On the trail of wineries around the world? We have got you covered.
In the Moshav Kerem Ben Zimra area of Upper Galilee is a winery that produces the world’s first fine wine made up of 100 per cent pomegranates with no added sugar. The stunning stone winery of Rimon sells an array of pomegranate-based foods and cosmetics as well.
Leave it to the Swiss to treat you with their best kept secret – their surprisingly good wines. Locally grown and produced by Swiss families, your trip to Switzerland will be incomplete without paying a visit to the vineyards that run all around the Lake Geneva region. Located between Montreux and Lausanne, the Lavaux vineyards, also a proud UNESCO® World Heritage Site, is Switzerland’s most famous wine-growing region. With its beautiful sun-kissed terraces spread across 800 hectares of land, the Lavaux vineyards are home to the Chasellas white grape and a great place to sample Swiss wines and local food. You can tour the vineyards in the mini train – Lavaux Express or just walk or even bike through the vineyards following a biking trail.
Most visitors choose to travel North to South and start their journey in Hawke’s Bay on the East Coast. The second largest wine producing region in the country has some of New Zealand’s highest sunshine hours – a climate that brings out the best in the region’s award-winning wine and gourmet food.
Hawke’s Bay is New Zealand’s oldest wine region. As early as 1851 a group of French missionaries founded the Mission Estate Winery. Since then, the stony, old river bed of Gimblett Gravels – a defined wine region within Hawke’s Bay – has quickly established itself as the territory for outstanding New Zealand cabernet-merlot.
Next to its legendary food and wine, Hawke’s Bay is also known as the place to best explore art deco architecture. The city of Napier has one of the highest concentrations of art deco architecture in the world and a colourful heritage story to tell.
After a massive earthquake in 1931, which destroyed the twin cities of Napier and Hastings, both were entirely rebuilt in just two years in the distinctive 1930s art deco style.
Valle d’Aosta and its Hybrid Wine
From a wine drinker’s perspective, the geography of Valle d’Aosta is simultaneously complex and simple. The topography is mostly vertical, as the Alps reach their apex on its Northwestern border with France. From the Po River Valley to the summit of Mont Blanc some 66 miles away, the land rises 15,000 feet.
Running right through the heart of Valle d’Aosta is a single valley, forged by the Dora Baltea River. It is here where all of the grape-growing is concentrated, primarily on South-facing slopes near the valley floor where the vineyards can absorb as much sunlight as possible. Because of the steep inclines, vineyards are predominantly terraced, making viticulture labour-intensive.
Vienna Heurigen Express
Go on a journey of discovery through Vienna’s idyllic wine-growing areas on board the Vienna Heurigen Express. The ride takes passengers through picturesque wine towns, past wonderful vineyards and old vintners’ houses. Round off the journey by experiencing a real Viennese ‘heuriger’.
The Vienna Heurigen Express now runs where the funicular railway used to bring locals and visitors to the wine-growing areas. During a cozy ride, the passengers can enjoy the unique panorama of the city. From Nussdorf – the departure and arrival station – the tour leads over the Kahlenberg to Grinzing and back again to Nussdorf. Right through the green lungs of Vienna, the Vienna Woods, past magnificent villas and ancient farmhouses, through picturesque wine-growing towns, past the Beethoven House and the Beethoven Museum, the romantic ride on board the Vienna Heurigen Express gives a sensational insight into the wine city of Vienna and recalls old traditions.
The hop-on/hop-off system gives passengers the possibility to alight and board again on the Kahlenberg or in Grinzing. During the break, enjoy the phenomenal view from the Kahlenberg and make a detour to a wine tavern in Grinzing. On a visit to a rustic and cozy wine tavern, experience a bit of Viennese culture over a glass of ‘Wiener Gemischter Satz’ to the accompaniment of traditional wine tavern music.
A second route of the Vienna Heurigen Express goes on an idyllic ride through the old centers and cellar lanes of Vienna’s heuriger towns Strebersdorf and Stammersdorf.
Many Wines to say “Salud”
Spain is a wine lovers’ paradise. From North (La Rioja, Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia) to South (Andalusia region), or inland routes of Castile or the Balearic and Canary Islands, you’ll find numerous wine routes that will give you an insight into the history, character and culture of the country. Travel through a world of sensations, aromas and flavours and discover unique experiences.
Discover why the wines are more than a matter of taste. Come and enjoy the fantastic landscapes of our vineyards (La Rioja, Jerez, Ribera del Duero, La Palma, Penedes, Rias Baixas region). Try exploring them on horseback, bicycle, hiking or paragliding. These are experiences full of flavour, stamped with their own Designation of Origin (69 DO in all of Spain). Cava is the Spanish sparkling wine par excellence. Jerez wines are the most highly regarded wines in the world. And do remember to raise a toast and say ¨Salud¨ (which is equivalent to “Cheers” but means “To Your Health”).
Baden Wine Route
Welcome to the Baden Wine Route. For over 60 years, this 500 km connoisseur’s route has been considered Germany’s longest wine route through the Baden wine-growing country, the Kaiserstuhl region, Ortenau region, Kraichgau, the Black Forest, the Oberrheintal district and the Breisgau area to the town of Weil am Rhein in the beautiful Markgräflerland.
