32 of the best places to visit if you're a wine lover

Whatever your wine preference, there's a vinous place for your next holiday...

Man holding a glass of red wine among hills and mountains
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If you're someone whose interest in different wines and their background has surpassed the colour of the drink, then the best places to visit for wine lovers might be on your radar.

While some may look for sun or sand when they're booking a holiday, those who have an affinity for wine might be looking for something different.

From California's rich vineyards to Argentina's traditional wineries and the many regions of France and all the delicious wines they have to offer, here are the best places in the world to visit if you're a wine lover.

32 of the best places to visit if you're a wine lover

1. Northern California, USA

grapes in vineyard in Napa Valley

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Known for producing some of the best wine in the world, this West Coast vineyard haven is home to both the famous Napa Valley and its cooler younger sister Sonoma. Expect to find landmark wineries like Robert Mondavi and the absolutely beautiful Domaine Carneros (a favourite of this writer for their detailed winemaking tour and deliciously-creamy sparkling numbers), alongside smaller, family-run establishments that offer more bespoke tasting flights. With the vast number of wineries in the area, there's something for most wine lovers - however, the area is well-known for its robust varietals like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as their Pinot Noir, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc production.

2. Bordeaux, France

town in Bordeaux, France

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Often dubbed the world's most famous wine region, Bordeaux's wine region is made up of five different appellations - and is the place to be red wine fans. Known for dry reds like Cabernet Sauvignon and some Merlot, is Margaux in the north. Pauillac is known for similar wine types but with a bit more depth and richness. Pomerol is where you'll find the expensive varieties, with powerful, velvety flavours of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In Saint-Emilion, you'll also find smooth Cab Francs and Merlot, as well as bold Cab Sav offerings. Visit Sauternes if you're a fan of sweet whites like Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle.

3. Rioja, Spain

vineyard in Rioja, Spain

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La Rioja lies in Northern Spain and is for those who like to experience older-style winemaking alongside delicious tapas. It offers a range of different wineries, from traditional settings in small villages to newer makes in larger towns. Here, you'll not want a bold wine, with the region known for producing oak-aged Tempranillo and full-bodied Garnacha. And if you're a fan of white wines, these have come a long way in recent years, with oaky and fruity Viura, Malvasia and Garnacha Blanca wines becoming more popular.

4. Puglia, Italy

town and bridge in Puglia, Italy

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Puglia is known for its strong Primitivo wines that often feature bold and fruity flavours - but it has so much more to offer than just the reigning purple grape. The deep, berry Negroamaro grape is used to create medium-to-full blends while their herbal Verdeca is blended into aromatic whites. Visit for a taste of Italian culture alongside tastings of bold and full-bodied wines.

5. Burgundy, France

vineyard in Burgundy, France

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If you like your bold whites, this is the trip for you. The two main grapes that come out of the area are Chardonnay and full-bodied Pinot Noir. With five different areas in the region, there's a lot to see. Chablis is of course known for its famous smooth Chardonnay, while in Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Côte Chalonnaise and Mâconnais you'll find both red and whites. Don't miss Louis Jadot in Macon for the smoothest, most delicious blends.

6. The Douro Valley, Portugal

river and vineyard in The Douro Valley, Portugal

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Home to the oldest demarcated wine region in the world, Porto, the Douro Valley is made up of two sub-regions - Douro and Porto. Its demarcation status means that Porto is the only producer of Port wine in the world, so that the quality of the wine is protected. Douro, on the other hand, produces dry reds using Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Touriga Roriz grapes, which create deep, full-bodied blends reminiscent of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.

7. Champagne, France

fields and vineyard in Champagne, France

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Probably the most famous demarcated region in the world, Champagne needs no introduction. If you're a lover of the sparkling wine treat, this is the only place in the world where you'll get to see it being made. Balance your time between the bigger, well-known houses where you can see how big volumes are produced, and the smaller wineries that have more drawn-out processes for a higher-quality product in smaller batches.

8. Croatia

small town in Southern Dalmatian Islands, Croatia

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Combine a sunny trip to Croatia with a tour of their many under-the-radar wines. With a range of whites and reds, they produce something spectacular for most wine lovers - from bold, high-tannin Teran reds to a whole spectrum of whites, like the full-bodied Pošip or the lighter and refreshing Malvazija Istarska.

