As far as vacations go, a wine country getaway can be one of the most unique and enjoyable experiences you can have. Wine has been enjoyed for over 6000 years and is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in the world.
There are hundreds of wine-producing regions in the world. All offer a unique blend of local culture and wine to help visitors get the most out of their experience. Wine varieties vary from region to region as climate, altitude, and soil are all factors in producing high-quality grapes.
We live in a global market, so many of the best wines are available at your local liquor store. However, this is only a small taste of the many, many wines that exist. Our list of 15 best wine country getaways should help you pick the right place for your next vacation
Expect to discover new, excellent wines you may never have had the opportunity to try. There is a good chance your next favorite wine is only a sip away. While you might not need one everywhere you go, it’s always wise to have a good corkscrew handy.
Wine tasting is only a small part of the experience. What makes a wine country getaway so special is the blending of wine-making with local culture. Every winery has its history and many share their culture with guests. Many regions have great spas to help you relax, learn more about planning the perfect weekend spa getaway with your partner.
Wine is always better with some excellent food. Whichever region you find yourself in, expect to have an amazing experience with the local cuisine.
Most wine regions include top-of-the-line accommodations for any type of traveler. You can expect a fancier experience in some regions, as wine getaways are not always the cheapest and attract wealthier tourists. This does not mean it’s reserved for the ultra-rich.
Wine tasting involves consuming alcohol. Avoid drinking and driving at all costs. Most wine regions offer private tours and biking trails that link wineries, buses, or wine trains. If you are going by car, ensure you have a designated driver.
Since wine country requires vast amounts of land to grow the grapes. You can expect to be exposed to the stunning natural beauty of whichever region you end up in. Nothing is more refreshing on a getaway than spending time in nature. Try doing the digital detox challenge while on your next wine country getaway.
In our list of 15 of the best wine country getaways, we focused on highlighting regions around the world. Some countries could crack the top 10 list 5 times so we thought it best to diversify. Ready to jump in? Grab your wine tasting notes and let’s get started!
Napa Valley, in California, kicks off the list with 400+ wineries in the region. The closest major cities are San Francisco (1+ hour drive) & Sacramento (1+ hour drive). Napa Valley is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
Wineries you shouldn’t miss include V. Sattui Winery, Darioush Winery, and Castello di Amorosa. You can get around the region via train, bus, private tours, bike, or car.
Be sure to check out the mud baths and geothermal springs to relax after a long day of wine tasting.
Tuscany, in Central Italy, is a must-see for any wine lover. With 100+ wineries to choose from you can start your vacation in Florence or drive from Rome (3+ hours). Famous wines in Tuscany include Sangiovese, Chianti and Montepulciano.
When visiting Tuscany, popular wineries include Antinori Chiantia Classico, Badia a Coltibuono or Capezzana. You can get around the region by train, car, bus or bike.
If you’re looking for some extra things to do then be sure to spend some time in Florence to learn about the history and see the amazing sites.
Stellenbosch is the top wine-producing region of South Africa with 150+ wineries. Only a 45-minute drive from Cape Town or a 30-minute drive from Paarl you don’t have to travel far. Popular wines made in Stellenbosch include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Bordeaux.
Be sure to include Waterford Estate, Delaire Graff Estate, and Warwick Wine Estates on your itinerary. You can get around mainly by car or private tour.
Stellenbosch University has a neat botanical garden that’s worth a visit if looking for something else to do.
Alsace is a region in France known for great wine with more than 50 wineries. Start your trip off in Strasbourg, the region’s capital and biggest city. Alsace is known for wines including Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris.
You can get around by car, train, or bike, and be sure to visit Domain Weinbach, Domain Zind Humbrecht, and Domain Boehler, all of which have excellent reviews.
Strasbourg is worth spending a day or two exploring as the architecture is remarkable and there are great shops, cafes, and sites to see.
Barossa Valley is a must when planning for the best wine country getaways in Australia with 170+ wineries. An hour’s drive from Adelaide, this region’s most famous for Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling wines.
Visitors can get around by car or private tour. Be sure to include Yalumba, Rockford, and Chateau Tanunda on your tour.
If you are looking for something extra don’t miss the Whispering Wall.
Sicily is a small island in the South of Italy with 450 wineries. Palermo is the major city in the region and a great place to start. The island is known for wines including Nero d’Avola and Grillo.
