Through beautiful photos and insight into some of the worlds most exotic wine regions and landscapes, discover these beautiful and enchanting wine regions currently on our travel list.
Wine has been the catalyst for my enthusiasm for travel. It takes us to far away places we might not have otherwise thought of visiting. At the same time, wine offers travelers a chance to enhance their experience through tasting, culture and history.
That being said – what’s on our bucket list of wine regions to visit in the near future? We’re taking a look at some of the more obscure regions throughout the world. Below, learn a little bit about these gorgeous and flavor-prone areas and why you should consider visiting them as soon as possible.
The East Coast Wine Region of Tasmania
Arguably one of the best places in the world to watch the sun-rise, the Coastal strip of Tasmania’s East Coast offers both adventure and wine enthusiasts an opportunity to harness their passions. Crisp cool and salty air flood inland from the coast and nourish not only the heart and soul, but the vines that adorn the area as well.
This region plays host to many cooler-climate grapes that thrive in the mild summer sun. These include but are not limited to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Cellar doors with generous pours and tapas-styled tastings dot the region in between granite cliff faces and crescent-shaped beaches. Here, you’ll find the wines refined and award winning as you eat some of the freshest seafood in the world.
Want a complete taste of Eastern Tasmania? Try visiting during November at the Bicheno Food and Wine Festival when some of the most prominent chefs, Vintners and farmers come together to showcase their art forms.
Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada
Okanagan Valley provides a terroir steeped in ancient geological history. The entire valley lies between the coastal British Columbian Mountain Range and the Monashee Mountains. The precision carving of the rolling hills, glacier lakes and jagged cliff faces are the result of ancient glacier that once retreated through the area.
As the glaciers retreated, they left behind an extensive amount of glacial drift, a predominantly silt based soil composition which aids in providing wines grown here with a unique mineralistic flavor.
While Okanagan Valley currently hosts over 60 different grape varieties within its soil – it may be most recognized for its production of fine ice wine. If you like sweet wine, Okanagan Valley is one of your best options in the world. However, dry wine enthusiasts don’t fret! Exceptional dry Pinor Noir, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marechal Foch and Chardonnay are also being produced widely.
It’s an exciting time for Okanagan, as more vintners are beginning to produce Tempranillo, Malbec, Sangiovese and even Pinotage. When you visit Okanagan, you’ll get to experience some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, while at the same time sampling both practiced varietals and new innovative techniques.
Valais Rhone Valley, Switzerland
While not the most prominent wine growing region to popular culture, inhabitants of Valais have been growing wine for thousands of years. Ancient wine bottles dating back to the 2nd century BC.
Today, over 50 grape varieties are grown throughout the region. However Pinot Noir (red) and Chasselas (white) remain the dominant varieties and thrive here due to the cooler climate. You can also find some very unique varieties in Valais that can’t be found anywhere else world-wide, such as Amigne, Cornalin, Humagne and Petite Arvine. Vineyards surround small quaint villages within the Rhone Valley, surrounded by the Burmese Alps to the North and the Pennine Alps to the South.
While French Rhone Blends and Pinot Noir varietal wines dominant the consumer marketplace, Swiss Pinot’s are beginning to make a bit of a comeback. Despite the length of time the Swiss have been producing wine, it wasn’t until relatively recently that wine production in the region was regulated. In fact, the Swiss must have recognized how well their Southern counter-parts were doing with their Pinot’s! As late as the 1990’s, they finally implemented a regulatory system similar to that of the French – Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée.
Hawkes Bay Wine Region of New Zealand
Chardonnay reigns king in this beautiful region with its unique and integrated stone-fruit and citrus based flavor! But even if you’re not a Chardonnay fan, some of the finest Syrah and often late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are also grown here. Malbec and Cabernet Franc are also grown in relative abundance. All things considered, Hawke’s Bay shapes up to be an ideal spot for vintners looking to experiment with Bordeaux-style red blends.
Wine and outdoor enthusiasts can embrace Hawke’s Bay for both its beauty and flavor. Self drive yourself to over 30 vineyards, or pick a shorter and more scenic route on a mountain bike and wine tour. If you do decide to stop at any vineyards, take comfort in knowing that many also offer great dining experiences.
Hawke’s Bay doesn’t just stop at the wine, you can also take part in a number of honey, farm, orchard, cheese and chocolate tours.
If you’re looking to have a more gastronomic and or scenic experience, consider focusing your travels throughout Hawke’s Bay around the town of Hastings and Havelock North.
Cape Point South African Wine Region
Last but not least, we plan to travel to the far point of the Southern Hemisphere to experience all that Cape Point has to offer. Cape Point is actually a brand new wine growing region, as the region wasn’t even declared until 1998! That being said, there aren’t too many winemakers producing here yet, but the ones that are here are both innovative and inspiring. In fact, there’s only one winery that’s been established on the Cape Point peninsula – that’s Cape Point Vineyards.
Cape Point Vineyards produces predominantly white wines, specializing in Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, Cape Points’ Sauv has won numerous awards along with having been rated over 92 points by Robert Parker.
If you decide to visit Cape Point, you’ll have to take a tour of Cape Point rock itself. Aside from the Lighthouse located on the point which houses one of the most powerful beams in the world, this place holds history. It’s the site where the Portuguese SS Lusitania sunk just beneath the lighthouse. Today, you can take a funicular to the top of the rock structure for some of the most breathtaking 360 degree views in the world.