3 places that make the perfect wine holiday destination

Wine tourism is coming of age. More people are choosing holiday destinations based on their proximity to vineyards and wineries. And while it used to be more ad hoc, with people selecting their own regions, today it’s much more organised.

All around the world, across all kinds of wine regions, vineyard owners have recognised that wine tourism is big business. Whether it’s a stay at a fancy hotel and guided wine tours, or a campsite in the heart of a big wine-loving region, there are lots of options.

Where is the ideal wine holiday destination?

The very first list of the world’s 50 best vineyards is now available. This demonstrates just how far wineries have come from places of business to tourist attractions.

This list is packed with vineyards and wineries from around the world. However, it tends to stick to the bigger producers. Number one on the list is the Zuccardi vineyard, which is nestled in Argentina’s Uco Valley. Complete with beautifully designed wine cellars and the fine-dining experience to go with the wine, it’s spectacular.

And while these big producers are great to visit, they’re not the only options for a wine holiday. Smaller wine producers can be more intimate and welcoming. They often offer different options for accommodation and can guide tourists around the general area with plenty of local knowledge.

Great examples of wine regions with plenty of small producers include the easiest to access wine route in France in Alsace. This is so simple to navigate and is set-up for cyclists and motor tours. Other destinations worth visiting include the Valais region in Switzerland, which is perfect for walkers, or the wine routes of California.

Here are three of the best

 

1. Zuccardi Valle de Uco, Argentina

Now the number one vineyard in the world, this winery complex is elevated by its location with beautiful views of the Andes mountain range. It also has an architecturally sophisticated complex of buildings and cellars. Winemaker Sebastian Zuccardi produces wines that are recognisable from the terroir driven flavours.

2. Alsace wine route, France

Alsace was one of the first wine regions to understand the potential of wine tourism. The vineyards along the Alsace route offer a wide range of delicious wines. The landscape is stunning and rich with history. For cyclists, this could be the holiday of a lifetime.

The vineyards in Alsace are protected by a barrier formed by the Vosges mountains. This creates a unique climate, which produces many extremely rich and aromatic wines.

The Alsace wine route crosses lots of wine districts within the wider region. There is more than 170km to follow, dotted with wine makers of all types and sizes. Depending on the season, the wine route also offers specific events. Throughout the summer, from April to October, many local villages celebrate the wine harvest. At Christmas, there are markets to visit. It offers something for everyone.

3. La Rioja wine region, Spain

At the very centre of this popular wine region is Haro, a town boasting some of the biggest and oldest wineries in the area. There are many wineries to visit throughout the wider Rioja region, and at least 12 in Haro itself that aren’t to be missed. Wine-lovers will enjoy learning about Rioja wine and tasting some of the best vintages available.

You don’t need to get a formal tour in Haro, as it’s simple to find the big wineries yourself. Many are close enough to walk between them, and each winery has its own expert to talk you through production and vintages. Head to the middle of Faro and find your tour from there.

These are just three regions that make fantastic holidays for wine-lovers. With more wineries opening their doors than ever before, wine tourism is definitely here to stay.

 

Five Top Italian Wine Regions To Visit In 2017

If you’re looking for a top wine destination to visit in 2017, you may want to try Italy. Around a two hour’s flight from London, this peninsula nation is known for making some of the most popular wine products on earth, like Prosecco and Chianti. But there’s so much to see, so where should you start?  Giving you a helping hand, Ideal Wine Company names five top Italian wine regions to visit in 2017.

Veneto 

Veneto is a wine-making region based in North-East Italy, which is perfect for sparkling wine lovers. It is one of the only regions in Italy where Prosecco is made, so when visiting Veneto, you can learn more about this increasingly-popular product. According to Wine Folly, an industry publication, Veneto is also famous for several of its fantastic Merlot-based reds and its Chardonnay-esque white Suave.

Tuscany

If you’re a fan of Chianti, travel to Tuscany in north-central Italy, where the product’s primary grape, Sangiovese, is grown. Tuscany is Italy’s most prolific wine-making region, giving you many estates and vineyards to check out. Apart from Chianti, Tuscany boasts a number of other legally-protected wine products for you to try, such as the ‘Super Tuscan’ dry red, ensuring that you’ll have a fabulous time.

Piedmont

Often called ‘Italy’s Burgundy,’ Piedmont is home to some of the country’s most famous varietals and wineries. Based in the Alps, on the border with France and Switzerland, Piedmont is especially known for its Barolo red wines, which are made across the region. It also produces Moscato d’Asti, a delicious white sparkling wine, making Piedmont a fantastic place to sample products from across the spectrum.

Basilicata

Moving away from the North, Basilicata is a region in South-Central Italy. It is something of an underdog in Italian wine-making, making Basilicata a great place to visit if you want to go off the beaten path. The region is particularly known for its Aglianico-based red wines, which are full-bodied and age very well. It also produces various Syrah and Moscato wines that you’re sure to love!

Sicily

Serving as a hub of Mediterranean viticulture for millennia, Sicily is one of the best destinations in Europe for wine fans. The area’s Nero d’Avola wine is absolutely stunning and you can sample it at various vineyards across Sicily. The island also has a reputation for producing Syrahs which are comparable to those made in the South of France, ensuring that you’ll have an amazing time in Sicily.

