Fall is the time for harvests, including grapes that go into making some of the world’s finest wines. These trip will allow you to do that and then some!
Tuscany (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Tuscany is one of the most popular wine destinations on the planet, with millions of visitors from across the globe visiting every year. The internationally renowned Chianti Classico is what draws many grape-seekers, along with its rich history and spectacular landscape filled with rolling hills and picturesque vineyards. Wine tours are readily available, so there’s little to no planning needed. You’ll also find food-centric tours such as cheese and olive tastings. For a totally wine-focused trip you may want to stay at Castello di Casole which sits across 4,200 acres and offers the chance to explore some 100 organic vineyards.
Finger Lakes, New York (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Finger Lakes, New York is one of the most popular wine destinations in the country, and its filled with an abundance of natural beauty, including the over ten lakes the make up the “fingers,” magnificent waterfalls, charming villages and a wealth of vineyards. You’ll find more than 100 wineries, with nearly every variety available in addition to four wine trails offering an easy way to navigate the route to your new favorite. Harvest time here begins with the first crushing of the grapes usually in mid-August, but depending on the weather and fruit quality, it can continue into November and even December and January because of the area’s prized iced wines. October also means you’ll see an explosion of color along the forested shores of the lakes and scenic country roads.
Porto, Portugal (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Portugal has become increasingly popular as a great destination for all types of travelers, but for wine enthusiasts, it’s especially remarkable as vineyards haven’t changed over the last 2,000 years. Visit Porto, the country’s second largest city, and travel up the same river that’s been shipping Port wines for roughly four centuries. Wines of Portugal’s tasting room in the Ribiera District offers the chance to sample a wide range of selections from many different Portuguese wineries,. For a unique experience, plan to visit in September to be a part of the grape harvest, with multiple spots offering the chance to take part in this time-honored tradition.
Medoc, France (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The winegrowing boroughs in the north-western part of Bordeaux are renowned for producing some of the most acclaimed wines on Earth, Medoc wine. The western region is especially sun soaked, while its Atlantic region offers glorious beaches bordered by dense forest. In the eastern region, which sits alongside the Gironde Estuary, you’ll enjoy pictures vistas of the wine-growing region where Medoc wines are birthed. Traveling the “wine road,” you’ll see gorgeous chateaus and vineyards, and enjoy the chance to enjoy part of the grape harvest toward the end of the season.
Rioja, Spain (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Rioja is made from grapes grown in three regions in northern Spain: the Autonomous Community of La Rioja, in parts of Navarre, and the Basque province of Alava. This area, bordered to the north and south by mountains, is renowned for some of the world’s top reds. Wine Enthusiast has called it the “granddaddy of them all” among Spanish wine regions, with centuries of winemaking history. The weather is defined by the push-pull of cool Atlantic and warm Mediterranean influences which give the region’s reds their grace and power. Visitors will discover an unforgettable combination of jaw-dropping scenery, rich history, outstanding cuisine and fine wines.
Veneto, Italy (Hotel Prices & Photos)
A visit to the heart of the romantic Veneto region brings lots of opportunities to sip world-famous Prosecco sparkling wine from local vineyards. The hills of this wine region are blanketed with vineyards, and in September and October, you’ll also get to view those brilliant fall colors along with locals taking part in the grape harvest. Base your stay at one of the grand historic hotels just outside the provincial capital of Treviso, and you’ll enjoy magnificent scenery as well as the chance to ride one of many biking routes that follow rail trails, or the Piave River Wine Route.
Peloponnese, Greece (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Less than an hour from Athens in the southernmost region of Greece, Peloponnese is a wide peninsula connected to the mainland by bridge. It offers unique natural diversity combined with unspoiled landscapes including extraordinary beaches with crystal clear water, mountainous villages, lakes and valleys. It’s also home to remote vineyards and ancient monuments that make it an ideal spot for wine enthusiasts. Drive towards Nafplio, and discover Nemea, home to the red grape variety St George, the country’s most widely planted red. Nemea boasts more than 3000 years of wine making tradition, making it the oldest continuous wine making region in the world. The wine harvest here has been a time of celebration since ancient times, and offers a number of festivals organised that honor Dionysos, the god of wine.
Willamette Valley (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Sprinkled with charming small towns, rich farmland, golden forests and scarlet huckleberry shrubs, the Willamettte Valley provides an especially scenic escape for outdoor adventures as well as foodies and wine enthusiasts. The largest AVA in Oregon, with over 200 wineries producing several varietals, most notably, the internationally acclaimed Pinot Noir, this region, stretching from the Columbia River near Portland in the north, through Salem and to the Calapooya Mountains, just outside Eugene in the south, produces two-thirds of the state’s wine and has become one of the nation’s leading producers. It’s particularly known for its many sustainable, biodynamic labels. Wander the main wine trails, and enjoy a wide variety of hikes along with multiple picturesque picnic spots.
Croatia (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The Croatian landscape is not only incredibly scenic, it’s dotted with vineyards that are famous for producing top quality whites. Despite lacking a developed export market, it’s a significant wine-producing nation that’s understated and underrated. The southernmost wine region in Croatia, Damatia, is bordered to the west by the Adriatic Sea, to the east by Bosnia and Herzegovina and the south by Montenegro, encompassing the towns of Split, Zadar, Dubrovnik and Sibenick. Wine experts recommend sailing along its coast, starting in Split and heading north to sample the Croatian wine and enjoy some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet.