The 10 best wine destinations in Europe
Wine is a product like no other, it tells the whole story of a region, its climate, the lives of its inhabitants, their taste and their ingenuity. Each wine is different and you will surely be gratified with our selection of the best wine destinations in Europe.
In the Alentejo, there is no haggling over the honour to be paid to Bacchus. The wines are emblematic of the Region. There are more than 250 producers, with an area under cultivation in the order of 22,000 hectares.
Go to Borba, if possible in November, when the Festa da Vinha e do Vinho (festival of the vine and of wine) takes place. In the Historical Centre there are various “tasquinhas” (small taverns/restaurants), some with enormous clay wine-pots, where the wine used to be made, that offer local products. During the festival, they are places on a special route visited by the Confraria dos Enófilos do Alentejo (confraternity of wine-lovers). The other is that, in December, you should visit Cabeção and Vila de Frades, when the tasting of the new wine from the producers is the occasion for a festival. In Vila de Frades, within the framework of the Vitifrades event, there is a competition for local “pot-made” wine (2nd weekend in December). In this town as much as in two others nearby, Vila Alva and Vila Ruiva, wine of this kind is still produced using methods very close to those used by the Romans.
Finally, you should not fail to visit the Enoteca and the Museu do Vinho in Redondo. Begin with the museum, which has the advantage of being located in the Tourist Office, make an excursion into the Serra d’Ossa, enjoy a succulent lunch and spend the afternoon in the town.
You can go on a guided tour of the city on foot, by boat, or by bike, visit the wine country, or see the region on a river cruise… Your children will love the boat option, and you and your friends will undoubtedly appreciate a wine tasting or discovering Bordeaux by night. Visiting Bordeaux is a real treat, and one that always includes a few surprises.
People usually go to Saint-Emilion for its superb wine, but they also discover an extraordinary,well-preserved historic village
Located one hour by car from Bordeaux, Saint-Emilion is an adorable medieval town surrounded by 5,500 hectares of vines, and was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999!
The Douro Valley
The Douro Valley could as easily be called the enchanted valley, such is the beauty and magic that its landscapes offer.
Departing from Porto, where the river flows into the sea and where the Douro wines (table wines and Port wine), produced on its hillsides, also end up, there are various ways to get to know this cultural landscape, listed as a World Heritage Site: by road, by train, on a cruise boat and even by helicopter. None will leave you indifferent.
Following a route between the viewpoints that offer the best vistas, you need to cross the river from north to south and back again. But along the way you can admire breathtaking landscapes over the river and visit vineyards, towns and villages until you reach Miranda do Douro, the point at which the river enters Portugal.
Start at Vila Nova de Gaia with a visit to the lodges where Port wine is aged. Here you will get to know this wine a little better, taking the opportunity – how could you do otherwise? – to taste the precious nectar. And you can still see the old rabelo boats on the river, the vessels that carried the wine from the quintas where it is produced to the mouth of river, before the various dams that made the river navigable were built .
Tuscany is located in central Italy and stretches from the Apennines to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its landscape, artistic heritage and stand-out cities – first among them Florence – make Tuscany an unquestioned protagonist of international tourism. In this region, nature has many different facets, starting from the coast that alternates long and sandy beaches, like the Versilia beach, with rocky cliffs and steep headlands. The islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation, a crystal-clear sea and rich seabeds, are peerless.
You can admire sceneries of uncontaminated nature in the Apuan Alps and in several protected areas, such as the Orbetello Lagoon, home to many species of migrant birds, including pink egrets.
However, the most typical sceneries of the region are those that merge the beauty of nature with the millenary work of man. The amazing Gulf of Baratti and the sites of Vetulonia, Vulci and Pitigliano guard necropoli and vestiges of the Etruscan civilization, while Roselle and Cosa evoke memories from the Roman Age.
The Champagne-Ardenne region is known worldwide for the quality of its vineyards and cellars. They cover more than 30,000 hectares and mobilize the talents of thousands of farmers. The Champagne-Ardenne region also has a cultural heritage waiting to be discovered without moderation.
