While we are enjoying that quiet evening we also share a glass of wine. Yes?
So, why not think about planning a holiday around wine; learning, tasting, and being dazzled by the great vineyards. Some of my clients want to ski the world’s best mountains while others want to scuba dive the greatest reefs. Why not visit the world’s most magnificent vineyards?
A trip to wine country is a trip like no other. The world slows down a bit when you’re strolling through vineyards past rows of plump, sun-ripened grapes, or savoring rare vintages in intimate tasting rooms. There’s no hustle or bustle when you’re chatting with like-minded travelers who share an intense passion for wine and every element of its productions.
Those willing to travel far and wide in pursuit of the perfect glass of wine embrace an easy going pace as they make their way down the coast of California, through the Pacific Northwest or across the hills of Tuscany and along Germany’s Rhine.
Most of us know Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley both north of San Francisco. We have seen the movies and many of us have gone wine tasting in these parts. I had honeymooners spend a week there enjoying private tours and tastings. Enjoying great wine is a way of life and you don’t have to be an expert to share in this venerable passion nor do you need to travel far. Chateau Ste. Michelle is Washington State’s oldest and a most acclaimed winery just 15 miles northeast of Seattle. This scenic property includes formal gardens, trout ponds, and water fountains as well as their namesake French-style chateau which was built in 1976. In the summertime, there are concerts. This is a whole destination in itself. (I recently met a tour guide for Washington and it is very reasonable!)
How about a bit more adventure? There are so many wonderful regions. I have never seen such beautiful vineyards as in the Champaign country east of Paris. And the amount I learned about producing wine while touring Bordeaux was unbelievable! Did you know a grape vine can live for over a hundred years and produces some of the best wine?
There are regions that come to mind in a second thought like Germany’s vineyards. The landscapes are beautiful and diverse and include steep slopes, gently rolling hills and picturesque river valleys dotted with idyllic villages. Most of the 13 wine regions are concentrated within an hour or two from Frankfurt. Within and around the vineyards is a great place for hiking or biking. There are many guided tours as well as great river boat cruises on the Rhine River concentrating on the stops on vineyards.
Europe has so many regions I could write forever! For a bit more adventure in travel, consider all the vineyards in Argentina, Chile, or Australia. Take a wine experience and engage all your senses.
It is not too late to plan a trip and participate in the picking for this fall. Or enjoy a glass of Beaujolais Nouveau at midnight on the third Thursday of November from the little villages and towns north and east of Lyon, France.
So let’s keep the ‘easy summer livin’ and take a vineyard holiday this fall.