Wine Tasting Around the World

Code is dry, I’m thirsty

So this blog is “Code and a glass of wine”, but really there’s not much wine on here. It’s a complaint I hear often from my fans. It’s time to fix this.

One of the things I love doing most is travelling, and one of my favourite types of holiday is a wine holiday. Just in case that term is making you anxious, this is a holiday where you go to a wine region, not a holiday away from wine (that’s not a holiday, it’s a punishment).

The wine world is huge

Over time I’ve visited quite a few wine regions in various countries:

  • France – Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire Valley, Champagne, Alsace
  • Australia – Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, Canberra, Tasmania, Yarra Valley, Pyrenees
  • USA – Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Willamette Valley, Walla Walla
  • Argentina – Mendoza

Though it’s a decent list, it’s also only scratching the surface. There are lots of regions and even wine producing countries I’ve never been to, and even in the regions I have been there are many producers and sub-regions still on the to-do list. The more you dive into wine, the more you realise there is left to explore.

The huge and changing range in the wine world is actually the best part, because there’s so much new ground to expand your wine horizons into – you’re never finished. Visiting wine regions is a great way to find something new you love about wine. It’s also a great way to build a diverse collection of interesting wines, and expand the range of wine you’re confident buying back at home.

You can’t see them all, avoiding chaff is hard

Covering a region comprehensively often requires a week or more, and even if I had the time and willing travel companions, there are only so many consecutive days I can dedicate to wine tasting before I start feeling like a sponge left out in the sun.

Making the best of a wine region visit requires you to be calculating. The problem I’ve had is that optimising a wine trip is hard, and the right approach varies a lot based on the region and country. If you don’t do your research, you can miss out on a lot.

For example, many wineries in France are not available for visits without a reservation. In Australia, small producers are often open only part-week. While in many regions of the USA and Mendoza you’ll pay through the nose to even take a sniff of a glass of wine, and it’s easy to get caught in an expensive tourist trap conveyor belt that leaves your wallet empty, as well as your car boot.

mendoza-fournierMendoza, Argentina is a stunning wine region set amongst the Andes

Some tips and recommendations

I’ve been wanting to write about my favourite wine regions, and how I like to approach to wine travelling for a long time. So I’m slowly writing a series of posts on different wine regions and sub-regions I think are worth visiting, as well as some tips on what to expect and how to approach travelling in different regions.

I’ll update the list below as I add new posts. Let’s hope I can avoid this being a long list of unfinished/unpublished posts, or a table of no contents. I’ll start out with a region that’s small and relatively unheard of, but also has a strong reputation and a bright future – the Canberra District of Australia.

alsaceAlsace, France is an amazing combination of French and German culture and wine styles

Catalog of wine tourism posts


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