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There is no lack of wine destinations in the world. Europe is one of the best wine destinations in the world and the largest region for wine production. Where you want to go for your next wine trip to Europe? Read further to find out what are the best wine countries in Europe to visit.
Europe is one of the largest producers of wine across the world, which accounts for over 2/3rd of total production. Italy and France have always been the top wine countries in Europe.
Though the trend of wine production is declining, there is still no lack of quality because of innovative production methods across the world.
There are some of the best wine countries in Europe which attract a vast population of wine lovers across the globe. Millions of visitors head to these countries every year for wine tasting, unique experiences, and cruises.
Why is Europe best for wine tours?
Europe is truly a dream destination for every traveler as it is thoroughly steeped in history with stunning architecture, ancient cities, beautiful views, and gastronomical delights. Europe has played a vital role in technological and cultural growth in the world.
The Renaissance movement took place in Europe. It was here when the Industrial Revolution has begun. Many emperors and explorers from this mighty continent sailed vast oceans and discovered how bigger the world is.
Like several significant contributions, Europe has also become the birthplace of modern wine culture. So, you can find some of the best wine countries in Europe.
Though the exact origin of wines is still a matter of debate, Europe was the leader in promoting the sale and trade of wines in the world, which eventually brought the idea of wine tourism.
Wine tours have gone leaps and bounds over several top wine countries in Europe, such as Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy. You can explore the local culture and various techniques from different people for wine production.
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Top Wine Producing Countries in Europe
The Santorini Region of Greece is well known for its unique culture and landscapes. In this region, the wineries now produce tremendous sweet dessert wines and crisp white wines with the practice of several generations.
In this region, you can find a unique taste in all of the wines, as the wineries are located around a serene countryside. It also houses Assyrtiko white wines in Santorini, which is known as the essence of the Greek islands.
You do not want to miss out on this wine. So, stop by and taste some wine at Estate Argyros, which has been the wine producer for over a century.
With a century-old legacy of winemaking, France is one of the best countries for wine in Europe. It has several wine-producing regions, which are dated back to the Roman era.
No matter if you like white or red wine, you can find different varieties to choose from. The most popular varieties here are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabaret Sauvignon.
It is known to have serene landscapes and one of the most searched destinations for wine tours. Bordeaux is one of the most popular regions for vacations and wine tours, along with Burgundy, Campagne, Loire, and Rhone.
Your wine tour to Europe cannot complete without stopping at Tuscany, Italy. It is well known for its artistic heritage and serene landscapes and is well-positioned in the heart of Italy. You can find a lot of grapes of different flavors in this region, and a lot of them are hard to pronounce.
Once these grapes start getting matured, they are used to make some of the best wines in the region which have been widespread across the world. It has around 750 wineries to taste different types of wines, such as reds and whites.
Travelers will have an excellent opportunity to enjoy their delicious meals accompanied by the fan-favorite Tuscan wines. You can also sample some wine while relaxing on the beach or sitting by the hillside.
If you are looking for a non-traditional escape, Istria is one of the best wine areas in Europe. From a soothing climate to fertile soil, location to a skilled and dedicated workforce, everything plays a vital role in developing the top quality grapes in Europe.
The hilly regions offer a serene view while tasting some of the best wines. Some of the best wine regions here are Orec and Central Istria. Do not forget to visit the area vineyards and the must-see area of Momjan for an excellent wine treat.
You can also enjoy some of the wine-themed local festivals in Istria. There are different activities you can enjoy over there, such as food and wine to village tour and recreation to make your trip the best getaway.
Spain houses several wineries, which are well regarded to create both sparkling and red wines. Visit the La Rioja region to taste some full-bodied red wines on your next winery tour. These are some of the main reasons why Spain is the best wine region in Europe.
Winemaking goes far and beyond their limits in Spain. Several unique and new methods are practiced to create the best wines in Europe.
You may visit a lot of sleepy villages where you can find the best and friendly environment, which is ideal for learning about the most exceptional wines here. When it comes to authentic Spanish wine, Spain one of the best wine countries in Europe.
Also take your time to visit Bodegas Baigorri in Samaniego, Lopez de Heredia in Haro, and Marques e Riscal, the best winery hotel. Some of the best places to visit here are La Rioja Alta and Bodegas Muga. Be sure to visit the Yuso and San Millan de Suso monasteries, the UNESCO Heritage sites. You can have a great experience in your winery getaway.
The Douro Valley in Portugal is well known for steep vineyards along the Douro River, which is filled with serene landscapes. The Douro Valley is known to be the oldest wine region in Europe. In the 3rd century AD, wine production was started by the Romans.
This region has been a haven for the port lovers, and the wines of the same name are the main reason to attract a lot of tourists.
You can plan to stop by the great wine tasting event in this region at the Sandeman Winery, or you can also visit several smaller estates in the proximity. The Vila Nova de Gaia is another promising destination to visit. It is a great place to start your wine tour.
The zigzagged rivers and small roads make steep loops across the countryside of the Moselle in the country. In this region, the wine production dates back to over 2000 years, when the Romans and Celts started the first cultivation. The Moselle is Germany’s largest wine region, and it is well known for its vines on rugged slopes.
It is also the oldest wine region in Germany, and this region is well regarded for producing different Rieslings. You can also have a trip to a specific wine route by foot, car, or bicycle. You can also go for wine tours by train, bus, or boat.
The Malvazija Istarska (Malvasia) is known as some of the most aromatic and beautiful wines in Croatia, which is also a white-wine nation. You can taste this delicious wine in the Istrian Peninsula. This vibrant, fresh yellow-lemon wine is aged in stainless steel, and it shines well with green glints.
With hints of citrus and herbal grass, you can find the notes of nectarine and ripe peach. You can easily pair it with white fish, seafood risotto, or chicken with grilled veggies and cream sauces.
Plavac Mali is another major grape in Croatia. If you are a true wine lover, you may have heard of Zinfandel, its close relative. It traces its origin to Croatia. Plavac Mali is well regarded in Croatia as the ‘workhorse grape’ and is used to produce dense, savory, and strong wines.
It may not be as jammy and deep as Zin, and the Plavac Mali still has dark red fruits, superb structure, and a hint of earthy freshness. Pair it with roasted or barbecued meats as well as blue cheeses.
The Friuli-Venezia Giulia is one of the northernmost regions of Italy and is located next to the western border. In western Slovenia, Primorska shares a lot of wine grapes that are grown in Friuli. These are known as crisp, clean, mineral-driven, and high-toned wines.
One of the top producers in Slovenia, Marjan Simčič, makes some of the great wines of Ribolia Gialla and Sauvignonasse. Both are dry wines with a clean, pure hint of minerality and soft fruit.
This winery has been here since 1860 in the Simcic family, and it is well regarded to produce striking and beautiful wines with great and organic farming approaches.
The above European countries are filled positively with unique, serene, and inspiring things to explore, whether it’s an old grape rescued from near extinction or centuries-old traditions. You can taste some of the best wines in Europe when visiting these countries.
Founder of Pretty Wild World and one of the leading experts in Europe travel, the Nordics, and Scandinavia Destinations.
Evan Kristine has been mentioned in big publications such as The Huffington Post and the Thought Catalog has been sharing her useful travel tips and hacks to the world for more than five years now.
Nowadays, she is a full-time traveler exploring and documenting her journey around the world providing you the next best travel idea for your great next adventure.