There are numerous wine destinations in Europe, ranging from tiny local vineyards to world famous wineries. Most of them are famous for a reason. They provide delicious and unique wines and often in a setting of stunning naturally beauty encapsulating the best local culture of the country. Want to learn more about European wine but not sure where to start? Read ahead for our wine guide of the continent.
So what are some of the greatest wine destinations in Europe?
It’s best to start with the basics. With the basics, we mean some of the most famous in the world – popular and well-known for a good reason. Even in Europe’s most famous wine regions, there are always many small villages to explore when you want to get off the beaten track. So many of our choices go along with the excellent gastronomy of the country so that you can embrace the whole experience. Step back in time and explore wineries of Europe, from hidden cellars to grand vineyards.
Let’s start with one of the most famous – Champagne in France. It’s where, of course, the famous drink came from, beloved at special occasions and enjoyed worldwide. It’s also a popular area thanks to its proximity to the capital, Paris. Only a short train ride away, you can visit for a wine tasting even if you don’t want to dedicate a whole holiday to the area. Plus, it’s a pretty classy wine tasting experience. And enjoyable for beginners to wine tasting.
It has a regal history, with its typical pink wines once drank by French kings. It’s easy to drink and refreshing. So take a break from the city streets and enjoy the beauty of the local vineyards. Sip wine in the countryside and learn the basics about one of the most famous wines in the world.
Continue the western Europe wine tour along to Portugal where you can discover the city of Porto, its surrounding area, and the Douro Valley. It’s where a particular type of wine comes from, named after its home region – port. Although fortified wines are known as port all over the world, like champagne, only the wine from here is officially the real thing.
The grapes of the area create an iconic sweet red wine. As well as wine tasting, you can enjoy the incredible natural beauty of the area. A scenic train ride travels through the region. You can also combine hiking and wine drinking by taking a tour by foot.
The region is full of history dating back to the Romans, who shared their knowledge of wine with the local farmers. Wondering where to start? Try the Vila Nova de Gaia. Then proceed to follow the Douro River along its banks and stop at numerous refreshing cellars along the way.
Another famous wine destination in Europe, Tuscany is one of the many favorite regions of Italy. It has developed over the years as a place of poetic beauty. Tuscany’s incredible central landscape draws millions of tourists a year. However, it offers much more than its stunning surroundings. Tuscany creates some of the world’s greatest wines.
Unlike other places, there is not a specific wine to taste. Instead, Tuscany offers all types of wine, making it the ideal location for those trying to find out what they like best. You can spend a lot of time here, relaxing in the beautiful climate, surrounded by nature and discovering over 750 wineries scattered throughout the region.
Travel around the major cities of the area, Florence or Siena, to get a general idea of the area. But be sure to visit the small villages in between for the most authentic vineyard experiences. Along with a dinner of classic, delicious Italian cuisine and a locally flavored wine, you will never want to leave.
La Rioja, Spain
The wines of La Rioja have grown beyond their homeland of northern Spain. This region of Spain is precisely known for its full red wines. Even the most basic of wine drinkers have heard of Tempranillo, the favorite grape of the area. One of the best things about Spanish wines is the environment in which you get to enjoy them. Quiet, tranquil villages scatter the iconic landscape, all offering their own wineries. You get to enjoy late cool Spanish nights, with a flow of tapas and some of the greatest wines in Europe.
You might not think of Germany straight away when considering wine destinations in Europe. However, the country offers some of the most sought-after wines in the world. Places like Mosel create an exceptional variety of flavors and is also a region of much history. Like in Porto, the wineries began during the Roman period when local people were starting cultivating the vineyards. The result is a region of spectacular beauty and some of the best wines in Europe.
Mosel is the oldest wine destination in Germany. It also has an excellent system of transport so you can enjoy the wineries as part of a larger trip. Many people take a tour of the area by cycling, although there also fantastic scenic routes by car, train, and even boat. So even if you associate Germany with beer, be sure not to dismiss the greatness of German wine.
Due to its unique volcanic soil, the Greek region of Santorini produces an amazing array of wines. The famous grape is called Assyrtiko, and it creates a particular and individual collection. The collection ranges from fresh whites to heavier reds, allowing you to try a bit of everything.
The town is worth a visit in itself, saturated in natural beauty and culture as unique as its wine. The beautiful wines only add to the rural lifestyle. Along with the clear blue sea, fantastic weather and friendly locals, a glass of crisp and refreshing wine add to the perfect experience of Greece.
Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a complete beginner, all these places offer such a variety of Europe’s best wines that you can’t help but enjoy the tastings. The areas are full of experts offering tours and guides around the wineries. The natural beauty and beautiful culture of these regions enhance the wine tasting experience. So explore some of the best vineyards in the world and enjoy the greatest wine destinations in Europe.