One of the greatest writers of the 20th century, Ernest Hemingway, once said of wine:
“It is one of the most civilized things in the world, and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”
So who we are to disagree!
Check out our top 5 wine tours in Europe below, which let you combine the enjoyment of wine with the beauty of travel…
Alentejo’s soft rolling hills are covered in beautiful vineyards, cork forests, whitewashed villages and Moorish castles.
The region is home to more than 250 wine producers, and is one of the biggest wine-growing regions in the whole of Portugal.
Visitors can travel along the Alentejo wine route and stop by “adegas” (wineries) to sample wine – and other local delicacies.
November is a great time to travel, as the Festa da Vinha e do Vinho takes place in Borba takes place. Small “tascas” (inns) tempt passers-by with wine from enormous clay pots, all while the streets fill with colourful parades, handicrafts and stalls selling local cuisine!
Burgundy is one of France’s two major winemaking regions alongside Bordeaux, and is a MUST-VISIT for wine-lovers.
The region’s beautiful countryside, the magnificent city of Dijon and the charming medieval villages of Sens, Auxerre, Vézelay, and Cluny is made all the better by the world-class wines on offer.
Tasting rooms in Burgundy’s vineyards tend to be small… and visits are rarely allowed without a reservation, so planning ahead is a must! However, there are plenty of tours operating from the local towns and the river cruises.
The ‘Essential Dijon Wine Tour’ takes in some of Burgundy’s best vineyards and the famous Les Hospices de Beaune, which is home to the region’s annual wine auctions.
Tuscany is a culinary delight! with plenty of organised wine tours, cooking lessons, wine tasting and wine cellar tours available.
Chianti classico and the neighbouring area of Chianti, just south of Florence, is one of the best known valleys and wine producing areas in the world – offering a wide selection of wines, some of which date all the way back to 1716.
Florence is often the best place to start a tour and the ‘Taste of Chianti: Tuscan Cheese, Wine and Lunch from Florence’ offers a full-day of Tuscany’s finest wine, cheese, meat, chocolate and more!
The tour is hosted by a local guide who is passionate about the region’s food heritage, takes visitors through the countryside by 4×4 off-road vehicle and tours historic villas wineries.
Rioja reputation as one of Europe’s most famous wine regions is well-deserved!
Traditional bodegas, Medieval caves and modern, jaw-dropping wine cellars are everywhere. Plus, visitors will find traditional winemaking methods mixed with the modern, paired with delicious food and plenty to see.
Many consider the Bodegas Muga in Haro to be the best tasting room in Rioja.
No appointments are needed to visit the bodega, but an organised tour of the winery is not to be missed, as it is one of the few remaining wineries to have a cooperage onsite where the winery makes its own barrels.
Vayots Dzor, Armenia
Armenia was one of the first wine-producing regions in the world and is home to the earliest known winery found in the 6,100-year-old Areni-1 cave complex.
The Vayots Dzor wine route is two-hours from the country’s capital, Yerevan, and is packed with beautiful natural parks made all the more special by a microclimate that ensures 300 sunny days a year.
The Areni Wine Factory is among the oldest and most-loved wineries in the area and welcomes over 30,000 visitors every year. Tours of the factory includes a walk through the cellar where wine is aged in massive oak casks, followed by a tasting of the winery’s selection of traditional and fruit wines.
Have we missed your favourite wine tour off this list? Let us know in the comments!
And wherever you choose for your next getaway, bring us with you by getting specialist travel insurance from AllClear!