Whether you prefer a robust red, a crisp white or a flute of fruity sparkling, Wine Enthusiast has got you covered. The leading wine lifestyle magazine has shortlisted the 10 most interesting, unusual and unexpected wine regions in 2019.
Chosen by Wine Enthusiast’s global editors, the list includes not only tips on what to taste and where to go, but also an insider’s guide on top restaurants, hotels and cultural activities to experience in each region.
Get out and discover these exciting destinations before everyone else:
Blessed with Australia’s coolest climate, Tasmania’s isolation is key to its appeal. Its capital, Hobart, is home to a flourishing dining scene complete with urban wineries, top hotels, countryside cellar doors and whisky distilleries.
Having established a strong reputation for its sparkling wine, Tasmania’s most prominent wines include riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz. For some of the best sparkling in the region check out Jansz Tasmania and Clover Hill Wines, or cruise along the picturesque east coast for a high-end visitor experience at Freycinet Vineyard or Josef Chromy Wines.
Lake Garda, Italy
Framed by the Dolomites in the north, the towns surrounding Italy’s largest lake enjoy a mild microclimate perfect for winemaking. Visitors can explore the region and discover rich red wines from Bardolino, rosatos from Chiaretto and the white wines that Lugana and Custoza are known for.
Lovers of red wine should head straight to Le Fraghe at the heart of the Bardolino growing zone or book a tour at Tenuta Roveglia where present-day technology mixed with the ancient farmhouse make for a unique tasting experience.
Covering some 800 hectares, Lavaux is home to Switzerland’s largest contiguous vineyard region. Perched on the steep hillsides that surround Lake Geneva, the pretty terraced vineyards have been protected by UNESCO since 2007.
One of the world’s lesser-known winemaking countries, Switzerland has cultivated grapes for centuries. While Lavaux’s principal grape is shasselas, a white variety that grows throughout the region, syrah and pinot noir also thrive in hotter sites.
Wine lovers can sample biodynamic vintages at Domaine Henri Cruchon and Domaine La Colombe, or admire the 14th-century property of Domaine Du Daley. If you can’t make it to every winery, stop for a tasting at Lavaux Vinorama, which stocks around 300 of the region’s best vintages.
Temecula Valley, California
Located in western Riverside County – just an hour’s drive from vibrant San Diego, Orange County and Palm Springs – Temecula Valley produces more than 50 different varieties of wine. From cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc to merlot, mourvedre, viognier and chardonnay, this diverse region caters to every palate.
Temecula Valley is not only home to 40 wineries but also numerous excellent restaurants and hotels, golf courses and picnic grounds, breweries and distilleries, and even a casino. For the ultimate wine-tasting experience, the De Portola Wine Trail explores nine of the region’s most unique and established wineries.
Less than an hour from Lyon, this stunning French wine region is the country’s self-proclaimed gastronomical capital. For the finest wines in Beaujolais, take the winding roads north and you’ll find the villages and vineyards of Morgon, Fleurie, Juliénas, Saint-Amour, Chénas and Chiroubles. Each destination demonstrates a different use of the great gamay grape that forms the base of the region’s wines.
Your trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of the region’s oldest wineries, Domaine Chasselay, which was founded in 1464 and has remained in the family for 14 generations.
For families, a visit to the wine-centric theme park Hameau Duboeuf is a must. While the kids amuse themselves with minigolf or a ride on the 19th-century railroad car, parents can enjoy the onsite winery and tasting room.
Here's the five other wine destinations in the top 10:
- Seattle, Washington
- Maipo Valley, Chile
- Thessaloniki, Greece
- Lisboa, Portugal
- Bangkok, Thailand
While you're on your wine world tour, why not add these Michelin-starred cities to your itinerary?