One never needs an excuse to go wine tasting. Whether it’s harvest time or poolside rosé season, the idea of going straight to the source has never been more luxe. Although wine tasting trips are nothing new, with the classics including Bordeaux, Tuscany, and Napa (Oh my!), there are plenty of up and coming wine regions you never thought to visit, and should really add them to your bucket list ASAP.
Visiting wineries allows you to understand not only how each wine is made and what goes into the process, but also how the soil, sun, and water affect the vintage you indulge in. While the environment and climate both play big roles in the winemaking itself, they also create a curated landscape that allows for a fabulous getaway for your next vacation (and pretty awesome shots for Instagram).
While the tried and true destinations are great, there are also plenty of benefits in giving other vineyards a visit. Whether it’s trying exclusive reserves, sipping in quaint tasting rooms, or getting early member discounts, smaller wine regions need support as well. From the corners of Europe, to the depths of South America, the terroir of wineries is expanding, and we are loving every minute of it. Here are seven wine regions that surprise and deliver.
Hvar has a rich history of winemaking dating back to ancient Greece. The dramatic landscape of Mediterranean cliffs surround the island, sending off a feeling of intimacy and prestige. This island is also home to the first Zinfandels, a wine now cultivated across the globe. Check out Zlatan Otak for a winery with a perfect view of the sea.
La Pampa, Patagonia
Although this region is renowned for its scenic views, landscape, and culture, Patagonia also has some of best wines in South America. Bold, acidic, fruity, and full of flavor are some of the many words used to characterize the wines in this beautiful region. Most notably, the Malbec is an extremely popular varietal in Argentina. Between Río Negro, Neuquén, and the province of La Pampa, there are over 4500 ha of prime vineyards to explore.
Paso Robles, California
California is known in winemaking for its world-renowned Napa and Sonoma Valleys. However, California’s Paso Robles has a lot to offer away from the hype. The city of Paso Robles is flexing its vino muscles with many incredible wineries. Enjoy wine tasting and live entertainment at Vina Robles Winery and Amphitheatre, for an experience you won't ever forget.
Wine culture has been part of this small island in the Mediterranean for a long time. According to Santorini.com, Santorini is most famous for its white Vinsanto, a sweet wine made by drying the grapes, Asyrtiko and Aidani, for 15 days on a terrace before going into the wine press. The unique minerals and climate of the island brings out a rich complexity from the grapes.
The best part about wine tasting here is absolutely the views; they just can't be beat. Check out Domaine Sigalas, located in the center of the island, to get a real feel for what this region has to offer.
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
The dry and maritime climate of this region has led to some pretty spectacular full-bodied red wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. Try out the wines at Moana Park Estate, or head over to Clearview Estate Winery for the combination of great wine, food, and accommodations that'll please your Insta aesthetic.
Constantia, South Africa
Located in the heart of Cape Town, this region is known for its sweet wines, according of Wines of South Africa. While most wine-goers might opt for Franschhoek or Stellenbosch, the wineries in Constantia are convenient, affordable, and extremely robust. Be sure to check out the tasting at Beau Constantia, as well as the vintages and iconic estate at Klein Constantia.
Applegate Valley, Oregon
Applegate Valley takes advantage of its diverse landscape. It's encompassed by the Siskiyou Mountains, and has granite soil that produces high-quality wines. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere makes for a great getaway, and you won't have to pay for expensive wine tours. Dancin Vineyards, is a must-see winery that offers great Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.