Spectacular scenery, fine wines, and the opportunity to experience the world with a wine glass in hand — that’s the dream for vacationing wine-lovers seeking an idyllic holiday hideaway. Some passionate aficionados even go on to purchase lavish properties in these locations, as we explored previously. With over 70 countries producing wine, a select few regions around the world have distinguished themselves as global wine travel destinations. Each location’s terrain cultivates unique wines and must-see vineyards. Not only is the wine spectacular with hundreds of locations and unique options to choose from, but the food, luxurious resorts, and breathtaking natural surroundings further enrich every experience.
From Stellenbosch, South Africa, to Okanagan, Canada, take a trip to these six wine regions and learn about everything that makes them a wine-lovers dream.
Austin, Texas – United States
Austin’s elegant city is surrounded by 14,000 square miles of the Texas Hill Country, home to quaint towns and more than two dozen vineyards. Stretching over 41 counties, the Texas Hill Country’s terrain is shaped by water-soluble rock such as granite and limestone. The region’s never-ending beauty, lovely sunsets, cascading mountains, and streaming waterfalls leave no question as to why this is a popular spot for both locals and visitors. Wineries in Austin and throughout the Texas Hill Country each offer unique panoramic views and personal twists to their wines, taking pride in their differentiation of territory and style of winemaking. A common theme, however, is the wineries’ shared passion and dedication to hospitality.
Napa and Sonoma, California – United States
Just north of San Francisco, two world-famous wine regions, Napa and Sonoma, are known for their grand estates and beautiful scenery. The region’s wine history began in the 20th century, and now, Sonoma offerings include over 500 wineries with authentic, rustic charm. The county also provides exclusive experiences for cyclists and equestrians to ride through multiple vineyards on bike or horseback. Napa Valley differentiates itself with prestigious wines, exquisite food, and incredible wine tour experiences. With top-rated restaurants and lavish resorts, Napa Valley and Sonoma are undoubtedly premier wine regions.
Okanagan, British Columbia – Canada
Known as the Tuscany of Canada, Okanagan Valley is located in southern British Columbia and affords vineyard views as far as the eye can see. Okanagan lies between the Columbia and Cascade Mountain ranges and boasts distinctive geography of extinct volcanoes, glacial landforms, expansive forests, as well as the beautiful Okanagan Lake. Of course, wine tours are offered, but the experience of Okanagan Valley goes far beyond the tasting room. Along with the spectacular vineyards, Okanagan offers luxury hotels and restaurants with farm-to-table options, and home wine experts educate visitors on the land and the process of creating the region’s spectacular wines.
Halifax, Nova Scotia – Canada
Halifax, the largest city in Atlantic Canada, also serves as the capital of Nova Scotia. The city has a history as a British army and navy base that also played an important role in facilitating the importing and exporting of goods, including wine. Nova Scotia is the country’s smallest wine region and is located in the coolest climate. Wineries use 100% Nova Scotia grapes which must meet specific requirements. For example, grapes that meet a minimum level of 15 degrees Brix at harvest must be distinguished as only table wine, and, grapes grown in the Province that have been harvested while still naturally frozen on the vine at an air temperature of -17.6 degrees or lower are regulated as ice wines. As far as a wine experience goes, Halifax vineyards offer breathtaking views and large dining rooms for group tastings.
The Western Cape, South Africa
The Western Cape of South Africa is home to a beautiful wine country, including over 300 vineyards across 34,594 acres. The region offers generous mountain, vineyard, and sea views and is rapidly becoming a popular culinary capital. The Western Cape’s fertile soil allows a variety of grapes to grow, resulting in the creation of distinct wines. Stellenbosch is the most widely known South African wine town, but Constantia, Franschhoek, Paarl, and many more towns in the Western Cape have distinguished themselves with world-class wines. Here, some wineries in the region even offer the chance to learn the process of making and growing grapes for wine.
Piedmont is an in-demand destination for wine lovers touring the world. The region borders Switzerland and France and sits between the Western Alps and the Apennines. These mountain ranges play a significant role in Piedmont’s vineyards. The hilly terrain formed by the Apennines in the south creates the most favored wine in the region as it has the richest soil and access to the most sunlight. Some of the most famous wines cultivated in this region include Barolo and Barbaresco.