5 Wine Regions To Get Drunk In (Besides French wine regions)

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There’s a little drunk person in all of us that loves to swirl wine, admire the ruby red legs, sniff the unusual scents, and pretend that we know what we’re talking about.

Yes, I’m talking about wine tasting… every adults secret pleasure.

So grab a glass of wine and prepare to be inspired for your next wine retreat.

5 wine regions to visit other than French wine regions

Tuscany Wine region, Italy Europe
Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash

Tuscany, Italy

Sangiovese is by far Tuscany’s shining star, but Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are also popular grapes grown in the region.

Location

Tuscany is located in central Italy about 30 mile (50km) southwest of Florence.

When to Go

The best time to taste Tuscany is from September to October during the harvest. The weather is gorgeous and activities are plentiful.

Where to Go

Wine tasting in Tuscany is a bit different than other parts of the world. Most wineries aren’t open to the general public for drop in tastings, rather you’ll need to make an appointment.

You can either join a wine tour or sample the local wines by visiting a tasting room in town.

  • In Brunellos, visit La Fortezza or Osticcio
  • In Siena, visit Fortezza
  • In Greve, visit Le Cantine

Tuscany Wine Tasting Tours

For a full day of wine fun we recommend you visit Brunello. Your day will include a beautiful drive through the Tuscan hills, guided tours from a local producer, olive oil and wine tastings along with an incredible lunch.

Join your favourite wine tasting tour of Brunello with our partners Get Your Guide.

Mendoza wine region Argentina Andes Mountains

Mendoza, Argentina

Green rolling vineyards backdropped by the towering Andes mountains makes Mendoza tough to beat. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Chardonnay are the most popular varietals in the region.

Location

Just a quick plane ride from Buenos Aires (745 mi/1,195 km) Mendoza is located in eastern Argentina close to the Chilean border.

When to Go

September to November (Spring) or March to May (Fall) is a great time to visit Mendoza. The weather is mild and Spring is the harvest season.

Where to Go

Before you head out to the tasting rooms, visit Vines of Mendoza Tasting Room in Mendoza to sample the local wines. They have regional maps so you can sample your favorite wines, find them on the map, and then plan a route to the tasting rooms.

Maipu and Lujan de Cuyo are very popular areas with tasting rooms open to the public during the week (most wineries are closed on weekends).

Wine tasting tours of Mendoza

Check out this fabulous tour of Mendoza here. 

Tip

For more flexibility, skip the wine tour and visit the wineries by local bus.

Stellenbosch wine region Cape Town South Africa

Stellenbosch, South Africa

Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, Pinotages and Shirazs have made Stellenbosch a world-class wine region.

Location

Stellenbosch is just a quick 30 mile (50km) drive east from Cape Town. Wine tours depart daily from Cape Town.

When to Go

November to April is a great time to visit Stellenbosch as the weather clear, warm and lovely. For the annual crush, visit from February to March.

Where to Go

Tokara Estates, Rust en Verde, Rustenburg, Warwick, and L’Avenir are popular tasting rooms in the region. If you have time, drive out to Boekenhoutskloof and De Trafford.

For maps and itineraries, check out the wine route.

Stellenbosch Wine Tours

 

sonoma wine region California USA
Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash

Sonoma Valley, California

The Napa Valley’s lesser known and perhaps tastier sister, Sonoma Valley is where the locals go to avoid Napa’s over tourism. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Zinfandel are what Sonoma Valley is famous for.

Location

Sonoma Valley is located under two hours northeast from San Francisco Airport. If you’re in a hurry, cut through Oakland rather than San Francisco as traffic can be daunting.

When to Go

The best time to visit Sonoma is from April to June or September to October for beautiful weather and vines. Autumn is the harvest so check the calendar for special events.

Where to Go

Start your route at the Ledsen tasting room, one of the northern most wineries on the map, and cruise south down highway 12 stopping at wineries all along the way. Benziger Winery is a great stop and they offer a tram winery tour and Bartholomew Park Winery is one of the oldest wineries in the region. When you reach downtown Sonoma there are several nice restaurants ranging from steak houses to Thai cuisine.

Wine tours in Sonoma Valley

Find your favorite wine tour of Sonoma Valley with our partners at Get Your Guide! 

