Wine is wonderful. Served with a meal at the end of a long day it can mellow the mood, liven up conversation and bring out the taste of the food it's served with. But wine has more to offer; the more attention you pay it, the more of itself it reveals.
The quality of a wine is determined by many factors: the grape, of course, but also the weather, the elevation, the composition of the soil (what wine-enthusiasts refer to as the terroir), the age of the vine and the wine itself, as well as the skill and preferences of the wine maker.
Wine tasting as a vacation focus is a growing segment of the travel industry, in no small part spurred on by the popularity of the 2004 film “Sideways”. Vineyards open up their tasting rooms to the public, who are allowed to sample a handful of wines for free in some smaller wine regions to upwards of $30 per tasting for top producers in Napa Valley. Many also offer special wine-tasting dinners, sometimes held right in the vineyard’s wine cellars.
Traditional hotspots for wine tasting are, of course, Napa and Sonoma counties in California, Bordeaux and Burgundy in France, and Chianti in Italy. However, in the last decade or two, vineyards around the world have begun to produce excellent wine and are now on the wine-tasting vacation circuit: Australia, Argentina, Chile and South Africa.
Gourmet meals and French wines combine with on-shore cultural excursions for an unforgettable river cruise through the French countryside.
Fall in love with the beautiful coastline, attractions and charming small towns in this Bay Area destination that boasts luxury and farm tours, side-by-side.
Avoid the crowds and visit this idyllic Cape Cod island in the fall or winter, instead.
From grand producers to boutique specialists, winery tours in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula regions offer a great day in the country.
Australia’s second-largest city boasts arts festivals, eclectic ethnic cuisine, exotic wildlife and easy, walkable streets to explore it all.
Whales, wine, redwoods, art—all come together blissfully in this picturesque Northern California community.
Laid back and sociable, these trendy bars and restaurants make it easy to find the best wine in Miami and escape from the daily grind.
Sharpen your Cupid’s arrow and take your sweetheart to one of these annual love events held around the world.
Don’t miss these excellent winery tours and non-winery options on your visit to the wine region of the Western Cape, which also is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Learn where to go—and where not to—based on the author’s recent four-day exploration of Mendoza.
Eureka! This historic mining town in California’s Gold Country is becoming known for its riches of the vine.
Don’t miss these recommended venues for tasty treats to accompany your Cape wine tasting, from full-service gourmet meals to best places to grab a bite for the road.
Explore this sleepy region outside New York City where Basha Kill Vineyards is making a name for itself.
This week’s discounts are for Florence and Venice hotels, a last-minute deal in Lake Las Vegas, and family discounts in the Bahamas and Barbados.
Can’t afford your dream trip this year? Try these bargain alternative vacations instead.