Wine tasting holidays

Let your passion for fine wine lead you on a merry trail...

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Ronnie McCluskey

Ronnie McCluskey
HomeAway travel expert

Wine, wine, wineWine tasting holidays have become increasingly popular in recent years: the outdated claim that they're a folly of connoisseurs, has been thoroughly dispelled. Wine making is one of the few manufacturing processes left which is utterly dependent on the elements - with a little help from the hugely skilled producers themselves, of course. Thus, each and every bottle is unique. If you enjoy a fine wine, your palate needn’t be finely tuned to the complexities of the grape from whence it came: and you may get as much out of a wine tasting trip as any seasoned aficionado.

Wine regions can traditionally be found in some of the most scenic rural areas around the globe; and since fine wine typically goes hand-in-hand with a similar standard of gastronomy, a self-catering holiday villa in a wine region might represent just the indulgent and relaxing break you crave. Taking holiday accommodation for a wine tasting holiday does not mean that you have to spend the whole week on a vineyard, though - especially if you organise your holiday independently. Wine regions are often near world-class holiday attractions, like the golden beaches of Spain and southern France, or the culture-rich cities of Italy and Germany. So why wait? We’ve compiled a short guide to wine tasting holidays throughout Europe, to get you started.


Five first-rate wine tasting holiday destinations


Wine tasting holidays in France Wine tasting holidays in France

Is France the home of wine tasting holidays? Well, it’s open to debate. One thing’s for sure, though - given how close it lies to the British isles, it’s a hell of a place to take your maiden wine tasting trip. The country has some of the most well-established vineyards, and finest wine makers, in the world. Driving from Porto to Provence, or from the Loire Valley to Bordeaux, you’ll gain a thorough grounding in the science of producing wine - and enjoy tastings at many a grand chateau. There’s nowhere better to learn the art of wine tasting, and there's plenty of delicious food along the way to warrant a glass or three. Treat yourself.

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Wine tasting holidays in Spain Wine tasting holidays in Spain

Spanish wine tasting holidays are a great way to combine culture, sun and scenery. The current wine revolution in Spain means that the wine produced here is among of the finest in the world, and the methods being used to produce them are ground-breaking. As you sample wine from native grape varieties such as Tempranillo and Carinena, your knowledge of the good stuff will expand - who knew getting an education could be this much fun? The proximity of Catalonia’s wineries to Barcelona will give you cause for a weekend in the city, but it’s in the mountains of Andalusia, or in the valleys of Navarre, in the shade of the Pyrenees, where your jaw will drop. Bottoms up!

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Wine tasting holidays in Italy Wine tasting holidays in Italy

The unforgettable regions of Tuscany and Veneto are ideal destinations to discover grape-laden vineyards and sample richly-flavoured wines in the cool of a medieval cellar. The wine of Italy is impossibly varied, and of course the reputation of the local food is no secret: no surprise then that gastronomes from around the globe flock to Trentino, Campania, Sicily and Lazio year-round. Whether you favour the compact and powerful reds of Puglia, or the sparkling whites of Franciacorta, a wine tasting sojourn through Italy will always be about more than wine: rather, it’s about the people, the history, and the simple beauty of the land. There’s an abundance of history and sport to indulge in, too.

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Wine tasting holidays in Portugal Wine tasting holidays in Portugal

It might not have the same heavyweight reputation for wine as France or Italy, but perhaps that’s what makes Portugal unique: there is no sense of treading in anyone’s footsteps here, but rather of forging a fresh path. The Portuguese are known for their juicy native grapes (there’s as many as 500 breeds), so their wines, produced in the UNESCO World Heritage Douro Valley, the Madeira Islands, Lisboa and elsewhere, are that little bit special. Wend your way down the coast, dividing your time between the towns, cities and vineyards: what could be better? And if you really want it all, head directly to the Algarve, where boutique vineyards rub shoulders with some of Europe’s most stunning beaches.

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Wine tasting holidays in Germany Wine tasting holidays in Germany

Another undervalued wine region when compared to the trade titans, but one which is every bit as compelling. German winemakers are terrific hosts, and given that native wines have a comparatively low alcohol content, there’s a strong emphasis on tasting from a wide selection of grape varieties. Sweet wines derived from Beerenauslee and Eiswein, dry table wines, dark, rich, barrique-aged reds from Dornfelder and Spatburgunder: they’re all here, from Baden to Mosel, Saar and Ruwer. Alsace, on the German/French border, is another region the Germans steadfastly claim as their own. Whatever vineyards you select, you’re sure of a warm welcome; and when you’ve ticked the vineyards off your list, you could do worse than a drive through Bavaria, or a weekend in Munich or Berlin, where a treasure trove of culture and scenery awaits.

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More great wine tasting holiday properties

Basque Farmhouse

Overview: Basque Farmhouse is a luxuriously restored 14th century farm house set in its own grounds, consisting of 15 acres of woodlands, meadows and lawns with private pool. It has magnificent views over the surrounding countryside and rolling h...

Aranton Farmhouse

A beautifully renovated farmhouse set in five acres of grounds, with superb views. Aranton Farmhouse is an ideal holiday home for large groups and an idyllic venue for weddings and special celebrations. A super big pool, high-raftered summer sa...

Biron Farmhouse

This is a luxurious and stylishly modernised property owned by English designers and is perfectly situated by the village of Lacapelle Biron. Situated on a hill overlooking the local countryside, the views are stunning. At Biron Farmhouse, the ...

Domaine Du Pont - Farmhouse

This luxury farmhouse sits within the grounds of the magnificent 17th century Chateau du Pont. It is set in stunning landscaped gardens and makes the perfect base to explore the Bayeux Tapestry, Monet's Garden, and the landing beaches. It is only ...

Manoir de Lesuelle

Within beautiful French countryside and five acres of stunning private grounds sits this delightful 15th Century Manor House. The Manoir de Lesuelle has maintained many of its original features including chestnut beams, a grand dining hall and 15t...
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