Vin. Vino. Wein. Let’s face it, wine sounds appealing in every language. If you seriously appreciate a glass, then you might consider taking your knowledge to the next level by travelling to some of the world’s most beautiful wine regions.
Where to start on your wine journey? France is a delightful option, or there’s irresistible Portugal. Then there are the winemaking titans of Australia and the US - or how about visiting the Greek birthplace of the God of wine?
The Flexicover team is here with its guide covering the top five destinations for wine lovers. Cheers!
Where better to worship at the altar of wine than Ikaria? This isolated Greek island, located in the Cyclades, is said to be the birthplace of Dionysus, the God of wine himself. As you’d imagine, Ikaria has been famed for its wine for aeons, with the sweet beverage brewed there even getting a mention in Homer’s Odyssey. Visit Ikaria these days and you’ll discover a world of sweet, young wine, most often served in carafes as the sun beats down and the aquamarine Aegean waves lap at the harbour. Visit Ikarianwine Club, in the village of Piyi, to learn more about the island’s winemaking tradition, before travelling through dramatic mountainous scenery to Fanari - the very place of Dionysus’ birth.
Barossa Valley, Australia
Australia might seem like a long way to travel just for a glass of wine, but visit the Barossa Valley and you’ll quickly realise it’s worth the trip. One of the world’s greatest wine regions, 21 per cent of Australia’s wine springs from this idyllic 25km valley in the south of Australia. Wine lovers can take organised day trips from Adelaide, allowing them to enjoy the region’s bounty without worrying about having to drive. Alternatively, go local and stay in one of the wine country’s German-settled small towns such as Tanunda, Angaston, and Nuriootpa. A selection of high-profile wineries offer tours and indulgent cellar-door tastings. Shiraz grapes are a local speciality, although you’ll find plenty of whites, roses, and ports to sample too.
Napa Valley, US
Picture-perfect Napa Valley - recently featured in hit Netflix film Wine Country - boasts stunning Cali scenery and delicious wines to savour. Think endless rolling vineyards, chateau wineries dotting hillsides, and lazy lunches. This is one of the most upscale wine destinations on the planet, with the region containing a smattering of luxurious boutique hotels. Start in the city of Napa, with its vibrant nightlife, before heading north to a rural destination amidst the vines. St Helena and Yountville are two popular villages for visitors, with small shops, upmarket bistros, and, of course, wineries. There are plenty of Napa Valley tours available, but one of the most elegant ways to enjoy the region is by classic train.
Douro Valley, Portugal
In northern Portugal lies the unendingly picturesque Douro Valley. This breath-taking destination is one of the world’s oldest demarcated wine regions, with this label dating back to 1756. The vine-dotted hillsides are plastered with the family names of the Port houses and wineries that have existed amidst the stunning scenery for centuries. Stay for a night or two in Porto - a vibrant and eccentric city with upscale restaurants and local watering holes. Then head north into Portugal’s incredible wine country to tour the 18th-century wine cellars that populate the region. Many wineries offer a picnic experience, where you can take your tasting amongst the vines, complementing it with freshly baked bread and sumptuous Portuguese cheese. And don’t forget to sample the Port too - the region’s heady speciality.
We simply can’t talk about wine destinations without mentioning Bordeaux - nicknamed the ‘world wine capital’. There’s a multitude of ways to explore Bordeaux’s myriad wineries. Join a tour, tailor-make your own, or visit solo - just make sure you sample plenty of the deep red wines the destination is famous for. Plus many of the vineyards are home to opulent 18th century chateaux too. While the region is charmingly rural and dotted with sunlit vineyards, Bordeaux is France’s sixth largest city, and contains plenty of upscale restaurants and sophisticated wine bars from which to sample the region’s bounty. As well as the vineyards, you can attend a tasting class so you can impress your friends with your sophisticated vin knowledge back home.
Wherever you plan on heading to this year it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.