Look no further than your local wine shop.
Visiting vineyards is a perfect pastime for the vagabond. A wiz around a winery has so many winning attributes. You can drink wine, spend time outdoors, learn about the micro climate and terroir of the area, drink wine, catch a glimpse of some wildlife, ride a tractor (probably not) and of course, drink wine. Like all good travels, visiting a vineyard is a learning opportunity that helps broaden our minds. However, this information may or may not be remembered depending on how many ‘tastings’ you complete.
Wines are so integrated with the travel experience that names of destinations ARE the names of wines. Bordeaux, Rioja, Montepulciano, Burgundy, not just you’re favourite bottles but actual towns and communities. Other places are infamous because of their wine: Barossa, Rhine, Napa are all valleys full of vines. So what makes wine and travel such a winning combo?
Choosing a vacation destination can be a real dilemma. Why not head to the home of your favourite plonk. This way, at worst there will always be good drink near by. Touring through wine districts gives much needed structure to a holiday. Maps are needed, directions must be found, accommodation sorted, all for the good cause of tasting some of the local vino. Sounds like the holiday is ready to bottle.
From a short lunch at a local vineyard to a year in Provence, wine districts offer it all. What you need to decide is how much free time you have and how much wine you’re willing to consume. A short stay can include a vertical tasting of the vines, for longer stays try and fit in a horizontal tasting of the region. And if you’re not enjoying yourself, just spit.
For those on a tight budget head to the New World. Stay in Stellenbosch for a pinotage party, go mad for Malbec in Mendoza. Looking for something more complex? Rack it up in the Rhone or wine and dine in Washington State. Searching for something sweet? How about heading to Hungary for Tokaji. Prefer to travel the back palette? Have a tipple in Turpan or at Tarija, both places where I’ve found excellent valued vino that the locals don’t let leave their hometowns. Talk about a good reason to visit.
On My To Do List
1. Chateau Grillett, France. The Viognier voyage of a lifetime.
2. Inniskillin, Canada. Ice wine in Ontario.
3. Chateau Musar, Lebanon. Because wine will win over war.
Got any wine travel advice?
Vineyards you recommend to visit?
I’m all ears!