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Top Ten Wine Destinations: GoNOMAD's Sipping
Picks for the Traveling Connoisseur
1.Reims , France
Crack open a bottle of bubbly in this picturesque region of France.
One’s head seems held a bit higher when visiting Reims. I am not sure if it is because it is where most of France’s kings were crowned or if it is just majestic in its position as home to a lot of the best champagne houses. As often happens in France, treasures are found everywhere even off the beaten path; indeed I hope to share a few. READ MORE
Chilean wine cultivation dates back to the 16th century with vines brought by the Spanish conquistadors. Over time French varieties and methods were introduced and heavily influenced wine production. The country is blessed with perfect conditions for growing grapes. Good soil, warm days and cool nights.
Wine is an opportunity to step into a culture that is civilized, big picture and by nature holistic. To produce great wine is to be aware of ecology, the passage of time, the particulars of the vines and the local environment. READ MORE
3.Aquitane, Bordeaux France
You simply have to love a place where a top local chef advises wine with breakfast. Thierry Marx, a Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef, reported to the Aquitaine tourism magazine that one of his personal favorite restaurants in the region was Lion d’Or, in Arcins, where "the owner knows the estuary well and all the best fishing spots. You can bring your own bottle, and order the hearty breakfast."
The Aquitaine region is ancient, with the first recorded mention of the name in Caesar’s "Commentaries on the Gallic War." It was the Romans, in fact, who introduced the vine to Bordeaux around the first century, beginning more than two thousand years of a love affair with wine, food, and the "bon vivant" lifestyle that still predominates today. READ MORE
California's wine country is famous around the world for its fine wines Napa Valley and Sonoma are household names. For a more personal experience head to Healdsburg to experience a quiter side of the region where Names from your local wine shop jump out at you round every corner - Gallo of Sonoma, Kendall-Jackson, Ledson and Rodney Strong. Every junction has top-heavy signposts with the names of the wineries located in each direction. This isn't how one imagines driving in California. This is polite and considerate countryside driving where the speed limit rarely exceeds 30 miles an hour. READ MORE
A Vine Share row at Chateau Haut Garrigue in Aquitaine, France.
5.Piedmont Region, Italy
Bordering France and Switzerland, the Piedmont region is known for fine wine – Barbaresco, Barolo and Barbera, for example - but until the Olympics this area was not so well-known to tourists, and is still a bit of a mystery. It’s time to change that.
The wine of the Piedmont region is world class – this is where the Nebiolo grape grows, giving the world the excellent Barolo and Barbaresco wines. And the white wines aren’t too shabby either! READ MORE
Vinho Verde is the northwest's regional wine. The literal translation means Green Wine, and its medium alcoholic content and fruity flavor make it the perfect companion for meals enjoyed along this route which runs from the Douro river all the way north to the Spanish border.
Ironically, those heading to Portugal's vacation hot-spot by air are often required to land in the north, to allow a few visitors, with a knowing glint in their eyes, to disembark.
And why the twinkle? Soon those travelers will relish the savory cuisine, fresh air and meandering roads punctuated with chronicles of lore that can only be found in this corner of Portugal.
While Dubrovnik and the Dalmatia Coast are attracting attention worldwide, there is another side of Croatia that shouldn’t be missed. The Northern and Slavonia Regions are filled with castles, character and wine.
There are more than 300 defined wine regions in Croatia, many not reached by US connoisseurs. With a little help from the Croatian Angels it is heavenly! (Croatian Angels is a full service agency dedicated to helping tourists) If in doubt call while on route, they will rescue you! READ MORE
Eger, often described as the bastion of wines, comprises of some five thousand hectares of vineyards, all of which lie on the southern slopes of the Bükk Hills. The Egerians have been carefully tending the vines covering the slopes around the city for near on a thousand years. With renewed interest and new investment Hungarian wines are starting to come back on the scene. READ MORE
Explore, experience and taste wine from all over the world.
Daniella Esturillo of Gillmore Winery and Vineyards
9.Velké Bílovice, Czech Republic
Velké Bílovice, wine capital of the Moravia region and one of the warmest places in Czech Republic, every spring invites oenophiles from all over Europe to explore its fruity treasures during an event called "ze sklepa do sklepa" – from cellar to cellar.
What on Earth do Czech people have to do with wines? Well, as a native of Poland I am always offered vodka during different get-togethers; after moving to Pilsner country I am constantly accused of falling for beer…And, as most stereotypes fail, I have strong distaste for both and was incredibly happy to find out that Moravia is in fact all about cherishing long traditions of winemaking passion. READ MORE
"We invented wine," he said, screwing out the cork and offering plastic cups around, the first directly to me. I’d read that Georgia at least took credit for inventing wine, readily playing the California sophisticate, swirling the wine in a red plastic mug and inhaling the aroma before sipping. Those in the rest of the van simply tossed it down.
"Nice," I said. And it was, robust with a back taste of pure pleasure after the anemic wines on offer in the Stans, which included Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.
I looked reminiscently at the plastic cup as the last dribble rolled down. "Mighty nice," I added as the van driver threw it into gear and swerved into Georgia. READ MORE
Compiled by Kathleen Broadhurst, editorial assistant and wine lover for GoNOMAD.
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