Some wineries to consider visiting include Planeta, COS, and Barone di Villagrande. You can get around the island by train but exploring wineries is best by car or private tour.
There are tons of historic sites on the island to mix in with your wine vacation.
Marlborough is New Zealand’s most famous wine country with over 150 wineries in the area. While it’s not far from Wellington you will have to take a ferry or plane to get there. Wines popular in the region include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay.
Don’t miss out on Framingham Wines, Giesen Wines, or Brancott Estate when planning a visit. You can get around by ferry, car, bike, bus, or private tour.
The seafood in the area is some of the best you can find, don’t miss it!!
South American wine is growing in popularity and some great wines come out of the Colchagua Valley. With more than 50 wineries in the area, you have some great options. The region is about 2 hours south of Santiago.
There are many great wineries but don’t miss Vina Montes, Vina Santa Cruz, or Lapostolle when visiting. You can get around by car, bus, private tours, or bike.
Be sure to spend some time exploring Santa Cruz when you’re in the area for some local cultural experiences.
Mendoza, in Argentina, is responsible for 70% of the country’s wine production. With more than 1,200 wineries, it’s hard to know where to even start. Start your vacation in the city of Mendoza and work your way from there.
Mendoza is famous for its Malbec however Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay also come from the area. The top wineries are Bodega Tierras Altas, Bodega Roberto Bonfanti and Bodega Ruca Malen. Getting around is easy with options including a train, buses, cars, private tours, or even a biking tour.
If you are looking for another excursion, horseback riding in the Andes is highly recommended.
Walla Walla Valley, in Washington State, is a well-known wine region in the United States with 120 wineries. The region is a 4-hour drive from Seattle or Portland and well worth the trip. Popular wines from the area include Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.
Visit Valdemar Estates, L’Ecole No. 41 and Kontos Cellars as part of your tour. Getting around is easy, use a car, private tour, or a bike tour.
You’re coming here for the wine but check out Fort Walla Walla if you have a few hours to kill.
Mosel is the most prestigious wine region in Germany and runs mostly along the Mosel River. There are hundreds of wineries in the area to visit and the most popular wines are Riesling, Eibling, and Pinot Blanc.
The region is roughly 2 hours from Frankfurt by car and is beautifully scenic. The best wineries include Weingut Willi Schafer, Weingut Schloss Saarstein and Weingut Selbach-Oster. Getting around can be organized by car, private tour, or boat.
Check out the town of Trier for some local culture and great wine selections.
Rioja is one of Spain’s best-known wine regions. It’s about a 3-and-a-half-hour drive north of Madrid in the North. The region is famous for Tempranillo wine, a type of red wine.
There are many great wineries including Muga, Lopez de Heredia, and Roda. You can get around by car or private tour.
Wine is the predominant attraction to the region. Tierra Rapaz is a local nature park with decent reviews but I would probably focus more on the wine.
The Island of Madeira is a semi-autonomous region of Portugal in the Atlantic ocean. This is a dream island destination for wine lovers with many great wineries to visit.
Start your trip in the capital of Funchal. Travelers can get around the island via car, private tour, bus, or taxi. The wines made in Madeira include Malvasia, Boal, Verdelho and Sercial.
Don’t miss a visit to Blandy’s, Barbeito Madeira or Pereira d’Oliveira. If you are looking for a little side trip, many recommend a whale-watching boat tour.
The Struma Valley is underrated when it comes to wine country but there are several great wineries in the area. The struma valley is not far south of the capital city of Sofia.
Popular wines in the region include Melnik, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. These can be tasted at some amazing wineries including Rupel Winery, Orbelia Winery, or Kiossev Family Boutique Winery.
Getting around is easy via car, private tour, or bus. While you are in the Struma Valley be sure to enjoy the stunning nature and local cuisine.
The final region on our list of best wine country getaways is Niagara in Canada. The Niagara region is the top producer of wine in Canada. About an hour and a half drive from Toronto, the region is home to more than 50 wineries.
The most well-known types of wine to come out of Niagara include Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Ice Wine. These can be tasted at wineries including Peller Estates, Wayne Gretzky Estates, or Reif Estates Winery.
Getting around is easy via car, bus, bike, or private tours. If you are there don’t miss a chance to see Niagara Falls.