15 Places You Need To Visit ASAP if You’re Into Wine Tasting

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Wine tastings are an excellent opportunity for both regular wine drinkers and newbies just getting started to try something new and meet like-minded people who appreciate the beauty of the crushed grape. Wine isn’t just a drink; it’s an experience. With just a sip, you can be transported to Italy, France, or Napa Valley.

You don’t have to be a sommelier to gain much wine knowledge — you only need to attend wine tastings. Follow along as we explore 15 places you must visit ASAP if you’re into wine tasting. 

1. Tuscany

At a winery in Tuscany
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Can one think about wine without visions of Tuscany? Italy and vino are synonymous. Tuscany’s world-renowned Chianti Classico wine draws thousands of tourists annually; however, the beautiful scenery brings this wine vacation to a new level. Wine tastings abound in the Tuscany region, so try them all: Montepulciano, Chianti, and Brunello wine. Arrive in September for the Grape Festival. 

2. Napa Valley 

man and woman in wine vineyard
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You don’t have to leave the United States to enjoy breathtaking vineyards and world-class wine. Napa Valley is full of adventure and nonstop wine tastings. Home to three types of grapes, there is a taste for everyone. After a day of tasting, enjoy a romantic dinner at one of Napa’s many gourmet restaurants. 

3. Sonoma 

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Sonoma Valley in California sometimes plays second fiddle to Napa; however, it is anything but. Sonoma is full of beautiful wineries and scenery. It’s best enjoyed on a bicycle to fully take in the landscape. The area is known for its laid-back atmosphere, and many feel it’s a more enjoyable wine experience because of it. 

4. Bordeaux

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Red wine fans take notice —Bordeaux produces a lot of red wine. 85% of the region’s wine is red, including its namesake, Bordeaux. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a unique combo of both also draw wine lovers worldwide. Beyond the wine are France’s culinary delights, which pair perfectly with the wine. Prepare to never want to leave. 

5. Loire Valley

Saumur castle and Loire River, Loire Valley
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If fairytales are your thing, you must add Loire Valley in France to your wine vacation list. Located along the Loire River, the valley boasts ancient castles, lush gardens, and vineyards that are too beautiful to imagine. The area is best known for its sauvignon blanc and smokey cabernet.  

6. Willamette Valley 

Willamette Valley wine vinyard
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In the gorgeous state of Oregon lies Willamette Valley, home to 700 wineries. Europe may be well known for wine, but Willamette Valley produces more Pinot Noir than any other place in the world. Visit the area for a romantic getaway to King Estate Winery, or bring the kiddos and enjoy the Stoller Family Estate.

7. Burgundy

Pinot noir wine from Burgundy, France
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Bring your tasting palate and your appetite to luxurious Burgundy, France, where you’ll sip the region’s famous pinot noir and Chardonnay while feasting on decadent Burgundy delights, such as Coq au vin and Boeuf Bourguignon. Afterward, stroll the many medieval streets and take in some of France’s oldest history. 

8. Porto

Port wine from Porto, Portugal
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If you have never tried port wine, wait for it in Portugal. Port wine is sweet and often enjoyed as a dessert or paired with dark chocolate or blue cheese. Is your mouth watering yet? Porto sits on Portugal’s northwestern coast, where you’ll find many places to taste a tawny or ruby red port wine. 

9. Finger Lakes

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New York state is full of surprises, including the Finger Lakes region, which is the best place to go in New York for wine enthusiasts. The vineyards mainly produce resiling and Gewurztraminer wines, both sweet white wines native to Germany.

10. Cape Town

wine vinyard in Cape Town
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South Africa has made its mark on the map in recent years as a place for wine lovers. Cape Town in the Constantia Valley boasts the southern hemisphere’s oldest wine region. A bonus of Cape Town is that the area grows a wide variety of grapes from around the world. You’ll sample familiar wines, such as Sauvignon Blanc, shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon, and taste Cape Town’s specialties: Chenin Blanc and Pinotage.

11. Lake Chelan

Vineyards overlook Lake Chelan, WA
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Lake Chelan Wine Valley of Washington State is a hidden gem with wine tastings in the hip downtown area, intimate spots in the hills, and large estate wineries with fantastic dining experiences. Lake Chelan is an area to take that romantic getaway you’ve been needing or bring the family for a week-long vacation. There truly is something for everyone. 

12. Texas Hill Country

Texas Hill Country
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You may be surprised to learn that Texas is fifth in the country for producing wine. Home to 400 wineries in perfect Texas style, you’ll find elegant tastings and casual ones where children and the family dog are welcome. They create a variety of whites and reds, and most varieties are bold, just like Texas. 

13. Vermont

Winery in Vermont
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Recently, Vermont began making a name for itself in the world of wine and wine tastings. Not every area can grow cold-hardy grapes to make wine, and that is what makes Vermont unique.  Their reds, whites, and dessert wines are produced from varieties such as Frontenac, Marquette, and La Crescent grapes. 

14. North Fork

Visitors at Long Island winery in North Fork
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Come for the charming small towns and local farm stands, and stay for the 60 vineyards of North Fork, also known as Long Island’s wine country. The vineyards boast over 36 wineries that offer tastings, food pairings, restaurants, live music, and more. The people in North Fork are just as endearing as the delightful wineries. 

15. Leelanau Peninsula

Michigan wine tasting
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Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan is home to around 30 wineries, many of which boast Michigan’s famous cherry wine from Michigan cherries. This is another area that can grow robust grapes that can handle the cold snap. Thankfully, those hearty grapes bring wine enthusiasts sweet, fruit-forward wine varieties. 

No Passport, No Problem: You Don’t Need One to Vacation in These Countries

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If you’re an American citizen traveling out of the country, you have to have a passport to be allowed into somewhere else, right? While that’s mostly true, there are some exceptions. Some are independent countries, while others are U.S. territories that largely operate independently.

Note: Before you visit any of these places, make sure you look into what the entry requirements are. For example, you may need an enhanced ID or proof of certain vaccinations.

No Passport, No Problem: You Don’t Need One to Vacation in These Countries

10 Things Americans Need to Avoid Doing in Europe

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We get it. Setting off to a new place always stirs up a mix of excitement and nerves. There’s the thrill of discovering a new place, but there’s also the reality of being somewhere completely foreign. You’re surrounded by different languages, customs, and ways of life.

10 Things Americans Need to Avoid Doing in Europe

This article was produced by Our Woven Journey. Featured Image Credit: stockfour/Shutterstock

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Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.