Everybody knows about the major wine hotspots around the world: Napa Valley, Bordeaux, Tuscany. And people aren't exactly surprised to hear that New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa have well-developed wine industries. Of course all of these destinations are perfect for wine lovers, but how about something a little different or even a little surprising? Here are a few wine destinations that maybe you've never considered!
Did you know that winemaking in Croatia goes back more than 2,500 years? Did you know that Croatia boasts more than 130 indigenous grape varieties? Did you know that Croatia's vineyards are planted in some of the most stunning regions of the country? With each passing year, Croatian wines garner more accolades and awards, yet they remain relatively undiscovered globally. We can't think of a better way to experience Croatia's wine country than on a sailboat or catamaran, which is why we're so excited about our relationship with Wind and Wine Croatia, a tour operator that specializes in wine and sailing itineraries along the Dalmatian coast.
Hudson Valley, New York
Large investments in the wineries of the Hudson River Valley have helped foster incredible growth in the region's wine industry, and now there are more than 20 wineries to visit. Millbrook Winery, which has been voted best winery in the Hudson Valley for the last 20 years boasts award-winning Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Tocai Friulano and Riesling. And, since it's just a short drive upstate from New York City, you might be able to stop off and tour the Big Apple on your way there. The Hudson Valley isn’t necessarily the first U.S. destination that comes to mind when you think of wine, but now that you know a little more about it, maybe it will be!
The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands, have a rugged terriain and are located just off the coast of the northwest coast of Africa. These old volcanic islands, might not be exactly what you’d think as lush terrain for growing grapes. And yet, with uncommon varietals like Listan Negro, the reds are crisp and acidic, mimicking Gamay. The rosés tend to be paler, but all of them are lovely. And what an exciting destination to visit! Gorgeous beaches for sun, surf and sand, incredible hiking opportunities and lots of gorgeous scenery.
Grand Junction, Colorado
Another domestic wine hotspot is Grand Junction, about 250 miles west of Denver. The region boasts more than 20 wineries and vineyards and countless beautiful vistas. For an active wine-themed vacation, why not consider exploring the area on a bicycle! Some of the local bike shops even offer guided tours so travelers don’t even have to navigate their way from winery to winery! Just make sure that you're a responsible wine-taster. You'll be getting on a bike, afterward!
Vancouver, British Columbia
You might not hear a lot about them, but our friendly neighbors to the north offer some excellent wine experiences. They're probably not on your radar because of Canada’s shipping laws regarding wine, which operate to limit imports into the US. However, if you're headed north to Vancouver, they have some great options. British Columbia is best known for its ice wine, a dessert-style wine, but many other types of wine are made there. Vancouver Urban Winery makes their wines with only grapes grown in British Columbia. City Side Winery, also in Vancouver, offers a wine-inspired dining experience. About five hours east of Vancouver by car is the Okanagan Valley, home to over half of the province’s wineries.