hill, offers tastings and tours. And the Hermann Wine Trail, one of 11 Missouri trails, features award-winning wineries, shops, restaurants, museums, and quaint guesthouses.

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Yes, wonderful wine regions await you. If you’re not sure where to start, new research from Bounce names the top 10 countries for wine lovers to visit on vacation. The study analyzes factors such as wine consumption and production, the number of wineries and vineyard visits, and the average cost of a bottle of wine.

Goal: 1. Italy; 2. Portugal; 3. Spain; 4. France; 5. New Zealand; 6. Greece; 7. Chile; 8. Argentina; 9. Australia; 10. Hungary

Italy takes the first place. With around 400 grape varieties native to the country, there is a wine for all tastes. It is also the largest wine producer in the ranking.

Portugal occupies second place, thanks to the greater number of oenological circuits in the countries studied, as well as to the largest consumer of wine.

In third position, Spain has the largest area of ​​vineyards on the list. However, it ranks second for the amount of wine produced due to the arid conditions of some of its wine regions.

France is the source of some of the most popular grape varieties for winemaking and the homeland of the eponymous Burgundy, Bordeaux and Champagne. Despite its reputation as a prestigious wine country, France has relatively few wine tours.

New Zealand wines have exploded in popularity over the past 20 years, causing their market to expand rapidly. New Zealand offers 4,062 wine tours, the third on the list.

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