A lot of wine enthusiasts dream of having a tour in famous wine destinations such as Tuscany, Bordeaux, and Napa. These are big places where you can enjoy different kinds of champagne and other world class wines. But there are also some who’ve already experienced those large and well-known wine regions and are instead looking to discover new wines in unexpected places.
Did you know that there are a lot of locales that you may not expect to find an active wine industry? If you’re one of those oenophiles or wine connoisseurs who want to find new places to go wine tasting, here are some of the unexpected wine destinations that you might want to visit soon.
1. Malibu, California
Napa and Sonoma are the two well-known wine regions in California, however, you no longer have to go to those places to experience the taste of California wine country. A lot of wineries can be found near the Malibu surf off the Pacific Coast Highway. They offer a lot of wines to taste from chenin blanc to bold sangioveses.
The most prominent among the wineries here is Rosenthal. It is the very first winery in Malibu which is located in the scenic Malibu Hills. When you visit this winery, you will be able to try some tropical-tasting chardonnays and big, full-bodied blends that can rival any Northern California red wine.
2. Lanzarote, Spain
You wouldn’t think that the island of Lanzarote in Spain can grow grapes or anything because of its dry, lava-covered volcanic landscape. But you have to believe because the striking and unusual craters in the place are vineyards which protects the grapes from the hot and humid winds of the Atlantic.
The very first winery in this island is Bodegas El Grifo, and it has been making wine since 1775. It has a wine collection called Malvasia dry collection. They made it exclusively from the indigenous Malvasia Volcanica grape and it has been receiving international awards. You can taste here the El Grifo’s crisp, minty vijariego wine. It is created using a Spanish grape that is rare and near-extinct.
3. Telemark, Norway
Norway had a cold climate before which was inhospitable to growing grapes. But since there has been climate change, winemaking also became famous here as well as in its neighboring countries like Sweden and Denmark.
One of the world’s northernmost commercial vineyard here is the Lerkekasa Vineyards. It is a place where you can enjoy bright, floral wines that are made from Solaris grape. They can also offer you an overnight stay here in a charming log cabin that is overlooking the vineyard.
4. Western Colorado
Western Colorado contains about 18 wineries and some of the highest vineyards in the world. Since the place has hot days and cool nights, this encourages the grapes to retain their acids and build natural sugars. The wineries in Colorado are located in the Grand Valley along the Colorado River.
One of the state’s most award winning winery is the Plum Creek Cellars. It is located in the small farming town of Palisade on Colorado’s Western Slope. When you visit this winery, be sure to taste their stellar 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon.
5. New Mexico
New Mexico is the first commercial wine-growing region in the United States. They started producing New York wineries in 1880, however, drought and prohibition made it go dry. But in the1970’s. winemaking came back and today, there are now 30 wineries throughout the state.
One of the award-winning wineries and the oldest in New Mexico is the Casa Rondena. Here, you can taste the Meritage Red, which is a fruity blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. It was named one of the 10 best reds in the US by a national food magazine.
6. North Central Texas
There is a trail of boutique wineries in the heart of Texas, North of the Hill Country outside of Austin and just south of Dallas-Fort Worth. There are two most acclaimed wine making regions here which are the Texas Hill Country and the Texas High Plains, where the vineyards grow.
One of the oldest winery and remaining homesteads here is Brennan’s McCrary House Tasting Room that was built in 1879. You can try here their peach and honey-scented Viognier which was recently voted as the best white wine in Texas.
7. Galilee and Golan Mountains, Israel
Israel is known for its astonishing ancient ruins as well as the wealth of religious sites. But did you know that it is also a wine destination? Most developments of the wineries have evolved over the last two decades and seven wineries began to change the wine industry here in the 1990’s.
Two of the wine regions in Israel are in the mountainous regions of Galilee and Golan Mountains. Some of the wines you can try here are varieties of classic Bordeaux grapes of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
8. Patagonia, Argentina
Some of the southernmost vineyards in the world can be found in Patagonia, Argentina. Since the place has a dry, breezy climate and sees just seven inches of rainfall a year, the grapes are safe from diseases such as powdery mildew.
There are two primary wine regions in Patagonia which are Neuquen and Rio Negro. One of the first winery in Neuquen is the Bodege del Fin Mundo where you can taste its award-winning Cabernet, Merlot, and Malbec blends. In Rio Negro, you can try varieties such as Traminer and Riesling, as well as Pinot Noir.
India is a well-known travel destination, but it’s not popular as a wine producer. But in the present time, India’s wines are beginning to gain recognition in international wine competitions.
Some of the wine regions in India are in Maharashta such as Nashik, Sangli, and Satara. In Karnataka, you can also find wine-growing regions in the foothills of the Nandi Hills in Bangalore.
It might be surprising for some, but Chine is one of the top 10 wine-producing countries in the world. There are a lot of wine regions in China. From the humid, monsoonal east coast areas of Shandong, Hebei and Tianjin, inland to the regions of Ningxia and Shanxi. In fact, because of the number of wineries in China, many international wine companies are taking strong interest in this country.
There are certainly a lot of other wine destinations you can add to your bucket list aside from the famous ones. It is indeed surprising to know that these places have been producing wines for a long time but only a few people are aware. So, which unexpected wine destination are you planning to visit soon?