Europe is home to the oldest and many of the world’s best wine regions, which can be found scattered throughout a number of the continent’s countries. Whether you’re a fan of mild earthy flavours, or prefer the powerful taste of ripe fruit, you can find a fine bottle that will match exactly what you’re looking for. If you enjoy traveling the world and tasting different wines along the way but are yet to make it back to the home of wine in Europe, then here are a few destinations to put on your next itinerary.
Piedmont is a region of northern Italy bordering France and Switzerland, and is home to some of the most stunning countryside to be found in Europe. The rolling hills are replete with vineyards growing grapes for the prestigious Barolo and Barbaresco wines, which can only be produced within specific zones in the region of Piedmont.
Sancerre and the Loire Valley, France
The Loire Valley lies along the River Loire just east of the Atlantic seaboard. White Sancerre wine from this region is one of the original protected French wines.
The town of Sancerre lies on an outcrop of chalk that runs from the White Cliffs of Dover down through France, and holds a number of valleys that cut down through the chalk, each holding its own unique soil and terroir. For lovers of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot noir, the region is a must-visit.
La Rioja, Spain
This picturesque wine region is set in the foothills of the Pyrenees close to the French border, and it is known to have produced vast amount of wines during ancient Roman times. La Rioja is home to a number of fine vineyards, which tend to specialize in Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuela (red), and Viura, Garnacha Blanca, Malvasia, Torrontes, Verdego, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc (white). The region of La Rioja is not only replete with great traditional tasting Spanish wines, but it is also home to a few UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Porto and the Douro Valley, Portugal
If you’re a fan of dessert wines paired with stunning vistas and quaint riverside cities, then a visit to the Douro Valley and the city of Porto is a must. The region is internationally recognized for producing the world’s best fortified wines, from Tawny and Ruby Port, to Late Bottled Vintage and Vintage Port. The Douro Valley is home to a landscape that winds along the Douro River, one of the major rivers of the Iberian Peninsula.
Whether you’re a big wine drinker or simply are looking for a few new places to discover, the sites, sounds and tastes of these regions are hard to match.