7 Wine Countries to Put on Your (Wine) Bucket List ...

If you enjoy a glass of wine or two, you probably have a whole load of wine countries on your bucket list. When I first started traveling (oh sooo long ago), wine came from France, Italy and Germany. Then we started seeing wines from the New World – Australia and New Zealand. The USA and South Africa then came up on the rails. Now though, wine countries span the globe from Chile to Bulgaria. For me to talk about whole countries is hard because there are so many grape growing regions within these countries. So, what I have done is pull out a few regions of wine countries for you to consider for a fabulous wine tasting trip.

1. Finger Lakes, USA

The USA is definitely on the map as one of the world’s wine countries. This wine region is regarded as on-the-rise and is perfect for families with kids. There are lakes and waterfalls amongst the vineyards. The entire region has character-filled villages, green parks and interesting museums. The more than one hundred wineries can be enjoyed all year round and there is a huge variety of wines, including award winning labels.

2. Burgundy, France

France is one of the world’s most established wine producing countries. In particular, Burgundy is highly revered by both wine lovers and fine diners. The region is overflowing with wineries that have been producing the finest wine for centuries. Even the simplest bistro serves the finest wine to complement the most delicious food. Walking through the verdant valleys, vineyards and forests is a popular activity for visitors.

3. Peloponnese and Santorini, Greece

Wine lovers are delighted that Greece is starting to shine on the list of wine countries. The wines are as robust as the gorgeous scenery. They make a superb accompaniment to the simple, rustic style of tasty Greek food. Not many people know that wine has been cultivated in Greece for thousands of years. Visitors are being charmed by the sunny cultivars of Peloponnese and Santorini wineries in the west. Wine drinkers also get to enjoy the beautiful beaches.

4. Western Germany

The west of Germany is filled with flourishing valleys and rivers. Wine producing countries with such lovely scenery are a magnet to wine drinkers. Germany is already well-known for its superb Riesling. Germany is a country that produces wine for both ends of the market. They have superb aromatic whites that are startling in their elegance. They also produce more economical semi-sweet wine to meet that demand. Germany is also starting to produce interesting red wines.

5. Cape Region, South Africa

The Cape wine region in South Africa has been producing outstanding wines for centuries. This is one of the so-called New World wine countries making a wide variety of successful reds and whites. Countless Cape wines continue winning international awards. Many wines are easy on the palate and coveted around the world. The foundation of South African wines is certainly Old World classical but the savvy and daring of contemporary wine makers is evident. Visitors are able to ramble through old and new wineries set in astonishingly beautiful surroundings

6. Tuscany, Italy

I couldn’t really leave out Italy’s famed wine growing region could I? The Tuscan sun beats down on a landscape filled with hilltop villages and ancient towns whose names are a laundry list of famed tourist destinations. This sun warms the soil that produces some of the best grapes and ultimately best wines. You really can’t pass up a tour where you can sample the reds from Chianti and Montepulciano and the whites of San Gimignano.

7. Barossa Valley, Australia

The Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s antique wine growing regions. It is now famed for its rich and spicy reds made from the shiraz grape. Located about 30 miles from Adelaide in South Australia, the valley boasts more than 150 wineries, about 80 of which open their doors to tasters. A trip in the Barossa Valley is heaven for oenologists and gastronomes alike, plus the scenery is stunning.

We actually produce some very good wines in Britain - our south west sparkling wines are excellent - but I don’t think we’ll be hitting the top of the list of wine producing countries any time soon. Where do your favorite wines come from?