If there are two things we are super passionate about, it’s travel destinations and wine, so why not enjoy them at the same time?! From far-flung destinations all around the world to domestic gems that are much closer to home, the number of amazing wine destinations is truly endless. Since it’s actually impossible to include all the incredible places to drink wine in just one list, we picked a curated selection of our favorites. If you count yourself a serious wine lover (maybe you even have a totally rad wine tattoo), read on for the best places to visit to get your sip on, in no particular order.
1. Douro, Portugal: While there are many areas in this beautiful country where you can visit wineries, our top pick is the Duoro Valley. The vineyards are extra scenic since the grapes grow along the Duoro River. The region is typically known for its sweet Port wine, but it’s becoming more well known for its rich red and white wines too. If you’re not up for planning or exploring on your own, check out one of the many organized wine trips to the region, like this very cool self-guided cycling trip, which will help you feel even more awesome about all the wine (and cheese!) you’re consuming. (Photo via Getty)
2. Napa Valley and Sonoma County, California: Yes, it’s true that this destination is a bit obvious, but it deserves a place on this list for many reasons. Firstly, it’s pretty much the best place you can drink wine in the US, and there’s a huge variety of different types of wine grown there, from Pinot Noir to Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon to Merlot. Plus, since it’s such a popular wine destination, Uber offers a special service called UberWine, where a driver comes to pick you up and hangs out all day, driving you from one winery to the next. Pretty amazing, huh? Also, if you’re in the area, it’s worth checking out the adorable downtown area of Healdsburg, where you can take a break from drinking to shop and eat in fantastic restaurants. While you’re at it, you can stop in at the 140-year-old SIMI Winery and do a tasting of five wines for only $10. (Photo via SIMI Winery)
3. Italy: There are so many important wine locations in Italy and a true wealth of options in terms of types of wine, so it’s pretty tough to choose just one place. The Tuscany area includes the Brunello, Montepulciano and Chianti regions, making it a must-visit. But Abruzzo is worth a visit too, if you want to be closer to the sea. Plus, if you’re hoping to have a super luxe experience drinking wine and staying in a castle (because, duh, who wouldn’t want to do that?), Italy is the place to be. Check out the Castello di Semivicoli in Abruzzo, above, where you can take in both mountain and sea views while you get your tasting on. Bonus: Abruzzo is also home to a free 24-hour wine fountain. (Photo via Castello di Semivicoli)
4. Baden-Baden, Germany: Germany might not be the first place you think of when you think of wine, but it actually has a rich wine-growing community. The country is home to Riesling, which is its most iconic wine and is produced in the Rhine region. One of the most popular places in Germany for wine travelers, however, is Baden-Baden, which is super low key and generally considered one of the wine community’s best kept secrets. The bucolic region even has wine hikes where you can both enjoy the scenery and the Wein, all at once. (Photo via Baden-Baden)
5. Yakima Valley, Washington: Washington State’s wine industry has grown majorly in recent years, and it’s now a big player in the US wine scene. The area has many festivals throughout the year, like a weekend filled with grape crushing events in the fall and a spring barrel tasting weekend in April. These events are especially amazing if you want to learn more about the winemaking process, and the scenery isn’t too bad either. Also of note in Washington is nearby Walla Walla, which boasts a plethora of winery options as well. (Photo via Yakima Valley Tourism)
6. Spain: Spain is another country rich in wine-growing regions, and it’s famous for areas like Ribera del Duero, Penedés and Rioja. In Penedés, you can try Cava, the Spanish version of prosecco or Champagne. In Rioja, sample wine in the presence of works of architecture by greats like Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry. (Photo via Rioja DOCa)
7. Mendoza, Argentina: This area of Argentina is where the majority of the country’s wine production takes place, including the region’s most famous vino: Malbec. There are many guided tours to choose from, but you can also rent a bike and explore the region on your own. (Photo via Dermot Conlan/Getty)
8. France: There are so many fantastic wine regions in France that it can be overwhelming. From Champagne to Burgundy to Bordeaux, there’s a LOT of wine-drinking to be done there. For first timers, the Loire Valley offers both variety and beautiful scenery, boasting charming towns like Sancerre and Vouvray. There are so many chateaus here, you can go to three each day for an entire week and never run out. Sounds like a wine-lovers dream come true, right? (Photo via Hans Georg Eiben / LOOK-foto/Getty)
9. Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico: For those living in California, this is a super easy trip. For others, it’s also worth the long haul. Not only will you find tons of wineries ranging from indie to established along the region’s “wine route,” but you’ll also encounter restaurants with world-renowned chefs and unique places to stay. You’ll even find a food truck parked at one of the most-loved wineries, Vena Cava, which is pretty genius, because let’s be real, if you’re going to be drinking that much wine, you’re going to need some eats. (Photo via Vena Cava)
What’s your favorite wine destination? Tell us about it @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)