All over the world, wine brings people together! Be it over dinner, at a bar or just on the sofa at home, with so many flavours and varieties, there’s something to suit all taste buds when it comes to the world’s favourite tipple.
From the fruity flavours of Spain to the subtle tones of Australia, wine regions across the globe bring something different to the table. So, to help you discover the tastes of each region and figure out which wine destination could make the perfect holiday for you, we’ve put together a useful guide to match your palate to the place. Grab your glasses and "cheers!" as we take a closer look into the specific flavours of the world’s best wine regions.
Full-bodied yet fruity: Maipo Valley, Chile
Chile is the epicentre of wine in South America and Maipo Valley is its grape capital. Fans of a fruity, full-bodied red will be spoiled for choice in Maipo Valley, an area abundant in Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot grapes. For those who prefer something lighter, this region also produces some stellar Pinot Noir too. Have a look at our Discover Chile page for amazing offers and deals on tailor-made Chilean adventures.
Light and dry: South-eastern Australia
The beautiful south east of Australia is filled to the brim with wineries producing excellent quality wines ranging from reds and whites to blushes, sparklings and even the odd wine created from other fruits such as the kiwi. However, it’s the Sauvignon and Shiraz varieties that are the highlight of this region, particularly at the award-winning Penfolds Grange - perfect for a palate that respects the subtle flavours of these fine grapes. Check out our holiday offers for Australia for more ideas on exploring the country's culinary riches.
Medium-bodied and fruity: Rioja, Spain
Rioja is the king (or queen) of wine regions in Spain and the black Tempranillo grape is as diverse as it is delicious. Depending on age, you will find a Rioja to suit most taste buds, with a one to two year old bottle of Crianza offering light, fruity flavours with a subtle oak undertone and a bottle of Gran Reserva, aged for 2 years in oak and then three or more in the bottle after, producing strong, oaky tones and a fully bodied flavour that is just perfect with tapas!
Fresh, crisp whites: Danube, Austria
The vineyards which fill up the rolling hillsides surrounding the river Danube produce some of the best and most sought-after white wines in the world. Perhaps its most famous grape, and certainly the one most worth trying, however, is the crisp and peppery Grüner Veltliner, a perfect wine to sip on while taking in the breathtaking views of the region.
Powerful vintages: Douro Valley, Portugal
Douro Valley’s awe-inspiring landscape alone is good enough reason to visit but once you’ve tasted the rich reds it produces you won’t want to leave. A proud producer of some of the finest and rarest vintages on the planet, Douro Valley is a real treat for connoisseurs and novices alike.
Light, smooth reds: Monterey County, California
Although the Montery County region produces quite a number of different wines it’s the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that brings people from all over the world to this part of California. The prices are pretty friendly too, so it’s well worth investing in a couple of cases if you can.
Rich and elegant: Stellenbosch, South Africa
Wine lovers on the look for a grape-centric holidays where they can expect nothing but rich, seductive flavours need look no further than Stellenbosch in South Africa. The Cabernet Sauvignon is in a league of its own out in Stellenbosch and the Cap Classique, SA’s take on sparkling wine, is well worth a try too. Alternatively, check out our Cape and Winelands tour for an unforgettable taste of Cape Town and the surrounding regions.
Easy drinking: Tuscany, Italy
One of the most famous wine regions in Europe, Tuscany had to be mentioned at some point on this list. Venture out of your comfort zone and order a cheeky Chianti while in this beautiful and enchanting part of the world for a true taste of Italy.
Familiar, fragrant flavours: Bordeaux, France
Bordeaux has been competed against by many regions time and time again but most will still name it the top wine producer. Head to this world-famous wine Mecca to taste the finest flavours of the Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes which produce some of this planet’s very best wines.
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