ONE of the best ways to learn about a local culture is through its food and drink – and what better way to explore the flavors of the country than literally from the soil up through its vineyards.
Once a niche market in the Old World Wine regions of Europe and an option only for the well-heeled, wine tourism today can be found on nearly every continent and accessible to travelers with a vast range of different budgets.
Agoda shares its list of wine regions every wine lover should visit:
New World Wine regions
Sip on Cabernet Sauvignon in the Californian sunshine, USA
California’s year-round warm weather, long growing seasons and more than 30 different types of soil all contribute to Napa Valley’s reputation as the best producer of Cabernet Sauvignon.
With over 400 wineries to choose from, you’ll be seeing red (from the bottom of your glass) in no time!
Try the whites of ‘Down Under’ around Margaret River, Australia
The Margaret River wine country in Western Australia is home to approximately 215 vineyards and is known for its excellent Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc varieties.
The region’s scenic forests, vineyards, and beaches are the perfect backdrop for vineyard visits.
Immerse yourself in Japan’s wine-making history in Yamanashi, Japan
Although grape cultivation has a long history in Japan, wine production didn’t kick off until the second half of the 19th century.
Château Mercian, in the heart of the Yamanashi wine region, is among the most internationally recognized Japanese wineries and has its own museum, which is free to all visitors.
Emerging wine regions
Check out the new wine players in Ningxia, China
China has been making alcoholic beverages from grapes since the Neolithic Period, but not until the late 1970s did it enter the international wine scene.
Ningxia, one of the newer wine regions in China, already boasts 100 vineyards, many already winning acclaim at international wine exhibitions.
A number of these wineries are open for drop-in tastings and tours.
Drive through the scenic Khao Yai wine region, Thailand
Just a two-hour drive away from Bangkok, Khao Yai enjoys a cooler climate at 350 meters above sea level and diverse soil types that produce a light and fruity Shiraz.
The GranMonte Asoke Valley Winery is one of the go-to wineries in the region for a tour and has received Tourism Authority of Thailand’s award for Agritourism four years in a row.
Taste Bali’s best rosé, Indonesia
Although Indonesia’s wine production industry is limited, vineyards such as Hatten Wines in Bali are thriving.
The Hattan Wines estate is owned by a local Balinese family and is known for its award-winning rosé wines.
Visit the vineyard’s Welcome Center where you can learn about the different stages of vine growth before you begin the tastings.