9. Mendoza, Argentina

mountains and vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina

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Mendoza is of course known for its bold and spicy Malbec wines, but it actually also produces large amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syrah, Torrontes and Sauvignon Blanc. Undoubtedly it is best for those who prefer a full-bodied wine, but it has a little something with lighter palates too. Visit the famous Catena Zapata winery or a well-known name like Trivento. You could also learn the more traditional ways at a winery like Zuccardi or go trendy somewhere like Trapiche. And don't miss grabbing a sip of the delicious Bodega Norton.

10. Rhône Valley, France

green hills and small village in Rhône Valley, France

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Who doesn't love a Cotes du Rhône? The area is home to varied but smooth blends of Syrah, Cinsault, Picpoul, Grenache and Viognier, as well as wines that come out of the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape region. It's a haven for red and white lovers alike, with countless wineries to visit - from big producers to smaller, older places. Don't miss Guigal if you want something really special.

11. Chile

mountains and vineyard in Chile

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Chile is home to three main wine-producing regions, all of which have numerous wineries to visit. The main place to visit, thanks to its proximity to the capital, is the Maipo Valley, known for its bold Cabernet Sauvignons. Or if you're more of a Syrah fan, the main producer is the Elqui Valley - a slightly cooler climate here but you'll still get robust blends. Or if you want to go down the fine wine route, visit the Colchagua Valley for its high-quality Carmenere.

12. Provence, France

town in Provence, France

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If you want to sit down with a chilled glass of rosé on a summer's evening, chances are you'll reach for something from Provence - but did you know that the renowned pink wine region also produces delicious reds and whites too? Travel around the region to get tastes of everything - from medium-full-bodied reds to light whites or even something bolder. And of course, delicious rosé (not literally) on tap.

13. Western Cape, South Africa

hills and vineyard in Western Cape, South Africa

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The most famous wine region of this area is, of course, Stellenbosch - the birthplace of the Pinotage grape. The area has hundreds of wineries to offer, with blends ranging from juicy and full-boded Pinotage and Shiraz to classic Cab Savs. They also offer bold but smooth Chardonnays and light and fruity Sauvignon Blanc blends.

14. Ribera del Duero, Spain

cliff and forest in Ribera del Duero, Spain

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A couple of hours northwest of the capital, Ribera del Duero is all about bold, tannic wines and most large, slick wineries. You can also find smaller, more traditional establishments, but you'll find more of those in Rioja. A must-visit for bold red lovers.

15. Sicily, Italy

town in Sicily, Italy

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Home to the popular, juicy Nero d'Avola, Sicily offers intense, savoury and often quite jammy red wines. There are numerous small, family-run wineries to visit where you can enjoy a taste of juicy reds or even the less intense Nerello Mascalese, which makes for light-bodied reds or smooth rosé wines.

16. Marlborough, New Zealand

vineyard in Marlborough, New Zealand

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The Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is probably one of the most popular whites in the world, offering a light-medium-bodied fragrant wine that pairs with most dishes and is relatively universal. Probably not a favourite of those who prefer oaky, buttery or full-bodied whites, but a region that offers countless bottles of the easy-drinking favourite.

17. Loire Valley, France

fields in Loire Valley, France

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Another well-known region of the French, the Loire Valley creates reds, whites, rosés and even sparkling wines. A great choice for drinkers of light and medium-bodied wines, the area tends to produce high-quality Sancerre and Sauvignon Blanc, with Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay blends on the menu too. When it comes to red, it's all about the Cabernet Franc, with some focus moving onto Cab Sav and Pinot Noir.

18. Mosel, Germany

river and vineyard in Mosel, Germany

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Mosel produces relatively light and fresh wines with a lot of minerality, making for light-bodied whites and medium-bodied reds. But its most famous wine is that of the Riesling grape, which tends to show up in quite light but fruity blends.

19. Southern Australia

vineyard in Southern Australia

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Not to be confused with the South Australia state, the Southern Australia wine region covers areas from Western Australia through to Adelaide in SA, Melbourne and surrounding areas in Victoria and up to New South Wales. It's a big trip but it's worth it if you're a fan of full-bodied wines, with heavy Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz as its shining reds and bold Chardonnays for white lovers.

20. Alsace, France

river and houses in Alsace, France

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On the border of Germany and France, Alsace produces wines that are quite unique in style and flavour as they combine influences from both countries. It's known mostly for dry Riesling, as opposed to the sweet varieties that most of us might be used to, as well as light, aromatic blends using Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. The sparkling Crémant d’Alsace, which some have recently started to sub for the classic Champagne thanks to its fine bubbles and smooth flavours, also hails from here.

21. Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

barrels stacked in town in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

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Jerez de la Frontera is, of course, known for its namesake, the fortified white wine, Sherry, whose Spanish name is Jerez. Visit the old city and enjoy the Spanish weather, while learning about the centuries-old processes for making the popular dry wine.

