Beautiful vineyards are fairly commonplace. In fact, it’d probably difficult to find one that isn’t breathtaking. However, some are more beautiful than others and with a little help from CNN we are able to bring you ten of the world’s most beautiful vineyards to get lost in.
Some may be in regions that aren’t what you would regard as standard, but we hope you’ll agree that all are worthy of a spot on this list.
Greek wine has taken somewhat of a backseat in recent years, and Santorini are now better known as holiday destinations than for their production from vineyards. However, the island is still home to nine indigenous varieties. CNN says ‘what’s particularly unique about wine-making on Santorini is how the young vines are twisted to form a wreath with the grapes growing in the center to protect them from the harsh winds that blow down the Aegean in the winter.
The Maipo valley is easily accessible from the capital, Santiago, and tourists are often encouraged to stop by and take a look around. Widely regarded as the birthplace of Chilean wine and the popular Cabernet, Pinot Noir and Carmenere varieties are all completely free of the phylloxera epidemic that decimated their European counterparts in the 19th century. And though Chilean giant Cocha Y Toro lies a little further afield, there will still be plenty to take in during a trip to the Maipo valley.
The unique climate in British Columbia has lent itself perfectly to help turn the Okanagan region into Canada’s premier vineyard. The lakes deflect the frost while the nearby mountains protect the vines from Pacific moisture, ensuring that rainfall is low and it all combines to create some truly breathtaking scenery. A relatively young vineyard (having been established in 1932) and is responsible for 40% of grapes by the Osoyoos First Nation, producing everything from Merlot, Pinot Noir and Cabernet, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling.
Tuscan wine has come a long way in 300 years, and are now focussing on biodynamic cultivation and natural ways of protecting vines from disease. These efforts have reaped the rewards, too, with sales going up 25% over the past five years. And because of this estate owners are more inclined to treat their visitors to free tastings amongst their stunning surroundings.
Bento Goncalves, Brazil
The lush vineyards of Brazil were brought to the country by Italian migrants, and over time saw their Merlot partner up with the plentiful Brazilian rodizio meat grills that have steadily become more prevalent in the surrounding towns. Mostly located in Vale dos Vinhedos, the estates all pay homage to their Italian beginnings and visitors are frequently welcomed with open arms.
Argentina’s wine production had, at one point, looked to be on the highway to nowhere in particular before they got on board with the raised production standards, and now they are at the forefront of the new world. Mendoza in particular, with its dry climate and almost pest-free climate underscored by controlled irrigation from the Andes’ snow melt, are able to produce luscious Malbec, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The region is popular with cyclists looking for a stunning landscape to make their way through, though it’s now so popular that booking ahead is advised.
Rioja is possibly the most identifiable vineyard linked to its host country besides maybe Bordeaux in France, and its reputation is rightly based around a swathe of excellent Tempranillo, Grenache, Graciano and Mazuelo. And the area is a pleasing blend of old and new with traditional haciendas like Lopez de Heredia still maintaining a strong presence in the area, while new boutique wineries like Baigorri have given it a contemporary edge.