Top 3 Exotic Wine Tasting Travel Destinations

Top 3 Exotic Wine Tasting Travel Destinations

I fear I might get myself into some hot water with some of the more refined wine drinkers out there with the following post, but it had to be done. New Years is fast-approaching and many of you have likely already booked at flight to your favorite wine region for some tasting tours and cultural splendor.

If you haven’t, here are 3 of the top regions to be found anywhere on the planet:

1. Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux France

Bordeaux boasts some of the fanciest wineries you’ll find at any destination. This is a very historical region of France. While the gothic era was all but over by the mid-1500’s, Bordeaux has hung on to the Gothic culture; including awe-inspiring architecture and artwork to be found everywhere. When you visit any of the several wineries that scatter the rural countryside of the area, you’ll instantly realize they take their tastings as serious as the wine-making process itself.

All the 10,000+ wineries, including popular destinations like Medoc and St. Emillion are located on luxurious 18th century estates that scream French high-society. The backdrops are gorgeous and the many quaint restaurants you’ll find offer only the finest French cuisine (don’t worry, formal attire isn’t required!) Hop on a tasting tour to get the full experience. They range from $50 for a half day tour, to well into the hundreds  depending on the spots you want to visit.

Common Bordeaux Wines:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Merlot
  • Petit Verdot
  • Malbec
  • Carménère

2. Napa Valley

Napa Valley Wineries1

The Napa Valley region of California is one of the most popular wine-tasting destinations in North America. Napa and Bordeaux are equal in popularity as far as destinations go, not necessarily because of the wine quality though. Napa wines tend to be cheaper, while many of their wineries use French wine-making techniques including oak barrels and lower alcohol values to add balance to their wines.

There’s well over 400 wineries in this region, but the buck doesn’t stop there. They have some of the best farmer’s markets, boasting some of the freshest whole foods and farm-raised meats found anywhere. The Napa’s also known for it’s artsy boutiques, restaurants, eccentric clothing stores, spas, nature tours, golf courses, cultured nightlife, and — fresh air! The fun extras in addition to the wineries in the area are really the main draw to Napa. The architecture and scenery pale miserably in comparison to the centuries-old Gothic cathedrals of the Bordeaux region of France, or the Etruscan inspired scenery found in Tuscan wine country.

Typical wines found in Napa:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Pinot Noir
  • Zinfandel
  • Chardonnay
  • Sauvignon Blanc

3. Tuscany, Italy


Pronounced “Toscana” by the Italians, Tuscany is a haven for Chianti-lovers. Wine purists will tell you that Chianti is in fact, the only wine made there! Tuscany and Bordeaux wines are constantly engaged in a head-to-head with Sommeliers and cultured wine tasters worldwide. Italy doesn’t get the same amount of tourist traffic that France or the US does, and that’s a crying shame. Their accommodations are much less expensive and the wine — well, they have some of the best in the world of course!

Most notable is the Bolgheri wines produced in the Castagneto Carducci region on the foothills of the Colline Metallifere mountain-range. Visit the Bolgheri Castle for a tasting if you decide to visit the region. You’ll find some of the finest traditional-style Italian restaurants in all the country right within the confines of Tuscany. You can bike the countryside, hike in the many foothills in the area, tour the age-old cathedrals, check out the famous leaning tower at Piza, enjoy a thermal bath at Saturnia… there are literally so many things to do! Are you as surprised as I am that this is only (arguably) the third most-popular wine-tasting travel destination on the planet?

Typical Tuscany Wines:

  • Chianti
  • Cabernet franc
  • Chardonnay,
  • Merlot
  • Pinot noir
  • Sauvignon blanc
  • Syrah

Disappointed Your Favorite Destination Wasn’t Included?

Yes, I’ve left out several destinations, but here are a few notable mentions, to avoid offending anyone:

  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Yarra Valley, Australia
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Finger Lakes, New York
  • Mendoza, Argentina
  • Gibbston Valley, New Zealand
  • Douro Valley, Portugal
  • Rheingau, Germany
  • Colchagua Valley, Chile
  • Vancouver Island, Canada

Go ahead and share your favorite wine-tasting destination with everyone in the comments.

1 Comment

  1. Smart thnkniig – a clever way of looking at it.


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