Honeymoons in the Countryside: Visit One of the Top 10 Wine Regions in World
For this month's features on TripAtlas.com, we're bringing you some of the top Honeymoon Destinations in the world. Last week, we brought you to the serene and secluded private island of Tikehau in French Polynesia's Tuamotu Islands.
This week, we're taking you to the romantic and remote countryside and best kept secret for your choice of honeymoon destinations - the many beautiful and lush wine regions all over the world.
Fields of countryside, mountain ranges, quaint and romantic bed and breakfasts, luxurious lodges and resorts, villas or medieval chateaux in the south of France are all yours for the taking. What better way to celebrate and commemorate your wedding and future than a tour through some of these regions, relaxing and living bottle to bottle.
The 10 Top Wine Regions of the World
Whether you're a beginner or expert wine drinker looking for a honeymoon destination or romantic getaway, here's a list of the Top 10 Wine Regions in the world, each of which have knowledgeable wine experts, fine food and inviting accommodations. From the classic Old World wines of European countries to the New World wines throughout the rest of the world, join us on our adventure to discover the best destinations.
The Top 5 Old World Wine Regions
5) Portugal. The main wine regions in Portugal are Minho, Douro and Dao, which are found in northern Portugal and are perfect for wine tours between Spain and Portugal. Portugal is home of the famous Port or Porto (named after Portugal's second largest city) and Madeira wines, both fortified, strong bodied yet sweet and thick wines that are often used as after-dinner wines or "digestifs."
4) Germany. While Germany is known to most for its beer rather than its wine, it shows in that it produces only 20% of what France produces in wine yearly. This region's most famous wines are its sweet white Riesling wines. Refreshing, slightly sweet with a zing characterize these wines and are perfect for warm afternoons enjoying the Germany countryside. The biggest regions are Baden, Mosel, Palatinate (or Pfalz), and Rheinhessen.
3) Spain. The two most popular Spanish wine making regions are La Rioja in Logrono, Navarra to its east in the north, La Mancha in the central-south Spain where you can see the windmills of Don Quixote, and the Penedes region just near Barcelona in north-eastern Spain. The most popular Spanish wines are the bright red Rioja wines, the white sparkling Cava wines, and fortified Sherry wine in Jerez in southern Spain near the coast by Morocco.
2) Italy. As one of the largest producers of wine in the world, Italy's main wine regions are found in northern Italy (Piedmont and Valle D'Aosta in north-west Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto in north-east Italy) with classic Tuscany to the south in central Italy. Many Italian wines are made for drinking with food and so visiting the wine region in Italy is perfect for food lovers and those seeking the perfect plate of pasta, meats and an array of cheeses.
1) France. From Bordeaux to Alsace, Burgundy to Beaujolais, Champagne, Languedoc and Cote de Rhone, France is definitely one of the world's top wine regions. A classic "old world" wine producer, France is also the largest wine producer, with 34% of the exported wine market share in the world in 2006. The best way to explore these regions is to rent a car and drive through the countryside on your own to and from your bed and breakfast or chateaux.
The Top 5 New World Wine Regions
5) USA and Canada East Coast. Nestled in just a small region on the east coast, the wine growing regions in this area are: Ontario, Quebec, and New York. While these are definitive of "new world" wines, production in areas like Niagara and Prince Edward County in Ontario are becoming increasingly larger and recognized on the international stage. Known for its sweet ice wines and ice ciders in Ontario and Quebec, these wine regions are littered with bed and breakfasts, cozy lodges and honeymoon packages for those visiting Niagara Falls and Montreal.
4) South Africa. Although wine has been produced here since the 1600's, it wasn't until recent years that its wines have made it on the international scene. Located nearby just east of Cape Town, wine regions of South Africa include Stellenbosch, Paarl and Worcester and are adorned with stark white villas for accommodations. With similar climates as Argentina, Chile and Australia's wine regions, South Africa is best known for its white Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay wines but are slowly developing its red varietals. For a spicier journey through the wine regions with views of fields for miles and strong African mountains in the background, don't miss out on South Africa.
3) USA and Canada West Coast. The most noted states or provinces in this category include California and Oregon with Washington and British Columbia catching up quickly. The Napa Valley and Sonoma regions in California have been the heart of new world wines for many years, and have picturesque vineyards, mountains and luxurious but quaint accommodations throughout small towns like Yountville. Oregon has also surprised many in the wine world, having made a Pinot Noir that beat out its French counterparts - visit Willamette Valley's many wine spots as well as Rouge or Applegate Valley in Southern Oregon for true countryside hospitality during your honeymoon.
2) Argentina & Chile. The Andes Mountains and surrounding areas have proven themselves as fantastic wine growing regions, offering a variety from Maipo Valley, Valle Central in Chile to Patagonia and Mendoza in Argentina. A visit to Argentina and Chile for a honeymoon is perfect any time of the year - with mild winters and warm summers, spring or fall is the best time to go to watch the colors change and the countryside come to life. Many tours are available into the wine regions from Buenos Aires, Mendoza or Santiago in Chile.
1) Australia & New Zealand. There's more to Australian wine than Yellowtail, thank God. Australia has taken the lead in the new world of wines in its mass production of spicy Shiraz wines and strong Cabernet Sauvignons. Visit Hunter Valley, the largest wine production area in Australia, comparable to Napa Valley in California. For a warm and breathtaking honeymoon, try Austria or New Zealand for your honeymoon with all the hospitality the land down under has to offer.
So Bon Voyage on your honeymoon and remember to drink responsibly!