Champagne Cellars & Vineyards are indeed an original way to discover the richness of the Champagne-Ardenne. Located in villages or in cities, these are highlights of the wine tradition of the region. It is possible to visit museums devoted to champagne to flow in farms, enjoy the many guided tours, etc … With most of the time, a tasting at the key!
The Catalan Mediterranean climate is especially favourable to growing vines. Catalonia has many hours of sun, even in winter, and enjoys summers with moderate temperatures. Rainfall is concentrated mainly in spring and autumn.
Its great geographical diversity has led Catalonia to have 11 designations of origin (DO) for wine.
In addition there is a Cava Designation of Origin, located mainly in the Penedès region. Thus, Catalonia has many attractions for tourism in its wine regions, such as visits to wineries, walks through vineyards, festivals, wine tasting, and food and wine matching classes. Meanwhile, there are increasing numbers of wellness centres focusing on wine therapy treatments, which apply the properties of grapes and wine to health and well-being.
Piedmont is in Italy’s northwest and borders Switzerland and France.
True to the meaning of its name (foot of the mountain), Piedmont is a land of mountains. It is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, with the highest peaks and largest glaciers in Italy.
The Alps form the background for sweeping, picturesque valleys, e.g. the Val di Susa, Valsesia and Val d’Ossola.
The landscapes of the Langhe and Monferrato are hilly, rather, but just as beautiful, a succession of cultivated hills and vineyards that are dotted with small towns and castles.
Expanses of water and rice paddies, long rows of poplars and old farmhouses make up the typical scenery of the plains around Novara and Vercelli.
Lake Maggiore is the most sought-after tourist resort, including Stresa and the Borromean Islands, charming as they are with their ancient villas surrounded by beautiful lawns and gardens.
Between vineyards and mountains, Beaujolais unfolds various landscapes. Lovers of old stones should visit the gold stones and hilltop villages without forgetting Beaujeu and Villefranche, by turns historical capitals.
For gourmets, introduce yourself to the tasting of ten vintages, between hillsides and Saône valleyto the north. Further west, Beaujolais green nature and sports, land of pines and mountains is the perfect destination for hiking, swimming & much more.
It seems that already the Fenicians and Greeks brought grapevines to Istria. The native settlers of that time, the Histri, successfully cultivated this noble plant and mastered wine production. A proof of this is the legend, according to which the Argonauts, famous Greek seafarers in search of the Golden Fleece exclaimed kalavojna, which in a loose translation from Greek means good wine. Where? On the eastern coast of Istria, at the place along the Bay of Raša which even today bears that name
What has made Istria a synonym for good wine? Man’s hard work, naturally, but first of all natural features that guarantee high-quality grapes. Those are position, soil, climate and relief, since each contributes to a certain extent to the charm of good wine.
There are two dominant types of soil suitable for wine-growing on the Istrian peninsula: red soil (terra rossa) and marly soil or flysh, popularly known as white soil. Experts say that the red soil is ideal for plantations of high-quality red varieties (yielding strongly structured, full-bodied wines) whereas the flysh is ideal for white varieties, mellow wines that retain their freshness along with the fine aroma. Hilly land with gentle slopes, which Istria abounds in, is ideal for wine-growing, especially slopes exposed to the sun, whereas the greater oscillation between day and night temperature contributes to the pronounced intensity of the future wine.
Santorini, Europe’s most stunning island is Greece’s most distinctive wine region and home of the oldest vineyard in Europe, resulting in extraordinary crisp Assyrtiko white wines and outstanding sweet dessert wines, the Vinsanto’s.
Sublime, authentic wines and indigenous flavors, having a sip of the sea that surrounds Santorini, the azure Aegean Sea.
Join Santorini Wine Adventure Tours on a truly unforgettable experience, discovering the wine & culinary side of Santorini, through a journey full of aromas, tastes and…wine!
All the daily tours are run by Dimitris and highly experienced Greek Enologists, providing to all of our guests personalized wine tours and intimate culinary experiences, featuring many doses of Greek hospitality! More info on winetoursantorini.com