Swirling and sipping wine while looking at vineyards being mulled sounds like the perfect way to start your day. Every wine lover has to try stomping the grapes and breathing the aromatic ambience of wine cellars.
Morning, noon or evening, there is a wine for every time of the day and every occasion. A glass of wine adds colour and vigour to a Sunday brunch with friends or a romantic evening spent with your partner. Wine drinking is no more restricted to restaurants or balconies of your home. Wine connoisseurs have been travelling the world and explaining wine to us, but now wine lovers have taken it upon themselves to visit the chateaus and vineyards to get a closer look at what makes their heads spin.
For thousands of years, wine has adapted to become a part of our diet and culture. The Roman Empire established the wine-producing regions that can still be found while wine-making first started in Europe. From there, it spread throughout the Mediterranean. Wine is produced in 61 nations extending to America, Australia, and other places.
Encounter the art of wine-making
The evolution of wine drinking can be dated back to the days when wine was a staple in every household. The term wine tourism or enotourism revolves around everything you need to know about wine. From lounging in homestays to strolling in the vineyards, everything about wine tourism will entice you and force you to take a trip down some of the most famous wine-centric destinations. At a growth rate of 18.9 per cent between 2023 and 2028, the wine industry is projected to expand from US$ 164.1 million in 2022 to US$ 477.9 million by 2028. Wine Tourism is becoming a significant contributor to the economy both internationally and nationally.
Wine, cheese and chateaus!
The Bordeaux wine region, located in France along the Garonne and Dordogne rivers pans out at an area of more than 120,000 hectares. Red wine makes up more than 85 per cent of the wine made in this region. In addition to the rare, pricey red wine Petrus, the region is also renowned for a white dessert wine called Sauternes. Douro Valley in Portugal which is almost 2000 years old, is home to traditional landowners who make wine. With grapes covering the hillsides along the Douro River, this long history of viticulture has also produced an incredible cultural environment. The valley is famous for its port wine, which has been a must-try for tourists.
Another region that offers travellers much more than just picturesque views and scrumptious delicacies in Tuscany, Italy. No vacation to Tuscany would be complete without trying one of the world-famous native wines, whether you consider yourself a connoisseur or not. Undoubtedly, Chianti is the most loved wine, and the Chianti region is among Tuscany’s most picturesque vacation spots. The sceneries look like they came straight out of an Italian postcard with its rolling hills and never-ending vineyards.
In the lap of vineyards
How can we forget Santorini, which is among one of the most beautiful Greek islands and is distinguished by its whitewashed homes and dazzling blue waters. But, few are aware of the island’s unexpectedly lengthy wine-making heritage. The wines from Santorini have a distinct flavour because of the volcanic soil and microclimate of the island. You can find some of Santorini’s regional wines in the restaurants, including Nychteri, Vinsanto, and Mezzo.
The Yarra Valley is a popular weekend destination for Melbourne and is less than an hour’s drive to the northeast of the city. It’s simple to see why, given the region’s more than 80 wineries, first-rate lodging choices, and top-notch dining establishments serving locally sourced cuisine. In addition, the valley is home to some of Australia’s most famous species and magnificent scenery. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from this wine region are enjoyed across the world. Tourists travel to indulge in some catching up on the wine tastings along with a trip to vineyards to experience the native winemaking.
The Napa Valley of India!
The wine industry in India has been growing with leaps and bounds, not only in terms of people preferring wine over other beverages but in terms of people opting for wine tours for their vacays. Sula, founded in 1997 has grown to become a renowned brand. Every year in February, Sula Vineyards hosts the ‘Sulafest,’ which is referred to as ‘the Mecca of Wines’ and one of the top wine tours in India. Apart from the fabulous tasting, the region sports some of the most amazing culinary skills, which makes your vacation all the more interesting. The three-bedroom cottage that is provided to visitors together with ‘Beyond,’ the on-site Italian restaurant, ups the ante in terms of luxury. Wine tours are offered all year round in addition to Sulafest. Nashik is now the ‘Napa Valley’ of India and in the past decade, Sula has become the highest producer of wine in India.
There is one more wine producer in the Nashik region that allow hands-on experience of winemaking along with cottages surrounded by vineyards. The Vallee de Vin vineyards, which are fairly new, are located on the Mumbai-Nashik route between Igatpuri and Nashik. The Zampa wine, which is made by this winery, is its most popular product. Chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, sparkling rose, and Brut are all produced here. These vineyards are even more distinctive because of the nice climate and the abundant vegetation of grape plantings.
The 200-acre Château d’Ori is 22 kilometres from Nashik and is known for being linked with luxury. The area features luxurious farmhouses with Jacuzzis, swimming pools, and wine-tasting rooms, as well as three artificial lakes for participating in water sports. Together with other varieties like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Chenin, the Chateau d’Ori is home to the largest Merlot plantation in India. The best feature of these vineyards is that they are fully environmentally friendly since they don’t use pesticides or fertilisers and instead generate their energy using windmills, among other things.
Swirl it on the hills
Another region that is experiencing a rise in the number of tourists who want to adorn the journey of wine tasting is Akluj in Maharashtra where you will find Fratelli Wines. The lovely weather and peaceful surroundings make this a great place to go wine tasting and sit back and relax while appreciating the vineyards. The fact that the vines here are frequently compared to European vineyards speaks for itself. The most recognised of all the wines produced by Fratelli Wines is “Sette,” a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. Additional varieties include Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, etc. Grover Vineyards, situated at the base of the Nandi Hills, 40 kilometres from Bangalore is gradually finding its way up the ladder. The Nandi Hills in Karnataka are a popular tourist attraction, and the region’s climate is ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Viognier, and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The unspoiled natural beauty of the vineyards makes for an ideal destination to indulge your taste buds and hop on custom wine trips that can be planned around this region.
So, next time if you want to plan a vacation and wine is your first love then hop on one of these beautiful wine tours and enjoy with a breeze.