Surely nothing sounds better right now than travelling through Europe and tasting the best wines on offer. Wine is, after all, an endlessly complex and fascinating drink that can transport us to another plane with its smells, textures and flavours. Wine tourism is also big business, particularly in Europe. But for wine connoisseurs, there is often a healthy debate over which region is the best in Europe. Here, we’ll be taking you through some of the best wine holidays in Europe.
The place so nice they literally named the fizzy wine after it, the Champagne region might be a little “touristy” at this point but that doesn’t dull its brilliance. If you are even a fairweather fan of wine then you owe it to yourself to visit the Champagne region at least once in your life.
Everyone talks about Italy and France when it comes to wine, but few speak of Portugal. However, the Portuguese Douro Valley boasts some of the most respected claret wines in the world. Best of all, you can tour the Douro via a river cruise and experience it at an altogether more relaxed pace.
The Tuscan countryside is reason alone to visit but it’s also a region filled with delicious wine. The famous sunshine and rolling hills result in some of the most fertile soil in Europe and that obviously leads to some pretty exceptional grapes. Treat yourself to a tour around the region’s sun-dappled vineyards and you’ll probably never want to leave.
The Balaton Region
Like Portugal, Hungary is rarely seen as a peak tourist destination for wine lovers, but the Balaton Region based around lake Balaton itself is a rare exception. The views are stunning, the wine is crisp and refreshing and you won’t find a better boozy experience in eastern Europe.
Greece is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations thanks to its wealth of unique islands and Santorini is comfortably one of the most popular. As well as being a perfect spot for a family holiday it’s also littered with vineyards that create wines which perfectly matches the gorgeous Greek food.
While the Czech Republic is better known for beer, consider the region of Moravia for some truly hearty red wines that go incredibly well with the stodgy and flavourful local cuisines.
The Loire Valley
Finishing our list where we began, in France, the Loire Valley is arguably the most beloved of all French winemaking regions. What sets it apart is that most wines are grown in the shadows of some truly stunning chateaus that populate the landscape with delightful decadence. If you only choose one location on this trip, you could do a lot worse.