If you speak the language of Chardonnays and Merlots, generic travel itineraries are not meant for you. What you need is a custom itinerary, which is no vin ordinaire but an absolute vin de pays. We think these places are perfect for vacations which require holding the wine glass up at all times. By Shubhanjana Das
1. Bordeaux, France:
There’s no way that you’re a wine lover and you haven’t heard of Bordeaux, one of the most respected and valued wine-producing regions in the world. St-Emilion, Graves, and Médoc chateaus are perfect for tasting wine from coveted local brands that are also acclaimed internationally. It is here that the verdant vineyards offer sights worth beholding for hours together. Team wine-tasting with French cuisine for a truly exquisite and palatable experience.
2. Valle D’Aosta, Italy:
We’re about to contest you if you claim that it is only Piedmont, which produces the finest Italian wine. Valle D’Aosta is for every wine-lover who likes the vast expanse of the outdoors for it is where the wine trails lie. Home to peaks like that of the mighty Mont Blanc, Valle D’Aosta’s eastern part flaunts its wine trails toward Monte Rosa. Be it local varieties like Fumin or Prié Blanc, or Italian/Swiss ones like Petite Arvine or Nebbiolo, your wine glass will never go empty here in Valle D’Aosta.
3. Okanagan Valley, British Columbia:
We’re letting you in on a secret here. The Okanagan Valley in British Colombia prides itself with more than 60 grape variants. Don’t be surprised if we say that the list includes Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, and even fruit wines of a considerable variety. The region’s viticulture centre, Penticton is a wonderful starting point for this tour.
4. Douro Valley, Portugal:
You know the Vinho Verde white wine that you so love and would consider your collection incomplete without? Well, Douro, just a few kilometres out of Porto, is where it is produced. The 18th and 19th century Quintas (wine estates), the meandering Douro river along with stone-terraced vineyards form just the right backdrop for a memorable wine-tasting experience. Historic wineries like Quinta da Pacheca, Quinta de La Rosa and Quinta das Carvalhas invite guided tours. An absolute must-do is the wine cruise, which explores the region on water, of course, with an overflowing abundance of some of Douro’s finest pours.
5. Crete, Greece:
We are going to hurl a challenge at you, wine lovers, by suggesting Crete in Greece as one of the must-visit destinations if you take your wine seriously. While Santorini is focused on Assyrtiko, Crete is known for its experimental fervour when it comes to wine. As you will soon find out after your visit, Crete’s wine is as unexplored as its grape varieties. With veritable tongue-twisters like Thrapsathiri, Kotsifali, and Mantilari for brand-names, the wine produced in Crete will excite and tease your palette.