World Class Wine – Southlake Style – Southlake’s premier lifestyle resource
America has its share of great wine regions, but some of the best wines are found outside of the United States. So if you’re dating Fredericksburg or taking trips to Napa, it’s time to expand your horizons and your palate. Whether you love a crunchy New Zealand sauvignon blanc or prefer the classic wine produced in France, these regions are must visits for wine lovers.
After visiting Napa or Sonoma Valley in California, it’s time to upgrade your wine trips and head to France, especially Bordeaux. This region of France has 60 appellations – legally determined and protected wine regions – and more than 7,000 winegrowers. With all of these wine and producer regions, it’s no surprise that Bordeaux is also home to a 144,000 square foot wine museum. La CitÃ© du Vin celebrates wine so much that its architecture aims to imitate the swirl of a wine glass. For visitors who want to spend their entire trip spellbound by wine, stay at the Hotel Lalique, located in Sauternes, which is the same region that produces Sauternes wine. Wherever you decide to go, wine is the heart of Bordeaux.
About five hours from Bordeaux, France is another first-class wine destination – La Rioja, Spain. With over 500 wineries, this region has everything a wine lover could want. At the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture located in around 8 km of vineyards, guests can learn about the history of wine, its production and the cultural significance of the liquor. For those who prefer to taste different grape varieties rather than learning about them, Vivanco and 80 other wineries open their doors to the public for tours and tastings. One of these wineries, Bodegas Muga, is a family business and still makes its own barrels. And if you’re tired after a long day of traveling, hotels like Hospederia De Los Parajes offer wine-based spa treatments like wine baths and facials. From museums to vineyards to spas, wine is the star of La Rioja.
South America might not be on your list of wine destinations, but it should be. Known for its production of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, the Casablanca Valley has cellars that will allow you to taste for days. The Emiliana vineyard is the largest organic vineyard in Chile and the world, with its 140 blends made from authentic Carmenere and Syrah grape varieties. The ViÃ±amar vineyard, meanwhile, specializes in sparkling wines such as moscatos, brut and rosÃ©s. Those traveling with children can even find a kid-friendly winery in El Cuadro. With guided carriage tours through the winery and a presentation of the horse and rider at its rodeo grounds, El Cuadro makes sure every guest has fun. No matter which one you decide to visit, the vineyards of the Casablanca Valley all offer beautiful views, exquisite experiences and of course, delicious wine.
The Marlborough region of New Zealand is home to 90% of its Sauvignon Blanc plantations, which is why it is known as the Sauvignon Blanc Capital. Along with sauvignon blanc, this region also produces pinot noir, chardonnay and riesling. Wine lovers can enjoy a trip to Marlborough as part of the country’s Classic Wine Trail, which features over 200 miles of cycle paths that showcase four different wine regions and over 100 wineries. To make your trip to Marlborough even more memorable, plan to attend the Marlborough Food and Wine Festival, which takes place every February. With its festival, visiting the Marlborough wineries is a must. Brancott Estate Wines is home to the original Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, while the Yealands Estate Winery is a coastal masterpiece. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on the fine wines and experiences of Marlborough.