As Spanish wine maker, Luis Fernando Olaverri once said, “Wine is the only artwork you can drink. Here in Australia, we appreciate a good drop. With a landscape and climate perfectly engineered to create world-class wine, if you enjoy your wine your pallet is likely far more developed than you might think. So why not embrace your inner, natural sommelier with a journey through taste and luxury by making your next holiday a trip through one of the world’s most extraordinary wine destinations?
Luckily, if there is one thing people all over the world are passionate about, it’s perfecting the art of making, and experiencing, a good bottle of wine. So let’s start with three perfect wine destinations.
Let’s be clear, if you’re serious about touring ‘wineworld’ there is more than one stop you need to make in France (there are more than ten stops realistically…) but if you were to pick just one we suggest you lean into the celebratory aspect of your vacation and head into the heart of the Champagne region for a taste of the stars.
It’s fairly common knowledge that anything labelled ‘champagne’ is legally required to have come from the Champagne region of France – but that’s not the only stipulation to utilising this prestigious label. Champagne must be prepared to adhere to a very specific method which involves secondary formation. The result is that the bubbles come exclusively from this process making champagne bubbles delicate, fine and exceptionally effervescent.
A tour of the region will take you through all the major recognisable wineries as well as a number of smaller ones, for a more boutique experience. All in front of the enchanting backdrop of the French countryside. The exclusivity of this region has resulted in great preservation of old-world architecture, so it won’t be long before you’ll have forgotten the excessive stimulus of the city. Indeed, the towns and wineries appear mostly unchanged since their provincial French origins (aside from a few luxurious modern conveniences of course).
Day tours are available for your stay but we strongly recommend a 3 to 4 day stay in order to fully enjoy all the region has to offer – think celebration as a marathon, not a sprint.
Uco Valley, Argentina
All things considered, you might be forgiven for thinking that Europe has a monopoly on visitable vineyards, but the Uco Valley in Argentina has a thing or two to say about that.
Situated in the Mendoza region of Argentina, Uco Valley is home to an amazing selection of robust reds – most famously Malbecs. Although the vines were originally from Bordeaux itself, Argentina has beaten France at its own game creating such talented producers of Malbec, that it is commonly misconceived to be an exclusively Argentinian wine.
The key is in the climate, the Mendoza region experiences temperate weather year-round (with some rain and humidity in the Summer), allowing the grapes a full maturation period, relatively uninterrupted by extreme weather. This is great news for the vineyard owners – and for you.
This pleasant weather means you can enjoy your fine red from a balcony or even on a picnic, and with such a stunning, and we mean postcard perfect view of the Andes mountains, you’re going to want to be outside. If you felt so moved to be active during your trip, there are also hikes and treks up the mountains to be explored too.
Napa Valley, California
For centuries fine wine was considered exclusively an art of the old world, with modern wines and vineyards regarded as cheap upstarts, unequal to the task of perfecting the formula. But in the past 50 years, Napa Valley in California has more than proved it can hold its own.
Frequently the refuge of busy Californians looking for a short break, this little piece of paradise offers clear air, gorgeous views and some of the most amazing wines you’re likely to find. If you’re partial to red, you’ll love their full-bodied cabernets and merlots, if you’re more of a white drinker, their buttery chardonnays will delight your pallet to no end. Of course, our best recommendation is to try both. White as a cool contrast to the warm summery days and red later on in the crisp night air.
For the best view of the gentle hills and endless greenery, take a hot air balloon ride high above the scenery and try not to sigh dramatically at one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.
If you’re only interested in a day trip we recommend taking the ferry from nearby San Francisco and then utilising one of the many transit options to the Valley itself (your travel agent can advise the best choice). However, to save you the pain of saying goodbye to the valley after such a short visit, we recommend you stay a few days at least, soaking up the sun and seeing the very best of a New World wine experience.
If this has you yearning for an indulgent glass or two in a far-flung locale, we’d be delighted to help you create something that perfectly suits you or your family. You can give us a call on (02) 6041 5577, visit the office at 601 Dean Street, Albury or book an appointment with one of our expert travel agents via the form below.
Enter your details to book your appointment with your preferred travel agent who will help you get the most from your next trip. We'll get back to you as quickly as we can. To read more about our team click here.