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These Are the Top Travel Destinations for Wine Lovers

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(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

 

If you’re a wine fanatic, you may want to plan your next vacation around this story.

Each year, Wine Enthusiast magazine releases its list of the top wine travel destinations in the world, put together meticulously by its staff of editors. This year’s list includes a variety of locales, including the usual suspects like France and Spain, as well as a few left-fielders, such as Bulgaria and New Zealand.

RealClearLife has picked our five favorites from the list, and included some of our own additional comments and notes.

 

Cafayate, Argentina

If you’re a fan of grilled meats and Malbecs, this should be your next target on the map. The town and its surroundings, located in northwestern Argentina, are perfect for wine lovers looking to soak up the regional reds, as well as take in some of the local Andean culture. How do we know this? Well, of course, we read Wine Enthusiast‘s feature, but we also happened to spend our honeymoon there. (If you’re wondering, while we were there, we basically had steak and Malbec for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.) Read more about it here.

Best Wine Travel Destinations in the World
(Courtesy of Wine Enthusiast)

 

Thracian Lowlands, Bulgaria

The area sort of sounds like it’s stripped from the Game of Thrones map, doesn’t it? It’s actually just south of Greece and east of the Black Sea, and renowned as one of the oldest wine regions in the world. Wine Enthusiast suggest you use the city of Plovdiv as your home base and fan out from there to wineries such as Dragomir Winery Estate, Minkov Brothers Wine Cellar, and Edoardo Miroglio Winery. Read more about the region here.

The Best Wine Travel Destinations in the World
(Hotel Plovdiv/Peter Sherev)

 

Marlborough, New Zealand

You might remember NZ buff James Cameron—yeah, the guy who directed The Terminator—telling you to check out Marlborough in a story we published last August. Clearly, he was onto something. Aside from hitting up the Omaka Aviation Heritage Center, which features fellow film director Peter Jackson’s collection of World War I aircraft, there are tons of great wineries to choose from. Wine Enthusiast offers up the aptly titled No. 1 Family Estate; Te Whare Ra, known for its Syrahs; and Peter Yealands, which has its own wine tour app. Read more about it here.

The Best Wine Travel Destinations in the World
(Courtesy of Hans Herzog Winery)

 

Rheingau, Germany

Achtung, baby! You probably assumed (like we did) that Germany was all beer and brats. Apparently not. A cluster of villages less than 30 minutes from Frankfurt, the Rheingau wine region is home to thermal springs, castles, monasteries, and vineyards; and offers up a number of quality restaurant, luxe hotel, and wine-tasting options. Check out J.B. Becker’s weingarten. Read more about the region here.

The Best Wine Travel Destinations in the World
(Courtesy of Schloss-Schlonbron)

Hood River, USA

For the purposes of its list, Wine Enthusiast is lumping both Oregon and Washington under the “Hood River” region moniker (although there is a Hood River, Oregon). And well, they had us at this lovely sentence: “Along a 40-mile stretch of the river are 83 vineyards and 36 wineries, along with 11 brewpubs, close to a dozen cider houses and even a distillery or two.” Some of the 80-plus wineries the magazine name drops include Marchesi Vineyards, The Pines 1852, and Wy’East Vineyards. Read more about them all here.

Best Wine Travel Destinations in the World
(Courtesy of Solstice)

 

For Wine Enthusiast‘s full list, click here.

—Will Levith for RealClearLife