Wine lovers, this is for you! Uncover the best wine regions in the world for the ultimate wine-filled getaways sure to satisfy your wine cravings.
The world of wine is more than just wine, it is immersing yourself in the culture, history and traditions that this drink offers. All around the world, there are different wine regions that tell the story of a long history where wine is at the center. By visiting different wine destinations around the world you not only get to taste and enjoy delicious wines from the source but also learn about the production and what this wine means to this place.
With that said, the world is big, life is short, go on that wine holiday! Discover the 15 best wine regions in the world below and get planning.
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16 Best Wine Regions in The World
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada
Explored by Samantha from Continuous Roamer
The Niagara Peninsula is an impressive wine region in Ontario, Canada. Niagara Wine Country is over an hour’s drive from Toronto Pearson Airport and is close to the Canadian and USA border at Niagara Falls.
There are two regions within the Niagara Peninsula: Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Escarpment. These two viticultural areas are also excellent destinations for hiking and sightseeing.
The Niagara Peninsula is the largest wine-producing area in Canada. It is known for its cool-climate wines, such as Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. Niagara experiences warm days and cool nights, which creates an interesting flavour blend. The Niagara Escarpment shelters the grapes from colder weather, which extends the growing season.
In addition to the classic wine production in the Niagara Peninsula, you will also find Icewine. This unique concoction is created by leaving grapes on the vine past the usual harvest date and picking the grapes deep into winter when the weather drops to freezing. The temperature must reach at least minus 8 degrees Celsius to make Icewine.
Many vineyards in Niagara produce VQA wines, which means that 100% of the grapes used in a bottle of wine were grown in Ontario. VQA stands for Vintners Quality Alliance and relates to the Ontario Wine Appellation Authority. The other two VQA best wine regions include Lake Erie North Shore and Prince Edward County. However, the Niagara Peninsula makes up over 55% of the VQA wines.
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Explored by Nicholas from The World Overload
Located in the coastal region of South Africa, Stellenbosch has a proud and long history of winemaking and is one of the best wine regions in the world. Because of this, it has become the most famous region in the country for it. Compared to other wine-making destinations like Temecula in the United States, Bordeaux in France, the Hokkaido prefecture of Japan, and is filled with rolling hills and picturesque landscapes that have made it a popular destination.
The wine they are most known for is the Cabernet Sauvignon, a particularly tasteful red wine that is one of the most known on the planet and is a staple of any wine-producing area. Other distinct wines include Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, and Shiraz. You will have your choice of wine preference here.
What makes this area so special is the subtle mineral notes that are standard in the wine. This is said to be from the granite mountains which are approximated to be millions of years old. That kind of ancient soil does help to give the Stellenbosch wines a unique tasting for those of you who are wine connoisseurs or just those who enjoy a nice glass at home.
This place may seem like a university type of town with the wineries built around it, but it still has been able to keep the small-town charm with its idyllic landscape. You will find established wine festivals and art exhibits as well in the area. You do not want to miss out on coming here in your world travels.
Yarra Valley, Australia
Explored by Fiona from Travelling Thirties
The Yarra Valley, located East of Melbourne, Australia, is one of the best wine regions in Australia, if not the world.
The rolling hills, the green fields and vineyard upon vineyard give the Yarra Valley a cozy feeling in winter and the outdoor dining areas and concerts make the weekends come alive in summer.
With over 80 wineries in the Yarra Valley, there is no shortage of variety when it comes to wine. Known mostly for its Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, the true hidden gem of the Yarra Valley is the Yarra Valley Shiraz.
The close vicinity to Melbourne and the variety of wineries make the Yarra Valley a true Australian gem. Not only does the Yarra Valley have amazing wines and beautiful food, but it is also home to outstanding chocolate, refreshing breweries and cidery, opportunities to fly in World War aircraft, Wizz around Rochford winery on a Segway tour, Italian cooking classes or if you’re really feeling up to it, but you can also skydive!
The Yarra Valley has some stunning manor homes, in particular, Coombes Estate. The former home to one of Australia’s sweethearts, Dame Nellie Melba.
