After a hard day’s work – we want wine. This isn’t just a personal preference, this is actually what 57 % of us want after a rough day!! And, vino is the choice (by far) over the distraction of our smartphones or, even our partners!
In fact, so important is a good glass of wine, according to the Sheraton Hotels & Resorts survey, that apparently we’d all prefer to give up our smartphones for a day (29%), sex for a week (23%), or our social media accounts for a week (23%), in return for a premium highly rated glass of wine! So, we’ve come up with our picks for some of the best wine-related travel destinations around the world. Indulge in these…
Vale of Glamorgan, Wales
In a place where you would least expect to find wine being produce sits Llanerch Vineyard – a breathtaking winery hidden away amongst the country lanes of South Wales in the idyllic Vale of Glamorgan. Owned and managed by Ryan Davies – a former geologist – the 10 acre vineyard produces award-winning Welsh wine across 10 different varieties that are renowned for their excellent bouquet and clean finish. When travelling with Trafalgar, guests will be invited on to Ryan’s estate for an exclusive Be My Guest experience where Ryan will take you to his ‘Secret Garden’ to taste the freshly produces wines. You’ll also meet the vineyard’s staff- all of which are local Welsh – who will join you for a dinner of local Welsh cuisine.
Journey into Canada’s less explored corners and taste the berry wines at Canada’s only Kosher winery in Newfoundland. Made from blueberries, strawberries, cranberries and blackcurrants, the fruit in the Rodrigues wines comes from Newfoundland’s pure soil, air and water. On Trafalgar’s 11-day Newfoundland & Labrador guided holiday, you’ll meet a local specialist who will delve deeper into this one-of-its-kind winery sharing with you the unique background of its kosher wine. He’ll reveal facts like how the vineyard’s water is drawn from a second-to-none artisan well before offering you to taste some of the sweet and subtle blends.
Chianti Hills, Tuscany
Located in the heart of Tuscany, wine connoisseurs from around the world flock to the picturesque region of Chianti every year to visit the fields of vineyards and olive groves, rustic stone villages and quaint parishes. On Insight Vacations’ 12-day Italian Vogue Gold Luxury Journey, guests will visit the Castello Vicchiomaggio, located in the heart of the Chianti Classico region and enjoy a delicious exploration of the world-famous wines in a tasting room overlooking the Greve Valley. The predominant variety growing on the estate is the Sangiovese grape, which is characteristic of the region. To further enhance the Tuscan experience made famous by the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, guests will stay two nights in a beautiful villa set in a romantic park in the pretty Mugello Valley.
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Mention The Barossa and wine lovers will think of bold Shiraz and delicate Riesling. While it’s not one of Australia’s best known wine regions, Kangaroo Island’s vineyards, fresh produce and rugged scenery have put it firmly on the map for gourmands. On AAT Kings’ 5-day South Australian Harvest short break, guests can wet their whistle at some of the Barossa’s premier wineries before travelling to Kangaroo Island where they’ll visit a marron farm and winery. After learning about the life cycle and farming process they’ll sit down to a meal of the famous freshwater crayfish accompanied by tastings of the local Two Wheeler Creek wine. The best part? Having a designated driver so you can indulge in that second…or third glass.
Wine fact: California produces around 90% of all U.S. wine. Bordering region Napa Valley in northern California is Sonoma and while it shares many of the climatic and geological conditions that make the Napa so renowned it also benefits from being less known, meaning fewer crowds, cheaper accommodation as well as the spectacular scenery to be found along the craggy coastline. Once you’ve had your fill of San Francisco’s wine bars, hire a car and head over the Golden Gate Bridge to indulge your palate in Sonoma. Creative Holidays has a range of accommodation, sightseeing and car hire options.
Franschhoek Valley, South Africa
While usually synonymous with safaris, game-spotting and spectacular coastlines, South Africa also boasts thriving wine regions. The Cape Winelands region is home to dramatic mountain scenery, rolling green fields, delicious cuisine and of course, some of the world’s best-produced wines. The small village of Franschhoek is known as South Africa’s wine capital and is also famous for its spectacular beauty and fine dining. Explore Franschhoek and the wider Cape Winelands on Adventure World’s eight-day Winelands & Garden Self Route Self-Drive Safari. In addition to a a visit to Franschhoek Valley, stops on this extraordinary self-drive experience include Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Port Elizabeth, Jeffrey’s Bay and Kariega Private Game Reserve before ending your journey with a Big Five safari experience.
Travellers with a passion for wine need look no further than a luxury escape to savour the unique heritage of southwest France including the delightful Pauillac, the gateway to the storied Medoc wine route, to elegant Bordeaux, the Pearl of the Aquitane on Uniworld’s 8 day Bordeaux, Vineyards and Chateaux onboard the breathtaking River Royale. Spend the day in one of France’s most recognised wine regions exploring Cadillac, known for producing sweet dessert wines under the celebrated Cadillac AOC designation. Learn how this exclusive wine not only pairs well with desserts but is an exciting match with smoked salmon at a lavish lunch and wine-pairing at the stunning 40-hectare vineyard with a 17th century manor, Chateau d’Arche in Sauternes before finishing with a tour of the grounds to get to know the personalities of the wine makers. Priced from $3,889 per person, visit www.uniworldcruises.com.au for more details.
Kumeu Wine Country
The wineries in the Kumeu region date back to the 1930s when wine families of Croatian origin established winemaking in the area. Located on Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand, Waiheke is the second-largest island in the gulf after the Great Barrier Reef and only a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. Indulge in the region’s premier wineries on AAT Kings’ 4-day East Meets West Short Break. Taste the wines at Mudbrick Estate before touring the Golden Room – Waiheke’s first and most established vineyard. Discover the award-winning wines of Kumeu Wine Country with a tasting at the second largest wine producer in New Zealand at Nobilo Wines and learn about the production of method traditionelle (bottle-fermented) sparkling wine at Soljians Vineyard.
Have you visited any of these vineyards? Tell us about your experience below!…