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Friday, June 24, 2016

Bucket List Wine Destinations

There are hundreds of wine producing regions in the world, but some are far more compelling than others to visit.   Here are my “Top 10” (listed in alphabetical order by country) which I have based on the following two criteria:  quality of wines and natural beauty.   If you've not been, they are serious contenders for any wine lover's bucket list.

Mendoza, Argentina

                Wines from this area have the highest levels of antioxidants of any wine.

Located at the base of the breathtaking Andes, Mendoza is home to the world’s highest vineyards....and some killer value Malbecs and Torrontes.  

Yarra Valley, Australia    
                                   The Yarra is reminiscent of Napa in the early 1970's

What's not to love about a stunning, bucolic valley of boutique family wineries?  Located a few hours drive from Adelaide, the Yarra should definitely pull at the strings of your heart for a grape escape.

 Wachau Valley, Austria
                                 Storybook villages & Gruner Veltliner await you in the Wachau

The Wachau Valley is a UNESCO world heritage wine region along the banks of the stunning Danube River. 

Burgundy, France   
            The Cote d'Or ("golden hills") produce some of the world's priciest Pinot & Chars

Burgundy is mecca for oenophiles.   It's also home to the world's most famous annual wine auction (the Hospice de Beaune), and one of the world's most famous wine societies (Tastevin du Chevaliers).

Champagne, France  
                There are hundreds of miles of limestone cellars---this one is at Veuve Clicquot's

Much of Champagne was a quarry for Paris' magnificent buildings, resulting in a plethora of underground caves...perfect for storing and aging the region's famous bubbly.

The Rhone Valley, France   
                This Hermitage is ground zero for some of the Rhone's most famous wines

The Rhone Valley is composed of some serious wine real-estate:  L'Hermitage, Chateauneuf du Pape and Cote Rotie.  Provence, also part of the Rhone, is another reason to pack you bag!

Queenstown (Otago), New Zealand   
                                  One of the many out-of-this world vistas in the region

They say that the Otago wine district has some of the world's most beautiful landscapes and I agree.  Think majestic alpine lakes, drop-dead gorgeous vistas and some beautifully crafted whites and reds.

Douro Valley, Portugal  
                              The entire Douro wine region is protected by UNESCO

The Douro Valley is a jaw-dropping area of vertical slopes that were terraced by back-breaking work hundreds of years ago.  Formerly known for Port, the Douro is now producing some world-class table wines at a terrific quality price ratio.

Piedmont, Italy
                  Every hilltop in Piedmont boasts a castle & village for as far as the eye can see

It's hard to believe that the home of Barolo and Barbaresco is also the home of such magnificent scenery.  Piedmont has it all, including one of the world's most famous culinary items, the white truffle.

Tuscany, Italy  
                  Tuscany's scenery has been captivating the hearts of wine lovers for centuries

It's hard for the countryside to compete with such formidable tourist sights as the cities of Florence or Pisa; however, Tuscany steps right up to the plate serving up mesmerizing delights for the eyes and soul.

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