A day out in the Yarra Valley is a must for everyone, no matter whether you are local or a tourist. If you are staying in Melbourne’s CBDs there are plenty of day tours to the Yarra Valley so you can sample the wines without worrying about whose driving!
Explored by Jenoa from One Year Around The World
Bordeaux is located in the Aquitaine region in Southwestern France. Not far from the Bordeaux city center, you’ll find yourself surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills dotted with small towns and chateaux. This region is known for producing some of the best red wines in France, which is what makes it an ideal place to visit for wine lovers.
Divided in two by the Garonne and Dordogne rivers, the Bordeaux wine region is split up into the left bank and the right bank.
Medoc is the most famous region on the left bank and is home to the picturesque chateaux that produce Grand Cru Classes wines (a.k.a. top tier wines). You’ll most often find Cabernet Sauvignon and blended red wines in Medoc. To try something different, visit the towns of Sauternes and Barsac to try their sweet wines made of a fungus that grows on the grapes.
On the right bank, the most popular regions to visit are Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. The vineyards on the right bank sit on rich, clay soil, which is perfect for making the red wines in the region. Merlot, as well as a blend of other varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, make up the most popular wines on the right bank.
If you are a wine enthusiast and love learning about and tasting wine, Bordeaux is one of the best wine regions to visit in France. Take a day trip with an expert to both the left and right bank to meet local producers and to learn about the different processes first-hand. It’s definitely worth it.
Barossa Valley, South Australia
Explored by Amelia from A Winter Escape
The Barossa Valley is located in South Australia, just under an hour north of the State’s capital, Adelaide and is one of the best wine regions in the world.
The Barossa is particularly famous for Shiraz and features some of the oldest producing vines in the country. The nearby Eden Valley, considered to be in the broader Barossa region, produces particularly lovely Rieslings. However, as the region grows and more family-based and artisanal winemakers make a name for themselves, so too do the Barossa’s wine offerings.
Pairing your wines with incredible food is a top priority in the Barossa. One of the things South Australia does best is fresh produce, and the best restaurants in the Barossa take pride in sourcing local ingredients to pair with the wine. Cuisines are diverse, reflecting the broad range of influences found in South Australia. From modern Australian to Vietnamese, to Argentinian, there are more delicious options than you could hope to get through in one trip.
A trip to the famous Maggie Beer Farm Shop is also a must-do, where you can sample locally-made foods or even flavour your own gin. The Barossa Valley Cheese Company is also a must-stop. They even offer a trial pack – they load you up with cheese and send you on a scavenger hunt to find the right wines to pair.
Aside from wine tasting, the Barossa Valley offers many incredible experiences. My personal favourites are a sunrise hot-air balloon ride or a helicopter ride over the vineyards.
Central Otago, New Zealand
Explored by Laura from Laura the Explorer
Wine tasting in Central Otago, one of the best wine regions in the world, is a must-do activity on a trip to New Zealand.
Central Otago was originally known as a tourist location thanks to bungy jumping and snow sports in the adventure capital of Queenstown, but its world-class vines have now boosted its popularity as a wine tourism destination.
Traditionally home to stone fruit orchards, the area has diversified and blossomed, but with a focus on quality over quantity, it actually produces less than 5% of New Zealand’s wine. As the world’s southernmost wine region, the unique climate of hot dry summers and frosty winters produces outstanding Pinot Noir, the favoured grape varietal, along with some Chardonnay and Aromatics.
So how to get to tasting? From family-run cellar doors to award-winning restaurants, there’s a winery for all tastes in Central Otago. Various wine tours are available, typically focused on one of Central Otago’s sub-regions: Gibbston Valley, Bannockburn, Wanaka, Cromwell, Bendigo and Alexandra. Self-guided bike tours are also popular in Gibbston Valley and Bannockburn.
Whether you’re surrounded by snow-capped mountains in winter, the golden orange leaves of autumn or a summer’s breeze off the region’s brilliant blue lakes, there’s no bad time to visit and enjoy a glass of Central Otago wine.
