Top 10 Best Wine Tours in the USA

Wine tours: what are they?

Wine tours: what are they?

Notions of wine vary among nations: they are influenced by both religious dogmas and culture of behavior. For example, the Jews call the grapevine a gift from God, while the adherents of Islam do not drink the sparkling drink at all, as well as any alcohol.

Wine lovers and connoisseurs most often go on such trips. The programs include exploring the wine list, visiting castles and vineyards (and even harvesting grapes), visiting wine cellars and, of course, sampling aromatic drinks.

For the most discerning, bonus trips are offered: you can personally make a blend and then take a bottle with a personal label home.

Other features of wine tours:

organizers can hold culinary and wine master classes (telling you which drink goes best with this or that dish);

time is always allocated for visiting local sights – in France the tours include excursions to medieval towns, and in South Africa – to the Cape of Good Hope;

the last day is often devoted to shopping.

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Wine tours

The wine map of the world is very large, so in many places there are places to grow grapes and produce wine. All wine tours, wherever they are taken, are a great way to spend your free time with benefit and taste.

Europe

There is a lot to do here:

Many itineraries start in France, where tourists can visit Bordeaux, Champagne, Burgundy, Provence, the Loire Valley, Languedoc and other regions that specialize in making sparkling wine. Notably, Bordeaux has its own wine therapy. There is also a wine park La Cité du Vin. It is located in a 10-storey building with thematic areas on each floor.

In Italy almost every region produces its own wine varieties. The main places to visit are Piedmont, Umbria, Tuscany and Trentino (local wines account for almost 50% of the country’s exports). Sicily is considered one of the trendy wine-making regions.

Spain has recently improved production methods, which has ensured an influx of tourists to the country. They go to Andalusia, Valencia, Navarra. Ribera del Duero makes mostly raspberry-flavored pink and red wines. In Rioja red wines are aged in oak barrels and bottled in Bordeaux bottles.

In Portugal, wines have been made since the days of ancient Rome. The most popular regions to visit are Madeira, Lisbon, Bairrada, and Alentejo.

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In Germany they offer light drinks with fruity notes. Rheingau, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Rheingessen and others will be a paradise for tourists.

In Austria, wines are mostly produced in Vienne, Burgenland and Stria.

New World

Argentina and Chile are popular wine tours. The program usually includes visits to famous wineries, local sightseeing, outdoor activities (rafting, horseback riding), tours to vineyards and orchards and, of course, tasting.

The highlight of the tours are the Don Melchor Concha and Toro wine cellars.

Other destinations

Wine Tours Abroad

There are also trips for tasters to the United States, South Africa, and New Zealand. Itineraries through Georgia are interesting. They produce special types of wine from grapes that grow exclusively in this area. They are supplemented with national feasts, excursions to local attractions (the program includes house-museums, botanical gardens, monasteries, etc.). Also vacationers visit wineries and, of course, the Alazan Valley.

Other destinations are Switzerland, Greece, Moldova.

When it is better to go

Choose the time for a trip should depend on your goals: whether you just want to taste and see the country, or plan to fully experience the atmosphere. For example, in Hungary in mid-July there is a wine festival “Bull’s Blood”. There are a lot of traditions connected with it and the vacationers are offered a lot of entertainment.

In Cyprus, the grape season starts in September. At the same time the famous wine festival takes place in Limassol. In France a lot of wine festivals take place in summer and autumn.

The cost of wine tours

The prices for such programs depend on their saturation, direction, season, and on average are from €600 per person for 5 days.

10 Best Wine Resorts in the World

Many of us enjoy a glass of delicious wine after a long day or relax with friends and family over a meal. In many cultures, wine is an important part of life and a tradition, as well as a libation. But there’s something special about visiting the places where your favorite wines come from and talking with people who have spent a lifetime turning grapes into wine.

Whether you are an avid wine connoisseur or a casual wine aficionado, a trip to a winery can be a fascinating way to relax, unwind and enjoy the beauty of nature and life. By visiting wineries and vineyards, you can learn how grapes are grown, participate in various processes and taste rare vintage wines that are not available in stores.

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These are some of the best wine destinations in the world, where you can tour the vineyards, learn about wine and taste gourmet foods at local tasting rooms.

Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

Vineyard along the Ruta de Vino in the Guadalupe Valley, north of Ensenda

Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico (Hotel prices and photos)

Just outside the city of Ensenada is a beautiful wine region that gets more impressive every year. This region of Mexico has a Mediterranean climate that is ideal for growing grapes and has many wineries in the centralized area. This wine region tends to be much less crowded than northern California, USA, and offers a welcome retreat for travelers from Southern California. One winery here, Corona de Valley, has a beautiful outdoor patio for wine tastings, delicious steaming food and the chance to walk among the quiet vineyards. Another location, Xecue Winery, offers stunning views from indoor and outdoor seating areas overlooking the hilly countryside while you enjoy local food. There are dozens of other local wineries that offer curious travelers something different. Be sure to try a few different varieties of tempranillo, because it’s a local specialty.

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Vineyards of Mendoza and the Andes Mountains

Vineyards of Mendoza and the Andes Mountains

Mendoza, Argentina (Hotel prices and photos)

Argentina is also known for its fine wines, and the Mendoza region is located on a high plateau near the Andes Mountains. Many well-known and traditional wineries are located here because the climate is very favorable for winemaking. Large subregions of wineries here are Luhan de Cuyo, Maipu and the Yuko Valley. High-quality Malbec is a local specialty, and well-known wineries include Trapiche, Zuccardi and Lopez. Other extensive plantations here also create excellent Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc and Torrontes wines.

