The word “winery” always brings to mind a tranquil European setting, an air of romance, and a Hollywood – style happily ever after. While the air of romance bit may be true, not all wineries are situated in Europe.
There are some truly fantastic wineries to be found all over the world. But sticking with the stereotype, I’ll start with Europe!
Burgundy is famous for the Côte d’Or vineyards, which extend over a total area of 9,445 hectares. The main variety of grapes grown here are Pinot Noir for red wines, Chardonnay for white wines and Aligoté for white Bourgogne Aligoté.
Napa Valley, USA
Napa Valley in California is one of the most famous wine – producing areas in the USA. The Beaulieu Vineyard is one of the oldest wine producers in the valley. It offers tours of the original winery building, which dates back to 1885, followed by barrel samples of Cabernet and a stop in the new Heritage Room, which chronicles the history of wine in Napa.
Barossa Valley, South Australia
Australia’s most famous wine region, Barossa Valley, is home to the world famous brand Jacob’s Creek. Jacob’s Creek was Barossa Valley’s first commercial vineyard. It was names after the river along which it was originally located. The winery produces Shiraz, Sauvignon, Semillon, Reisling, Cabernet Merlot and Chardonnay varieties.
The Ceretto Aziende Vitivinicole, Alba, Piedmont, is one of the most famous wineries in Italy. The Ceretto family have been making wine for three generations. Their 140-hectare estates (which cover four villages of the Piedmont’s Langhe) produce a variety of wines that would send any wine connoisseur into a tizzy – the young, easy Nebbiolo d’Alba, rich, slightly spicy Barbaresco and deep, earthy, complex Barolo.
The Mediterranean Coast, Spain
Spain is the third largest wine producer in the world and has over a million acres of land dedicated solely to vineyards. The Mediterranean Coast contains the sub – regions of Valencia, Catalonia and Murcia. Catalonia is famous for Cava (Spanish sparkling wine), and an equally famous red wine sub – zone, Priorat. Valencia and Murcia are warmer growing regions that produce value wines like the deep red Monastrell, the aromatic white Malvasia, and the popular Airén.
New Zealand has started giving France tough competition in the area of wine production, with the Kiwi sauvignon blanc gaining rapid popularity. It is famous for its trademark taste with hyperbole – cut grass, nectarine, gooseberry etc. and its fruity freshness, despite the high natural, razor – sharp acidity.
Sopron was probably founded by the Celts. The Romans called it Scarabantia and archaeological evidence proves that Sopron has been a wine – producing region since then. Sopron mainly produces Kékfrankos, a pleasant tart, velvety wine.
Covering 800 hectares, Lavaux is the longest continuous vineyard region in Switzerland and has been granted UNESCO status. The winegrowers’ houses from the 16th – 19th centuries exist even today. One must not miss a glass of Chasselas while there.
Württemburg is Germany’s largest producer of red wine, with 80 per cent of the wine produced there being red. It is one of the few places where lemberger and trollinger are grown, and is also home to new varieties such as dornfelder.
The Duoro, Portugal
The Duoro is referred to as Portugal’s port wine region. It has a 2000-year-old history of wimemaking, and is famous for using indigenous grapes like touriga nacional, a rich, heat – loving fruit used to make world – class red wine.
So there you have it-ten of the world’s most famous wineries that are high on the coolness factor! They make excellent tourist destinations as well, and fulfill the popular adage – good people, good food, good life!