22. Greece and The Greek Islands

Greece, Rhodes, Lindos, View of bay

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Greece has a number of different wine regions across both the mainland and the islands. Combine an island-hopping trip with a tour of the different wine regions for a summer wine holiday that has everything. Don't miss the rich Malagousia white that is reminiscent of Chardonnay or the famous Xinomavro reds.

23. Languedoc-Roussillon, France

river and trees in Languedoc-Roussillon, France

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With a range of reds, whites and rosés to offer, this coastal Mediterranean area is a reliable classic for good wines. Try Cabrières red, white Picpoul de Pinet, sweet Muscat wines and the superior Crémant de Limoux - the smooth sparkling, with fine bubbles that is starting to rival the famous Champagne product.

24. Southern English Counties, UK

vineyard in Hampshire, UK

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A relatively new player in the wine game, the southern English counties have started to produce a range of pretty impressive sparkling wines. Focus on Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey and Cornwall for the best blends coming from the area. Don't miss the deliciously buttery and golden Blanc de Blancs from Kent's Gusbourne winery - or if you have time to visit the Bucks/Berks area Harrow & Hope's Pinot Meunier is a must-try, as is Stanlake Park's Rosé Superior, which really lives up to its name.

25. South West France

river and bridge in South West France

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The South West France wine region is one of the biggest in the world and is perfect if you're looking to do a bit of a whistle-stop tour of some of the world's best wineries. You'll find your classic French reds and whites, as well as some blends with a slight Spanish influence, thanks to the area's proximity to the border. If you're a fan of bold reds, make sure to try Cahors Malbec.

26. Veneto, Italy

vineyard in Veneto, Italy

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As well as being the muse and setting for some of literature's greats, Veneto is all about light to medium-bodied wines. Think light red Corvina, Rondinella, Valpolicella and Bardolino, while the whites tend to consist of water Soave, Pinot Grigio and, of course, the famous sparkling Prosecco. Trebbiano, Riesling and Chardonnay can also be found, but really the lights are the main character here.

27. Navarre, Spain

town in Navarre, Spain

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Navarre is known for dry but fruity Garnache rosé wines, but the grape is also used here in red wine producing, often blended with Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir for a punchy wine. If you want a white, you can also find Viura and Garnacha Blanca wines, or a Moscatel if you're looking for something sweet.

28. Washington State, USA

vineyard in Washington State, USA

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A newer player in the wine-making game, the process in Washington State is quite unique compared to the rest of the world in that the vineyards and the wineries are hundreds of miles apart. Take some time to visit the vineyards and see the grapes being cultivated before visiting the small wineries around the area. Expect red blends reminiscent of a Bordeaux and white Rieslings.

29. Tuscany, Italy

hills and vineyard in Tuscany, Italy

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Tuscany produces perhaps the most famous of Italian wines, with their Sangiovese-based dry red wines that include Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. Expect high acidity, firm tannins and strong notes of rich fruit and berries in the blends in this area.

30. Oregon, USA

mountain and vineyard in Oregon, USA

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Oregon offers shiny, modern wineries that serve Pinot Noir as their hero, with a selection of Syrahs and Cabernet Sauvignons available too. In terms of white wine, expect to find Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Riesling.

31. Piedmont, Italy

vineyard in Piedmont, Italy

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If you want an Italian different to the classic Chianti, Piedmont is known for its Barolo and Barbaresco wines, which are all based around the Nebbiolo grape. With medium-high body blends, wines from this area are high on acidity and tannins with a touch of fruity flavours.

32. Lower Austria

vineyard in Lower Austria

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While this might seem like an unlikely wine region, if you're a fan of light, citrussy whites, you will probably have tried the slightly peppery Grüner Veltliner, which hails from this region. Spend your time here sipping the famous white or a sweet Riesling - or if you're a red fan, you can find decent Pinot Noir wines in the region too.

Aleesha Badkar
Digital Beauty Editor, woman&home

Aleesha is Digital Beauty Editor at woman&home, where she gets to share her expertise into all the best techniques, sharpest tools and newest products—with a particular savvy in skincare and fragrance.

Previously, she was Deputy Editor and Beauty & Fashion Editor for My Imperfect Life, where she headed up the beauty, fashion and eCommerce pages. In the past, she has worked as Shopping Writer at woman&home, gained an AOP awards nomination after working on their news team, contributed to Women's Health, Stylist and Goodto and earned an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London.