Top 10 Best Wine Destinations in Europe
“Wine is more than its unique taste. A bottle of wine tells a story of where it comes from. The climate it the grapes grew in, the season it was planted, the distillery, the winery even the skill of the oenologist can be tasted when you take a sip of wine.” – RedShed.
Wine is grown all over the world, and some of the oldest and most prestigious wineries can be found in the continent of Europe.
Here is a selection of the ten greatest wine destinations in Europe that are a must to see for any wine lover.
1- Bordeaux, France
Situated in the southwestern part of France and just below 590 Kilometers from the capital Paris, Bordeaux is a city famous for its wine. It is home to one of the largest exhibitions of wine and spirits, Vinexpo.
Introduced by the Romans the vine is Bordeaux’s most important industry, all wine grown in the region is labeled with the name of the city.
Bordeaux grows both white and red wine, some of the most famous and expensive wines are produced in Bordeaux, most notably Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Latour, Château Haut-Brion and Château Mouton-Rothschild.
2- Rhône Valley, France
The Rhône wine region lies in the Rhône valley in southern France.
This is another of France’s ancient wine growing regions, with over 6000 wine growing properties the Rhône valley is a major wine producer, so there is plenty to be found here. But seeing as wine is an experience; don’t forget the scenery, hiking trails, delicious French cuisine and the Saone River.
3- Santorini, Greece
This wine growing region located in the Aegean Sea has a distinctly Mediterranean climate. Low rainfall with high humidity is dominant during the growing season. This island is famous for its white grapes Assyrtiko, Athiri and Aidani. The best time to visit is in April through to July.
Santorini produces a variety of red and white wines, but the most famous is the white wine called Vin Santo.
However, it’s labeled Vinsanto so as not to confuse it with the Tuscan wine. Other activities you can do besides tasting the island’s beautiful wine are; visiting the fantastic red beach, sampling all the delightful Greek cuisine (with the wine of course) and visiting the Akrotiri archaeological site, this was the site of a settlement during the Minoan bronze age that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption.
4- Tuscany, Italy
The central Italian region of Tuscany is rich with history.
Renaissance art and architecture can be found all over this region. The world-famous city of Florence is the capital of Tuscany. This Mediterranean region with hilly terrain has long been a producer of world revered Tuscan wine, the more modern super-tuscans or the traditional style based on the glorious Sangiovese grape.
5- Catalonia, Spain
Located in the northeast of Spain, Catalonia is a geographically diverse region with a climate ranging from Mediterranean in the mainland to alpine in the Catalan Pyrenees. It is also home to the city of Barcelona.
The magnificent landscapes, beautiful beaches and all the historic architecture, especially the cathedrals Catalonia, ensures you will have a lot more to do than wine tasting.
6- Champagne, France
This longtime wine growing region in the north of France has had a long history in the wine industry.
Gosset is the name of a champagne house founded in 1584; it is the oldest champagne house still in operation. Champagne does produce not only sparkling wines but also a few other still ones. It’s also famous for pink wines, which are wines made including red grapes, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Champagne wine used to be the wine of choice for the French royalty.
7- The Douro Valley, Portugal
The river Douro flows through this region and out through the city of Porto.
This area has been listed as a World Heritage Site. There are plenty activities and sightseeing trips to get up to. These include; visiting wine hotels, environmental river cruises near the Mediterranean town of Miranda do Douro and visiting some of the wine growing villages like Provesende, Favaios, Ucanha, Barcos and Salzedas.
The Douro Wine Region Valley has a long history and is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world.
8- Istria, Croatia
Located at the head of the Adriatic Sea, this peninsula is not only home to the nation of Croatia, but sections of Slovenia and Italy divide it apart. It is considered the most amazing region in Croatia.
The soil and climate of Istria produce high-quality red grapes which give great full bodied red wines, the hills and slopes that are all around the peninsula are just the perfect places for growing wines.
Other activities you can get up to while enjoying the wine are:
- going to Livade for some honey tasting
- attending the week-long Motovun film festival (July or August)
- or visiting the Basilica of St. Mary of the Sea.
9- Corsica, France
Whether you want to get there by ferry or plane from France, this Mediterranean island on the southeast of France isn’t famous for its wine growing but is undoubtedly a hidden a jewel.
Most of the wine here is for local consumption meaning that when you get to taste Corsican wine; you are getting an experience many won’t be able to have.
With archaeological sites like the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte in Ajaccio, the capital of Corsica, to tackling the very challenging GR20 hiking trail, there will be a lot to do on this scenic island.
10- Valle d’Aosta, Italy
This is another hidden gem in Italy this time.
Home of the local dialect Valdôtain, this region is home to both French and Italian languages. If you’re into hiking, mountains, skiing and wine; you can’t go wrong with coming here.
It is home to many peaks including the famous Mont Blanc; this is the outdoor adventurers’ paradise. The wine Blanc de Morgex ET de la Salle is produced here in both sparkling and still variants.
You can also get a taste of the Swiss variety Petite Arvine.
Europe has a diverse, long, and rich tradition of winemaking. You will find and learn a lot about wine and winemaking if you happen to venture into any one of these destinations.
This guest post was written by Katherine Ripey exclusively for Social Vignerons.
Guest Author Bio:
Katherine Ripey is a North Carolina-based freelance writer and work-from-home mother of two. In her 10 years as a professional writer, she’s worked in proposal management, grant writing, and content creation. Personally, she’s passionate about teaching her family how to stay safe, secure and action-ready in the event of a disaster or emergency.