Napa Valley, California, USA
Explored by Gabriel from Chef Travel Guide
The Napa Valley wine region in Northern California strikes a perfect balance of rustic country charm and unbridled opulence. This once humble and up-and-coming wine country is now heralded as the top Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay producing region in the world. Napa sprang into prominence when wineries like Chateau Montelena won the Judgement of Paris, besting the finest wineries from France.
Napa was instantly on the map of connoisseurs worldwide, and they poured into the Valley to taste these highly touted wines. Now there are over 400 wineries offering everything from casual wine-focused picnics in the vineyards to gondola rides over the valley.
Although many wineries are vying to be a part of the legacy of the Napa Valley, very few are lucky enough to have access to grapes grown on the best plots from select vineyards on the steep hillsides. Allocated cult wine producers like Screaming Eagle and Ghost Horse Vineyards can fetch as much as $5000 per bottle for a good vintage.
Napa Valley is the perfect combination of climate and soil composition, allowing great wines to be produced throughout the valley, making it one of the top wine regions in the world. Although there are some high-end producers, there are countless other accessible options for tastings that offer incredible wines. A trip to Napa Valley will be a memorable experience for anyone that loves incredible wine.
Temecula Valley, California, USA
Explored by Brittany by Travel by Brit
Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley get lots of attention regarding the best wine regions in the United States. However, if you travel down the coast of California, you’ll find another notable wine region that often flies under the radar—Temecula Valley!
Temecula is located just an hour northeast of San Diego, and it’s filled with dozens of incredible wineries. Temecula Valley is well-suited for growing Italian, Spanish, and French grapes, so they tend to specialize in wines like Syrah, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo.
Unlike many of the wine regions in Northern California, Temecula Valley offers a laid-back atmosphere with rolling hills, high mountains, and gorgeous scenery. Many wineries in Temecula, California, are family-friendly and dog-friendly. If you’re looking to plan a fun bachelorette party or birthday party, there are tons of hassle-free wine tours you can book for a fun experience. Plus, due to its location in Southern California, Temecula enjoys beautiful weather all year long!
Some of the best wineries in Temecula include Wilson Creek Winery—a famous local winery known for the sparkling wines—and other local wineries, like Leoness Cellars, Hart Family Winery, and Somerset Vineyard & Winery.
Regardless of which wineries you choose to visit in Temecula, you’re bound to have an incredible time exploring this Southern California’s Wine Country!
South Styria, Austria
Explored by Lori from Travlin Mad
For any wine enthusiast a visit to South Styria, Austria (Sudsteiermark), is a visit to one of the best wine regions in the world. This prolific wine region has been relatively undiscovered by visitors outside of Europe. The hilly green region will remind you of Tuscany with its lush vineyards covering the rolling hillsides, and the terroir of these hills is what gives that crispness to the whites so beloved by Austrians.
There are several varietals in South Styria, but none are more renowned than the crisp white wines that the region specializes in. Dry complex Sauvignon Blanc and Traminer, Morillon (commonly called Chardonnay in the US), and arguably the most prized, Grüner Veltliner.
There’s no better way to enjoy the excellent wines and the beautiful scenery than to take a day, or two, to explore the South Styrian Wine Road. The route is well marked and a leisurely drive, and will direct you to wineries all along the way.
The wine road connects small towns where you can stay at a local buschenschank, think a B&B with a small tavern that makes its own wine. Here you’ll also be served local foods, cheeses and cured or smoked meats, that will pair perfectly with their wines.
Valle De Uco, Mendoza, Argentina
Explored by Josephine from Josephine Remo
Located approximately 140km south of the city of Mendoza, you find Valle De Uco. This valley is home to some of the best, biggest, and most famous wine producers in the area, and offers beautiful scenery along with lovely wines.
Valle de Uco is located in the world-famous wine region Mendoza in Argentina. The entire region is located at the very feet of the eastern Andes Mountain and overlooked by the magnificent Mount Aconcagua. Famously, the vineyards in the area are known to be planted at some of the highest altitudes in the world. Some reach as much as 3600 feet above sea level. Mendoza and the surrounding valley area produce the majority of the wine in Argentina and are considered the heart of the wine-making production.