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Chateau and vineyard in Margaux Bordeaux

Chateau & Vineyard in Margaux Bordeaux

Bordeaux, France (Hotel Prices & Photos)

Bordeaux is the famous wine region of France and the most visited place in the country after Paris. This historic wine region has been peppered with chic restaurants and hotels, while retaining the classic features that have attracted people here for generations. If possible, try to attend one of the region’s wine festivals, such as the Bordeaux Fête-les-Vins in June. While in the area, you can also visit the Musée d’Aquitaine to see local and classic art, the Musée des Vins et du Negos, where you can learn more about wine, and the Sunday market on the promenade de Chartron. Recommended places to stay in this wine region include La Grande Maison, Grand Hôtel de Bordeaux and Hotel Majestic.

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Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada

Okanagan Lake near Summerland, British Columbia, Canada, with an orchard and vineyard

Okanagan Lake near Summerland, British Columbia, Canada, with an orchard and vineyard

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada (hotel prices and photos)

One of the least known wine destinations that should be on every wine lover’s travel list is the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. There are many new wineries nestled among the region’s beautiful lakes and gardens. There are about 60 varieties planted on the hillsides here. It’s a family-friendly destination that offers plenty of hiking, biking trails and train rides.

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Finger Lakes, New York, USA

Vineyard at Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes region

Finger Lakes, New York, USA (hotel rates & photos)

The Finger Lakes of New York is a popular vacation destination for all types of travelers. But one of the best reasons to visit is to sample wines from the eastern United States. There are 11 long lakes and a short growing season for grapes with cool climatic features like pinot noir, chardonnay and even ice wine. While in the area, you can also check out some of the region’s excellent hard-core canteens and breweries.

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Vineyards and olive trees in Tuscany

Vineyards and olive trees in Tuscany

Tuscany, Italy (Hotel prices & Photos)

Tuscany is considered the epitome of classic wine destinations and is known as the perfect place for romance, fine dining and wine. The Italian countryside is a peaceful retreat from nearby cities, and many historic castles have been turned into wineries and hotels. It’s an idyllic place where time slows down and where foodies will find their place in the world. A few wineries worth visiting include Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona in Montalcino and Castello del Trebbio in Florence. Small towns like Siena and Lucca are also worth a visit to better understand local life in the Tuscany region.

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Barossa Valley, Australia

Picturesque wine valley in southern Australia Barossa

The picturesque wine valley of southern Australia’s Barossa

Barossa Valley, Australia (hotel prices and photos)

You only need about an hour’s drive from Adelaide to get to the beautiful Barossa Valley, which is famous for producing Shiraz and Riesling wines. It’s very easy to find wineries in this region that offer free tours and on-site tastings, and many wineries have restaurants as well. One winery that is a must-see is Yalumbra, a family-owned and operated winery that is the oldest in Australia. Seppeltsfield Winery is another must-see in the region if you want to get a closer look at Australian wines. The Margaret River Wine Region in Australia is also worth a visit if you are in Western Australia. It’s a region known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay varieties, as well as beaches and surfing on days when you’re not doing wine tours.

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Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, California, USA

Napa Valley sign before entering Napa

Napa Valley sign before entering Napa

Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, California, USA (hotel prices and photos)

Of course, no winery travel list would be complete without mentioning Napa Valley. Winemakers in Napa were among the first to raise the profile of their European predecessors and create their own unique styles. It’s a great vacation destination with incredible scenery and plenty of first-class hotels and resorts. Come for the wine, but stay for the golf, spa and fine dining. Be sure to try a few cabernet varieties because it’s a local specialty. The neighboring Sonoma Valley is another winery hotspot that is a little more relaxed than Napa. Still, the wines here are just as delicious, and the Sonoma Mountains provide the perfect backdrop for enjoying the California countryside. Santa Rosa and Glen Ellen are great cities to visit when you’re in the Sonoma area. Sonoma is also an ideal destination for adventurers who enjoy hiking, biking and kayaking.

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Basque Country, Spain

Pagan landscape in Laguardia Alava, Spain

Pagan landscape in Laguardia Alava, Spain

Basque Country, Spain (Hotel prices & Photos)

The Basque Country is a beautiful region of Spain that is booming and trendy. It has some of the best regional chefs who specialize in local seafood, which pairs perfectly with the wine produced in the region. When visiting, be sure to check out the small towns along the coast, lined with cobblestone streets. You won’t be far from beaches and plenty of bars serving small plates with local wines. The town of Soumaya has beautiful views of the vineyards, and there’s a tiny church on the island of San Juan de Gaztelugathe, which you can climb up the summit steps to see. Visit the Basque Country in spring or fall if you want to avoid the summer tourist crowds, and be sure to try the Txakoli wines, which are fresh and pair with seafood. When visiting Spain’s wine regions, be sure to visit Seville, a beautiful city known for flamenco dancing, bullfights and historic neighborhoods filled with charming architecture and culture.

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Willamette Valley, Oregon

Vineyards in the hills of Dundee, Oregon

Vineyards in the Dundee Hills of Oregon

Willamette Valley, Oregon (Hotel prices & photos)

Willamette Valley is a great place to visit just outside of Portland, Oregon. It’s the perfect place to visit if you want to combine your hobbies of outdoor adventure, travel, and wine. The wine region here is quite large and known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in particular. A few of the many wineries to check out include Adelsheim and Bergström. Many wineries here use organic and biodynamic methods, which you can learn more about and taste for yourself when you visit. In true Oregon fashion, many wineries also have food trucks and live music concerts.

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