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Top ten wine tour and travel destinations in 2013, says the Wine Enthusiast

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The US wine magazine publishes its choice of best wine regions to visit

The list of the top ten wine travel destinations, according to the US wine magazine The Wine Enthusiast, includes some big surprises and some great classics.

Which is the best place to go wine touring is a very personal choice, just like what is the best wine to go with entrecote bordelaise. But it is always interesting to hear what people inside as well as outside the wine world thinks.

We have written before here on “top ten wine touring destinations” but now it’s time again. We have the top list from the Wine Enthusiast for the best wine tour destinations in 2013.

This is how they present their choice:

“A sense of place—the sights, sounds, smells and spirit of a travel destination—can endear that area to a person forever. For wine lovers, there is no better way to cement that connection than to explore the world around those vines.

As the wine market becomes ever more global, packed with offerings ranging from the most storied wine regions to the most offbeat, so does the wine traveler’s itinerary.”

Top wine tour destinations

And here’s the list:

  1. Rioja: “Rioja ranks as the granddaddy. […] Rioja boasts centuries of winemaking history.”
    Our comment
    : Rioja has fallen behind in international fame in recent decades but now is perhaps the time to rediscover it! Some grandiose wineries (and wines) to explore.
  2. Danube, Austria: “The river winds through a stunning landscape that varies from steep, terraced vineyards to rolling hills and forests that are marked by historic cloisters and majestic castles.”
    Our comment: The Austrian wine regions along the Danube are a hidden gem. Lovely wines and beautiful landscape. We love to go there and wish more people would discover it!
  3. North & South Forks of Long Island, New York: “Fringed by sandy beaches and bustling fishing villages, rolling farmland and forest sanctuaries, Long Island wine country is unlike any region in America.”
    Our comment
    : Although we have never been there it is certainly on our list of to-do:s.
  4. Stellenbosch, South Africa: “Stellenbosch offers something for everyone, whether your interest is in the arts, culture, food, wine, hiking or surfing.”
    Our comment
    : Not sure “something for everyone” is the best compliment, but in just a few decades this region has developed some world class wines and a very active wine tourism. Impressive wineries but also small scale artisanal wines. If you know where to look and where to go.
  5. Monterey County, California: “One of California’s premier wine-producing regions, Monterey County has beautiful scenery, upscale galleries, glamorous resorts and stellar local wines.”
    Our comment
    : It’s a long time since we were there so can’t really say much about it, more than that we would love to go again!
  6. Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil: “Forget about the sandy beaches and bikini-clad beauties of Rio de Janeiro, and instead picture the rolling hills of Italy’s Piedmont region. In the late 1800s.”
    Our comment
    : Certainly something for the wine enthusiast, not easy to reach. We were surprised both by the enthusiasm of the wine growers and by the wines when we were there.
  7. Willamette Valley, Oregon: “The Willamette Valley is a big place, and it’s stuffed with friendly wineries, gorgeous scenery, toy towns and a dazzling array of outdoor activities.”
    Our comment
    : Again, on our “want to go”-list.
  8. Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia: “As one of Australia’s traditional grape-growing regions, Hunter Valley has plenty of history to discover and some terrific wines.”
    Our comment
    : Certainly one of the hottest wine regions today. (Sorry, couldn’t help that!)
  9. Douro Valley, Portugal: “You will fall in love with the Douro. Northern Portugal’s claim as the most beautiful wine region in the world is supported by the grandeur of its landscape and wines.”
    Our comment
    : “Most” beautiful will be a matter of taste but one of the world’s absolutely most spectacular wine regions is undeniable. And at every turn of the winding roads there is a winery that makes spectacular wines, and not only port!
  10. Puglia, Italy: “Flanked by two seas, magical Puglia is a thin peninsula packed tight with the same attributes that attracted us to Italy decades ago: It’s an undiscovered land with an enviable quality of life.”
    Our comment
    : It is actually very different from the rest of Italy with a beauty all of its own. With wines ranging from full-bodied power houses to surprisingly elegant.

The Wine Enthusiast is an American magazine, as you can tell from the list. A really exciting selection, some of which we would not have put on our list, but all very exciting!

We cover quite a few of these wine regions with our wine tours:

  • A wine tour to Rioja will probably be on our schedule for 2014.
  • Wine tours to Austria are occasionally on our program. We would love to do it more often. Austria, you have to make your wines better known!
  • Wine tours to the Douro Valley are a regular feature on our schedule. Deservedly popular! Next time this coming autumn.
  • Wine tours to Puglia (Apulia) in Italy are not a regular feature on our schedule (yet) but we do it now and then, next time this coming autumn. Lecce is one amazing city to have as a wine touring base camp!

Read the Wine Enthusiast Article here: 10 Best Wine Travel Destinations 2013

And take a look at our wine tour schedule or our custom tours if you feel tempted to go. We hope you do!

So, what do YOU think? What’s missing on the list?

Old bottles in the wine cellar
Old bottles in the wine cellar, copyright BKWine Photography

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2 Responses

  1. the best place to go wine touring is a very personal choice, just like what is the best wine to go with entrecote bordelaise. But it is always interesting to hear what people inside as well as outside the wine world thinks. so i lick this blog

  2. Yeah, I agree “choice of best wine regions is a personal choice”. I would like to go – Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil and Monterey County, California which are my favorite places.

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