Award-winning viniculture is the dominant characteristic of this region, thanks to its unrelenting sunshine. Picturesque wine villages, quaint little towns, proud castles, abbeys, a multitude of conservation areas and many cultural and natural highlights are just waiting to be discovered. This storybook landscape is not just excellent for wine. It is also exceptionally good for growing asparagus.
Sample fine wines created in the Garden of England. Kent’s Chapel Down winery is one of Britain’s best, with excellent wine and a gorgeous setting to match. You can even treat yourself to dinner at its excellent Swan Restaurant. All of 22 acres, this area is so picturesque, it’s been recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Enjoy a guided tour of the vineyards and winery which includes a tasting or book a three-course lunch or afternoon tea, accompanied, of course, by the winery’s award-winning wines — they also produce beers and spirits.
Monsoon Valley; Hua Hin Hills Vineyard
Monsoon Valley operates three vineyards, the largest of them known as Hua Hin Hills Vineyard. The other two are located in the north of Thailand, in Tab Kwang and Chiang Mai. Situated at the foot of the mountains that separate Thailand from Myanmar, some 30 km from the shore of the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin Hills Vineyard covers a total area of 110 hectares.
From the vineyard tour to wine tasting, and from mountain biking to bottle painting, many activities are available at Hua Hin Hills Vineyard. The most prestigious wines produced by Monsoon Valley are the sparkling Brut Blanc de Blanc, Cuvée de Siam (red and white), Chenin Blanc (white) and the Muscat. All these wines are regularly rewarded at international contests, such as the AWC Vienna International Wine Challenge.
Jacobs Creek, Barossa Valley
The Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre is the home of the Jacob’s Creek wine brand in the heart of the Barossa valley in South Australia. Relax with a picnic under the shade of a river red gum or take a food and wine masterclass. Enjoy a vineyard tour, wine tasting and two-course lunch. Hone your sensory skills in an interactive tasting workshop. Or experience the life of a winemaker in a dynamic winemaking class, where you can create your perfect blend based on your preferences. Watch your bottle as it’s produced on site, or order a box to share with family and friends.
Napa Valley, California
More than 400 wineries dot the fertile soils of Napa Valley, one of the world’s premier viticultural regions famous for its prized Cabernet Sauvignon. But wine, as visitors quickly discover, is only the beginning. Stay in lavish resorts, charming bed & breakfasts or modern hotels; find top-rated chefs at scores of restaurants who work alongside the farmers who tend this land or take a hot air balloon ride or taste the bounty of the valley on a wine tour.
Stellenbosch and Franschhoek
When Cape Colony’s last commander and first governor Van der Stel wanted to expand his vinicultural endeavours, Stellenbosch became both the second town and wine-producing region in South Africa.
A 45-minute drive from Cape Town and you’re in the heart of the ‘City of Oaks’, which has bragging rights to more than 170 wine farms, so you’ll never be short of variety. Enjoy a short stroll through the historical part of the city, with its al fresco dining and oak-lined streets.
Hailed by many as the food and wine capital of South Africa, the quaint village of Franschhoek must surely be one of the most beautiful in the land. The town is securely nestled in a picturesque valley, flanked on three sides by Cape Fold Mountains.
In winter, it feels as if you’ve stepped into a little European village, sans the snow. Check out Haute Cabriere for an underground cellar tour, Le Lude for bubbly tasting, Grande Provence for wine and art, Lynx Wines for a boutique experience and Rupert & Rothschild for a stellar array of both local and international wines.
Greece, the renowned birthplace of Dionysos, the god of wine, has the longest wine production and consumption history in the world, as well as the richest heritage. Greek wine has been produced for more than 4000 years. Wine culture – the consumption of wine as a social event and its sophisticated appreciation was developed for the first time by the Ancient Greeks. There is clear evidence that in Ancient Athens it was known that the shape of the cup affected the taste of wine. Today Greece plays a major role in the international wine culture and industry.
The unique feature of Santorini, one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, is its geomorphology and the landscape that has been formed as a result of the volcanic eruption. One would expect that grapes would have difficulty flourishing on this barren and dry soil.
Nevertheless, not only do they flourish, but the Santorini vineyards today are among the most important in Greece and produce the PDO Santorini wines from Santorini Assyrtiko grapes. With the unique shape of the vines (wreaths or crowns), the Santorini vineyards are a monument of nature and human ingenuity.
With more than 250 wine producers, Alentejo is considered to be one of the biggest wine-growing regions in Portugal. The variety of wine available is courtesy the different types of soil present including granitic, calciferous and Mediterranean red.
The Niagara wine region along Lake Ontario is home to over 50 wineries. Characterised by fertile soil, it is one of the most talked about regions when it comes to wine. The many European-style wineries and vineyards have played a major role in attracting visitors seeking a unique cultural experience. Most of the local wineries offer full tours of their facilities with a few offering onsite dining featuring unique Canadian cuisine paired with their own vintages.
It is common for many of these wineries’ world-class chefs to use fresh ingredients that are grown or acquired from local farms in season. Some wineries also feature live music and theatrical performances in the vineyard during the summer. Visitors come during the coldest months (usually December to February) to watch some varieties of grapes being harvested and pressed in the vineyard as part of the process of creating the sweetest and among the most expensive wine on earth –ice wine. (Driving from downtown Toronto to the Niagara wine region is about two hours.)