“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle.” -Paulo Coehlo
Calling all wine aficionados – it’s time to take a trip to the awe-inspiring scenery and sun soaked vineyards of award-winning European regions. Wine tastes better at the source, and vineyards are usually surrounded by lush landscapes. From salty coasts to mountainous terrain, explore the dynamic nature of these countries and wines. Enjoy the Sangiovese harvest of herb-scented Tuscany and the citrus flavors of summertime rosé in Provence; indulge in the deep reds of La Rioja and treat yourself to the vacation of a lifetime.
We begin our journey in the winding hills and sunflower gardens of Central Italy. The countryside gleams with a soft diffused light that has inspired Renaissance artists like Michelangelo, Da Vinci, and Donatello. Tuscany is a wine lover’s dream and one of the most fruitful regions in Italy. We suggest trying the Brunello di Montalicino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and bright Chianti’s, which pairs nicely with a picturesque view of perfectly manicured olive groves and grape vines. If you really want to try a special vintage, we suggest the “Super Tuscans,” which steal the hearts of both wine lovers and winemakers.
VISIT: TENUTA SAN GUIDO
Elevate your vacation with a tour of one of the most exclusive and unforgettable wineries on the Etruscan coast. Situated on a cypress-lined avenue approximately 2 miles from the sea and six miles from the highest hill, it is tucked away, off the beaten path. Home of the “Super Tuscan,” this Bordeaux-style wine is made of 100% Sangiovese grapes that have dark tannins and an intense minerality representative of the region. The Sassicaia is nothing less than extraordinary, and one of the most famous wines coming out of Italy. Definitely visit the estate for a group tastings through La Strada del Vino degli Etrushi–make sure to reserve in advance as private tours fill up quickly.
Loc. Le Capanne No. 27, 57022 Bolgheri (LI) Italy
Next we travel to the west to experience the salt water breezes of the sun-tanned region of Southern of France. Situated between Italy on the east, the Rhone River on the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the South, Provence is a picturesque combination of glistening yachts and swaying lavender fields. However, for a wine enthusiast, it’s the allure of a good rosé that draws them to this unique region. In a world saturated by red and white wines, this pink wine has challenged our palette and redefined global wine markets. Its growing popularity over the last decade has made rosé a summertime staple throughout the globe, and a permanent fixture in warm tropical climates.
VISIT: CHATEAU D’ESCLANS
Carve out some time during your vacation to check out our favorite vineyard, home to the world renowned Whispering Angel Rosé. Its light, airy flavor and mildly aromatic nose will have you tasting hints of strawberries and lemon tang with a smooth flavorful finish. But while you are visiting, don’t limit yourself to just one wine. Château d’Esclans is also known for their old Grenache vines and their Vermentino grapes. Try the Cuvée Déesse Astrée, a low acidity, herbal, slightly bitter but bright white wine. Also taste the Château d’Esclans Garrus, made of 80 plus year old Grenache vines. Leave the vineyard with a smile on your face because you are on the cutting-edge of wine trends.
Château d’Esclans, 83920 La Motte, France
LA RIOJA: SPAIN
Finally, we delve south to the Northern part of Spain which is known for its Iberian history, rolling hills, and brilliant wines. Home of several Michelin star restaurants and a culture that will not quit, La Rioja is at the epicenter of winemaking. The Tempranillo grape is the flagship of Rioja wines, blending with other regional grapes such as Garnacha Tinta, Mazuelo, and Graciano. The results of these combined are sumptuous, heavy reds that are enjoyable both on their own or paired with a meal.
VISIT: DINASTIA VIVANCO WINE MUSEUM
Located in Rioja Alta, this is one of the wine world’s greatest cultural icons. The museum expands through 4000 square meters and four floors of exhibition space–it has 5 permanent installations and a hall for temporary shows. Its most triumphant accomplishment is the Garden of Bacchus, an outdoor space that boasts over 220 varieties of grapevines from across the globe. Named Winery of the Y (2013) by Gourmets Guide and named one of the top 100 wineries of the year in 2014 by Wine & Spirits, the Museum is an excellent balance between history and modern trends. Prepare for a comprehensive, educational and fantastic adventure.
Carretera Nacional 232, 26330 Briones, La Rioja, Spain, +34 941 32 23 23
Benjamin Franklin once said: “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” We couldn’t agree more – wine your way across Europe and take in the world class vineyards and stunning vistas.