The Mendoza wine region can be divided into three areas; Maipu, Lujan De Cuyo and Valle De Uco. Out of the three Valle de Uco offers the best wineries in the area and the absolute best views of the magnificent mountain range surrounding the valley.
While the wine region is most famously known for its ruby red Malbecs, the wineries also produce excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnays.
Visit Bodega La Azul if you want one of the best lunch experiences of your life. The small Bodega offers a set menu and serves their different wines unlimited as a tasting menu on the side. For an interesting and complete wine tour, visit Bodega Salentein. As one of the biggest and most popular wineries in Argentina, you will be overwhelmed by the grand design and the scale of the wine production.
Explored by Annelies from Travelers & Dreamers
Georgia, a country at the intersection of Europe and Asia was, as far as research goes, the first wine-producing region in the world. Archeological evidence shows that winemaking in Georgia dates back to 6000 years BC, long before the French even knew what wine was.
One of the most important and best wine regions in Georgia is the Eastern region of Kakheti. Because of its location, which is comprised of two river basins in between the Greater and Lesser Caucasus, it provides the perfect climate for growing grapes. The vineyards are cultivated at an elevation of 300 to 800 meters above sea level.
More than 500 grape varieties are cultivated in the whole country, many of which are to be found in Kakheti. Some of the main grapes grown in Kakheti are Saperavi, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rkatsiteli, and Mtsvani.
Kakheti is mostly known for its traditional way of winemaking in clay pots called a “Qvevri”. After pressing the grapes, the juice and grape skins are poured into the Qvevri, which is afterward buried in the ground to ferment for at least six months. The wine is then sieved and bottled and with the pomace left, they make another traditional Georgian drink called “Chacha”.
The best places to stay in Kakheti to visit these vineyards and wineries are Telavi and Sighnaghi.
Middle Rhine Valley, Germany
Explored by Phil from JOURNICATION
One of the most famous wine regions in Germany is the romantic Middle Rhine Valley. The narrow valley is known for its many castles and palaces. It is the highest density of castles in Europe. Since 2008, the Upper Middle Rhine Valley has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Like the neighbouring wine-growing area on the Moselle, the Middle Rhine Valley is known throughout Germany and also worldwide. In the narrow valley, wine is grown on extremely steep slopes. Harvesting here is largely done by hand. In the past, the grapes were carried up by helpers on their backs, but today they are at least pulled up by sleds.
The Middle Rhine Valley is part of the Rhenish slate mountains. The slate soil heats up very well, especially in southern locations, so that the vines receive constant warmth. Even the Romans used the favourable climate on the Rhine for viticulture.
Mostly Riesling is cultivated in the Middle Rhine. You can taste the liquid Rhine gold in one of the many rustic wine taverns. These can be found especially in the historic old towns, surrounded by old city walls and towers. A day trip to the romantic Middle Rhine Valley is one of the best things to do in Mainz and is highly recommended.
Val d’Orcia, Tuscany, Italy
Explored by Martina from Places of Juma
Val d’Orcia in Italy is a real insider’s tip if you are looking for the best wine regions in the world. This picturesque region is located in the heart of Tuscany, and connoisseurs count the wines of this area as the best in the country. But the landscapes and the medieval towns in Val d’Orcia are also breathtaking, perfect if you are planning an enjoyable vacation with wine, culture and sightseeing.
Especially the temperate climate in Val’Orcia and the hot, dry summer benefits the quality of the wines. This allows the grapes to reach their peak ripeness and yields fuller, richer wines than in other places in Tuscany.
The region is famous for its red wines, and many of the grape varieties have a tradition dating back over 1,000 years.
One of them is the world-famous Vino Nobile, a powerful dry red wine that is only allowed to be grown around the medieval town of Montepulciano in the Val d’Orcia. The Mulinvecchio DOCG 2014 (Vino Nobile) was awarded by Wine Enthusiast as one of the top 100 wines of this year!
