We all know that the likes of France and Italy are the front-runners when it comes to wine production. And I’m sure, like me, there are a number of wine lovers reading this blog. Now, forgive me for being presumptuous, but I’m going to throw it out there and guess that you also love a good beach holiday? There are a number of stunning wine regions around the world, but they don’t always come with the sandy beaches and vibrant resorts that we so often look for in a holiday.
Well if you’d like to find the perfect blend of the two; beautiful beaches and an exceptionally good glass of wine to sip on whilst you watch the sun go down, then look no further. Here are six of the best holiday destinations for wine lovers and beach lovers alike.
Forget lush vines and rolling, green hills; the vineyards of Lanzarote are quite different from what you’d expect. Instead, they consist of row upon row of craters or ‘Zocos’, where each individual vine is protected from the wind by a semicircle of volcanic stones. Around three quarters of Lanzarote’s wine is made from the Malvasia grape, so you can expect to sample lots of sweet wine and special dessert wines on your Lanzarote holiday.
Thanks to its unique climate and the high density of minerals in the island’s volcanic soil, the wine produced in Santorini is quite often said to be the best in all of Greece. This is great news for wine lovers who visit the luxurious island, as you’ll never fall short of vineyards to visit or stunning seafront restaurants to sit outside and sample some local tipple as you watch the world famous sunset unfold before your eyes. Assyrtiko is Santorini’s most famous white wine and Mantilaria is the most popular variety of red.
Tenerife might not immediately spring to mind when you think of Spanish wine regions, but you’ll be surprised at just how popular this island’s award-winning wine is. In fact, Tenerife’s excellent wine was actually mentioned in a number of William Shakespeare’s plays and he was such a fan that he even insisted on a barrel of Canarian Malmsey wine as part of his annual payment. ‘Wine’ not visit the La Barunda Wine Museum while you’re in Tenerife? Just be sure to leave your car hire at the hotel…
Croatia has over 300 individual wine regions spread across both its continental and coastal areas. The popular holiday destination of the Dalmatian Coast produces a large amount of wine and it isn’t just limited to the mainland, but the islands too; including both Brac and Hvar. But for the ultimate experience, head to the historic cities of Dubrovnic or Split and book yourself on to one of the many excellent wine tasting tours that are available. It’s the perfect way to spend the afternoon discovering this stunning country.
The most famous wine region in Portugal has got to be the incredible Douro Valley in the north of the country. The vines thrive here and love the country for much the same reasons that tourists do; it’s never too hot and it’s never too cold. But the Algarve’s wine production is definitely worth mentioning too. There are vineyards and wineries popping up all over the Algarve, but the four main places to taste the best wines are Lagos, Portimao, Lagoa and Tavira. So now you know where to start planning your next Algarve holiday to.
Where have you tasted the best wine whilst on holiday? Let me know in the comments below.