Read on for five world-class wine regions you won't want to miss. Some are timeless classics, but some might just surprise you!
1. Chianti, Tuscany
Journey through the beautiful Tuscan countryside and peer into the thousands of olive groves and vineyards that line the rippling hills. It is here that many of the world's finest wines are barrelled, fermented, and bottled.
In Chianti Fiorentino, choose from a litter of distinguished wine estates, and absorb the rich history of the beverage that put this region on the map. Educate yourself on the process of grape stomping and wine maturation before moving on to the most important part: the tasting!
If there's one thing the Chianti doesn't lack, it's variety. There's Classico, Reserve, and a handful of popular dessert wine, so don't hesitate to stop in at multiple wineries. Take a tour of the ancient cellars in the medieval area of Greve, where Chianti's most important wine fair is held each year.
And of course, a visit to Tuscany wouldn't be complete without a picture of Castellina, a hilltop village peppered with Etruscan houses and a stately fortress.
2. Jarvis Caves, Napa
No list of wine tours would be complete without Napa, and more specifically, a visit to Jarvis Estate. It is here, in this 45,000 square foot cave, that they produce and store their grown-up grape juice.
Built entirely underground, this winery is dedicated to producing the region's finest vintages, ranging from lush Chardonnays to velvety Merlots. Their painstaking attention to detail in every step of the winemaking process will leave you in awe, and totally appreciative of the world-class vino they have been crafting for over a century. Trek down to the Cuve Gallery for a look at the dozen or so massive oak vessels assembled in the cave by French coopers. Toward the end of your tour, be sure to soak in (but not literally) the underground waterfall too.
From there, it's on to the cozy Tasting Chamber to wet your whistle. Sample an array of six Jarvis Estate and Reserve Collection wines and admire the unwavering attention to detail that has made Jarvis Caves the toast of Napa.
3. Sula Vineyards, Nashik
A lesser-known winemaking region, Nashik in India is a prime spot for travelers who prefer to go at their own pace. Located just hours outside of Mumbai, the 3,000-acre estate known as Sula Vineyards is considered India's premier winery. Be sure to go between December and February to experience a temperate climate; the gentle, picturesque hills of red laterite and basalt rock are a mainstay year-round.
Sign up in advance for an all-access tour, which includes a knowledgeable guide educated in Sula's rich history and the making of their fine wines. Enjoy a personalized tasting at The Tasting Cellar. With a range of choices, from red to white to sparkling, you're sure to be delighted!
4. Barossa Valley, Adelaide
This small, group-based wine tour ranked as the number one wine tour in Adelaide for seven years running.
On the cusp of the North Para River lies Chateau Yaldara, a sparkling brick estate surrounded by rolling green plains and fields upon fields of grapes. Explore the famous region where Jacobs Creek got its name or wander into the boutiques of Tanunda, the cosmopolitan heart of Barossa. Afterward, satisfy your taste buds at Peter Lehmann winery during your private tasting in the Four Songs room. Sample iconic vintages and fill your belly with fresh meats, cheeses, and assorted vegetables.
But the fun doesn't stop here: next, it's on to Langmeill to sample the oldest known Shiraz in the world. If you've still got the energy, slap on your dancing shoes and boogie the night away at Lindsay Wine Estate, where the staff's collection of classic vinyls mingle with an even more impressive selection of wines.
5. Snoqualmie Falls, Seattle
This six-hour tour through the troves and valleys around Seattle is a luxurious retreat into the foothills of Washington state's dense greenery. As you weave your way through the misty valleys, from Seattle's famous Evergreen Point Bridge to Woodinville, you'll unearth the region that is home to dozens of generations-old wineries.
Enjoy a picnic lunch as you sip a crisp Chardonnay, breathing in the sweet mountain air of the Cascades. The natural beauty of wine is preserved in the Syrahs, Cabernets, and eco-friendly Rieslings of Washington's wine country. Be sure to save room for dessert, as you won't want to miss the luxuriously hand-dipped chocolate and candy treats from Boehm's Swiss Chocolate Factory in Issaquah.
If you're a wine lover, there are countless opportunities for adventure near or far. Bottoms up!