Wine Tasting Vacation Destinations

Ideas and suggestions for great wine tasting and touring vacation destinations.

The two best things in life are vacations and wine; at least they are in the top five anyway. So what better idea than to combine the two into a fabulous wine tour? By taking a trip to an area that offers a number of different wineries, you can sip your way through some truly delicious flavors, sample a variety of fine vintages and not have to worry about getting up in the morning! The only thing to consider is whether you want to travel to traditional favorites, or take a journey off the beaten path.

If you are a traditionalist, then California's Napa and Sonoma Valleys will appeal to you. Although wine is produced in a number of regions, these two are by far the most popular. You can take a rafting wine tour, a catamaran wine cruise, or the ultimate indulgence, visit a wine spa! Located between San Francisco and Sacramento, this area is host to a number of internationally renowned wineries such as Sterling, Niebaum-Coppola, and Robert Mondavi. Explore champagne cellars or take your breath away at the Hans Fehden Vineyards as you enter a volcanic cave with gothic ceilings. You will feel as if you have been transported to another place and time, a world away. In addition these two valleys offer a wide variety of accommodations from bed and breakfasts to world-class resorts.

As long as you are here on the coast, why not take the scenic route and venture up to the wonderful wineries of Oregon and Washington State. The Pinot Noirs and the Merlots in this region are delicious! The Paschal Winery is located in aptly named Talent, Oregon and offers a number of entertainment opportunities to couple with your wine tasting. Jazz, classical guitar, and local's night with appetizers and wine specials make this a fun-filled stop. And if you try to plan your trip for spring, you can stop by the nation's largest springtime alcoholic event - Portland's Spring Brew and Wine Fest! As you venture further north into Washington, the Yakima and the Walla Walla Valleys provide an abundance of wineries and wine tours, with intimate bed and breakfast lodgings that will make you feel right at home! Another music and wine opportunity if you happen to be traveling in the summertime is the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery. It offers one of the most popular concert venues in the Pacific Northwest!

The next wine vacation destination we venture to will probably raise some eyebrows, but I can say first hand the New York's Hudson Valley and Ontario's Niagara Peninsula produce some nice wines. In fact the best wine I have ever tasted was one I got at the Inniskillin Winery on the Niagara Peninsula, which was recently named Winery of the Year! It was a ten-year-old Petite Syrah that they had recently released and were pricing it to ensure its sale before it turned. It was luscious, it was velvety smooth, it was divine - and it was only available at the winery. As you travel out of Niagara Falls, Ontario has done a tremendous job of marking all of the wineries for the travelers benefit and the Ice Wine in the region is their specialty. Back in the states, the Cayuga Wine Trail in New York is lined with numerous award-winning wineries surrounded by spectacular scenery. It also offers a beverage stop for those traveling companions who don't appreciate the nuances of wine, like my husband who shudders at the mere thought of wine. The Ithaca Beer Company provides tours and tastings at its brewery along the route.

International travel provides some fabulous wine tasting opportunities, where you can sample creations borne of ancient vines; some made by families who have created wines for hundreds of years. Of course France is famous for its numerous wine regions: Burgundy, Champagne, and Bordeaux all are synonymous with wine. But what about traveling through Italy's Tuscany or Spain's Rioja for a delicious cooking and wine trip? Or trek to Germany's Mosel River and see the beautiful scenery that inspired the gorgeous wine watercolors of Heinz Ames, who paints his pictures with Reisling instead of water. And the best part of a European wine tour is the accommodations! Not only are there beautiful inns, villas, and hotels, but many areas of Europe also offer you the chance to stay in 17th Century palaces! It gives new meaning to "King" or "Queen for a Day!"

There are many delicious and delightful opportunities for wine tasting travel, and the list of options continues to grow. You can sample many different types of wines, without the burden of having to buy a whole bottle. If you do find one, or several, that you like, they are available and often at terrific savings. You can sample, you can savor, and best of all, you can relax! You're on vacation!

© High Speed Ventures 2011