Sample wines

With these five regions, we’ve only just scratched the surface. There are so many wine-making regions in Italy that you can visit each one and discover something unique every time. If you’re planning to go on an Italian wine holiday this year, prepare by sampling some of the nation’s best vintages before you travel. Browse the Italian wines list on Ideal Wine Company’s website to get started today!

Image credit: Jeff Kubina

Exploring The History Of Mulled Wine

The countdown to Christmas has now started. There’s nothing better than relaxing with mulled wine a drink that’ll warm you up on even the coldest of winter nights, over the holiday season. If you’re a fan of this classic treat, keep reading, as Ideal Wine Company explores the history of mulled wine.

Continue reading “Exploring The History Of Mulled Wine”

Ideal Wine Company Christmas Wine Ideas

With Christmas just around the corner, the Ideal Wine Company explains how to give wine as a gift.

Perfect gift

The Christmas season has officially begun. We’d advise you to do your holiday shopping early, so you don’t get caught up in the crowds on Christmas Eve. If you’re unsure what to get your loved ones this year, why don’t you opt for a nice bottle of wine?

With its complex character, rich flavour and many health benefits (according to one study red wine could be good for your memory) wine makes a really good Christmas gift. But there are so many varieties, which one do you go with? Should you give a hearty red, a delicious Vintage Port or push the boat out and go for a Champagne instead?

Five gifting tips

Luckily you have the Ideal Wine Company on your side, and we’re experts when it comes to giving wine as a gift. Here are five tips you can use to select the right vintage:

  • Sample it yourself: You shouldn’t give anyone a wine that you wouldn’t drink yourself. If you like the vintage, then there’s a good chance other people will too, so sample a wine yourself before you give it someone else.

 

  • Spend appropriately: Nobody likes to receive a really expensive gift; if you give someone a wine that costs more than their car, they might feel obligated to do the same. We’d advise you to set a reasonable budget and buy a moderately priced vintage; the Ideal Wine Company product list provides great value for money.

 

  • Seek advice: If you don’t trust yourself to select the right vintage, why don’t you ask other people instead? You could go to a sommelier, seek out the opinion of wine enthusiasts online, or even ask your family and friends to determine which wine you want to give as a gift.

 

  • Think about packaging: Whether you like it or not, presentation matters. If you give someone a wine that tastes amazing but comes in a lacklustre bottle, they might not even bother to try the vintage because they’ve been put off by its presentation.

 

  • Consider the recipient: The most important thing you need to do is think about what kind of wine the recipient would like. If they’ve got a penchant for gorgeous California reds, get them a gorgeous California red- sometimes it really is as easy as giving people what they want.

Our gift wine

If you’re looking for something really special, why don’t you buy our latest gift wine? This is the Chateau La Conseillante 2007, a fantastic vintage from France, that’d be the perfect present for you to give your loved ones this Christmas. You can buy it from the Ideal Wine Company right now for only £72!

Who’s the Biggest Wine Producer in the World?

New data has told the Ideal Wine Company team that France has been displaced as the largest wine producer in the world. So who’s taken their crown?

Wine capital

France is regarded as the most important wine making region in the world. Our neighbours across the English Channel have developed a reputation for creating superior vintages, especially in the regions of Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy. If you want to experience an outstanding Burgundy, you should purchase the Chambertin Potel 2005 from the Ideal Wine Company.

It shouldn’t surprise you to learn, then, that France was the most prolific maker of wine in the world in 2014. Statistics from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) suggests that French wine production will increase by 1.2%, to 47.4 million hectolitres, in 2015.

New champion

This means, however, that France will no longer hold the title of the largest wine producer in the world. That honour will go to their neighbour to the South-East, Italy. Bloomberg reported that the OIV’s figures indicated that Italian wine production will increase 10%, to 48.9 hectolitres, this year.

The Organisation revealed that this impressive growth will be spurred by the rebounding fortunes of Prosecco and Chianti, two of the peninsula-nation’s most famous wine products. Carla di Paola, Italy’s representative with the OIV commented that “wine is part of our tradition, being number one is important.”

Rough numbers

The OIV’s numbers went on to show that the Northern Hemisphere is set to enjoy strong wine production figures this year. Their projections indicate that Spain will be the third largest wine produced in the world; the Iberian nation’s wine production, however, will drop 4.2% to 36.6 million hectolitres in 2015. Meanwhile the US’ wine production will rise 0.5%, to 22.1 million, by the end of the year.

Jean-Marie Aurand, director general at the OIV was quick to point out in a meeting with reporters, that these figures are only rough. Aurand said that “we’re only just finishing the harvests in the Northern Hemisphere, so these numbers are preliminary;” we won’t have access to more exact figures for a long while yet.

Buy Italian wine

The OIV’s numbers, rough as they are at this stage, have shown us that Italian wine is incredibly popular right now. If you want to learn why, you should buy the Antinori Tignanello Toscana IGT 1990, a phenomenal Italian vintage, from the Ideal Wine Company, and try some for yourself!