Another highlight is the world-famous Brunello di Montalcino, the cult wine from the village of Montalcino in the Val d’Orcia, which was one of the first four wines to receive DOCG status. It may be produced exclusively from the Sangiovese grape, and also the maturation follows strict regulations.
Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
Explored by Shelley from Travel Mexico Solo
Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley) is one of the best places to visit in Mexico and one of the best wine regions in the world. Known as the “Napa Valley of Mexico,” this up-and-coming wine region and foodie haven in Baja California state is fast becoming a must-visit for wine-lovers.
Called simple Valle for short (pronounced vay-yay), it is located just two hours from San Diego, California. Many who visit from the U.S. may prefer driving to Mexico using the Tijuana or Tecate border crossings. You can also fly into Tijuana International Airport, then drive to Valle from there.
Either way, you arrive, the landscape along Mexico’s Route 3 as you drive in is stunning. When you get to Valle, there are more than 75 vineyards on the so-called Valle Wine Trail, as well as plenty of gourmet dining options.
Valle is becoming so popular because it offers a lot of what Napa does, at a fraction of the cost. With an ideal climate, a lot of grapes are grown there, and the region is best known for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel.
For wine novices, start at Santo Tomás to learn the basics of winemaking and enjoy the beautiful vineyard vistas from their tasting room. Those who want a truly unforgettable Valle experience should check out Vinícola Alximia, which has winery-meets-spaceship vibes.
For a romantic sunset dinner, you can’t beat the panoramic views (and the food) at Bar Bura. It is situated high upon a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Bura is located at Cuatro Cuartos, one of the best places to go glamping in all of Mexico, so you can even stay for the night.
The best time to visit Valle de Guadalupe is during the grape harvest season, from about late-August to early October. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see the grapes as they get sorted and processed.
The Troodos Mountains, Cyprus
Explored by Jade from Two Tall Travelers
Cyprus might not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of wine, but it has some fantastic vineyards and the oldest wine in the world! It is one of the most unexpected and lust-worthy wine regions in the world.
It sits perfectly in the Mediterranean enjoying over 300 days of sunshine per year, giving an incredible climate for grape growing and wine production.
The Troodos mountains, located close to Paphos on the west coast, are famous on the island for their production of Commandaria. It’s recognized as the world’s oldest wine still being made today – dating all the way back to the 12th century! Legend has it that King Richard served the sweet dessert wine at his wedding.
Try it fortified or not, and enjoy it as an after-dinner treat. It’s not something you’ll be drinking by the huge glass – take small servings and savour every one while you can.
There are plenty of high-quality wineries making other types of wine dotted around the region, so make sure you take a tour around one of these to get to grips with the process and of course, taste the specialties! Combine a trip to the Troodos Mountains with one to the Blue Lagoon to experience the beauty of land and sea, whilst enjoying the delicious Cypriot wine on offer.
Douro Valley, Portugal
Explored by Mayuri From ToSomePlaceNew
The Douro Valley wine region is located in the northern part of Portugal. The climate in this region is perfect for growing grapes, and the terrain is very hilly, which makes for some beautiful scenery.
The Douro Valley has been producing wine for over 2000 years, and it is one of the most well-known wine regions in the world. The wines produced in this region are some of the finest in the world, and they are highly sought after by collectors and connoisseurs alike.
The Douro Valley is home to many different types of grapes, but the most popular ones are the red wine grapes such as Touriga Nacional and Tinta Roriz. The wines produced in this region are typically very fruity, with high acidity and a lot of tannins. They are often aged in oak barrels for a number of years before being released to the public.
If you are looking for a truly unique wine-tasting experience, then the Douro Valley is definitely the place to go, and highly recommend adding it to your Porto itinerary.
There are a number of different tour operators who offer wine-tasting tours of the region, and you will be able to sample some of the finest wines in the world.
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Your wine adventure awaits! Enjoy these amazing wine regions around the world and fall in love with the wonderful world of wine.
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