Sunset at Steingarten Vineyard in the Barossa Valley, South Australia

Barossa Valley, Australia

With Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mataro, and Merlot vines blanketing the region, the Barossa Valley in South Australia is definitely worth a trip.

Location

From Sydney, catch a connecting flight to the South Australian town of Adelaide. From there you can rent a car or take a tour 37 miles (60km) northeast to Barossa Valley.

When to Go

September to November (Spring) or March to May (Autumn) is the most ideal time to visit Barossa Valley. If you happen to visit in April or May on an odd year, check out the Barossa Vintage Festival.

Where to Go

Download and print a Barossa Valley map to help plan your visit. Peter Lehmann, Cellar Jacob’s Creek, Saltram, St Hallett, and Henschke are popular spots. Call in advance to make sure the wineries are open to the public. For incredible views of the valley, drive up to Mengler Hill.

If you don’t want to bother with driving and coordinating an itinerary, consider taking a wine tour from Adelaide.

Drink responsibly and have fun.

Wine tours in Barossa Valley

Check out these Barossa Valley wine tours from our partners Get Your Guide.

Pin to share:

Where's your favorite wine region around the world? Check out these five incredible places to drink wine in the world - Stellenbosch, Barossa Valley, Tuscany and more!

Know a great wine region? Let us know in the comments below…

Darcie Connell is the co-founder of Trekity.com, a cool travel site that provides travel ideas just for you, and TravelBloggerAcademy, where regular people can start travel blogging. Follow her on Twitter.

25 thoughts on “5 Wine Regions To Get Drunk In (Besides French wine regions)”

  1. John of Travel Rinse Repeat

    I enjoyed the beautiful scenery in the Santa Ynez valley on the central coast of California – also a nice departure from Napa.

  2. Marlborough, specifically Renwick, in NZ is great because there are a ton of wineries with open cellars in close proximity to one another. All you need is a bicycle.

  3. Roy Marvelous

    Moravia in Czech Republic has a fantastic wine region. The tour I did was all in Czech so I had no idea what was going on – but it was all-you-can-drink wine after, so no complaints!

  4. LOL! I love this. It’s so funny… may I add that you forgot Chile? These days, Chile is an ABSOLUTE must. And Spain would probably work too, not only for the great Rioja, but also because the Spaniards seem to party really hard (as witnessed by the metro stations throughout the country on a Saturday or Sunday morning when most of the young Spanish kids are throwing up or laying around in there after a Rioja kind of night.) 🙂

    Thanks for this!

  5. The Niagara Wine Trail is the fastest growing wine trail in the United States, located along the Niagara Escarpment in New York State. The fertile soil and adequate rainfall allow for excellent growing conditions, and contributes to award winning wine.

  6. Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California, Mexico has some extraordinary wines, you will be greatly surprised

  7. Anderson Valley, California, gets my vote. It’s the northernmost valley of the Sonoma region with ideal conditions for pinot noir. Duckhorn opened their pinot vineyard there (Goldeneye) to take advantage. But on top of that it’s a gorgeous place that still feels lazy, where you can speak to actual winemakers – just like Napa/Sonoma back in the day. (Of course I’m way too young to remember, but my dad has a great memory and many stories!) Then drive a half-hour over the pass and you’re on the Mendocino Coast. Heaven.

  8. Add number 6: Germany
    We got excellent wine areas at the river Rhine or Mosel (& many more). Those wines have fab quality, but are just not as known as the ones in France.

  9. First of all let me say that it was quite funny to see you go from one kid-based post to a get drunk post.
    But more to the point, these places all look great. I have been to Napa and can vouch for it. I would also recommend Cappadocia, Turkey. The wine is not quite world-class yet but is constantly improving, and when you add the scenery, it is worth the trip. However, given the more conservative, Muslim society in which Cappadocia finds itself, I would not recommend getting drunk.

  10. You might not believe it, but for the last few years English sparkling wines have beaten champagne in almost all the blind-tasting awards. Nearly all the English sparklers come from the south east of the country, where the climate is said to be similar to the Champagne region of France 20 years or so ago. We can’t call it champagne but it’s a lovely region of England to visit. I’ve got Ridgeview (served to Obama on his last visit) for my wedding in a couple of weeks.

  11. clive graham-ranger

    will it be ok for me to use some of this in my new cambodian premier magazine if i give full credit?

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