June 15, 2024

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Travel inspiration: Decanter’s 50 best wine trips

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From Champagne hotels to Napa wineries, Decanter’s list of 50 fantastic wine trips reflects how we have been inspiring readers with wine travel ideas in print for nearly 50 years, and online for more than two decades.

Whether you’re looking for last-minute inspiration, planning the trip of a lifetime or just dreaming, we are here to help.

We ranked every travel feature on decanter.com according to popularity over the past year, and the list ranges from recent expert guides to archive classics. For the sake of simplicity, we’ve stuck to regional guides, rather than include city, restaurant and wine bar recommendations.

You can find the full list of Decanter’s best wine trips in the August 2023 issue of Decanter magazine, and by following the link below to our dedicated online page.

See our full top 50 wine trips ranking here

decanter best wine trips

Image: Credit: Travel Wild / Getty Images.

As a preview, here are the top 10 wine travel experiences on the list, with links to the full guides and excerpts, as compiled for Decanter by Alicia Miller.

Decanter’s best wine trips: the top 10

10. Top Champagne hotels off the beaten track

‘Visiting the famous houses’ cellars and reception centres in Reims and Epernay often means missing out on the vineyards, scenery and myriad small family producers of the region – which are all situated outside the main towns. But rural hotel havens get you up close to the soul of the world’s favourite fizz…’ (Guide author: Tim Hall)

9.  Mallorca’s renascent wine scene

‘Balearic island Mallorca has a reputation as a beachy, sunseeker hotspot. But most of the island north and east of capital Palma is tranquil and bucolic…’ (Shawn Hennessey)

8. Southern Italy: wineries & vineyard stays

‘Pick any one in my selection of fabulous places to visit, each with a link to wine, and you will leave seduced by the food, wine and hospitality of the Italian meridione…’ (Carla Capalbo)

7. Montalcino: enjoy food & wine in Brunello country

‘Montalcino is a superstar wine region, fortuitously off the beaten track. Unspoiled, with no motorway nearby, the most ubiquitous through-traffic is human-powered…’ (Monty Waldin)

6. California: three days in Sonoma wine country

‘Despite living in its neighbour’s shadow, Sonoma wine country is double the size of Napa Valley, extending to destinations such as Healdsburg and the Russian River Valley, the funky town of Sebastopol and even the Pacific ocean…’ (Jess Lander)

5. Northern Italy: Lake Garda’s varied wine styles

‘Lake Garda’s charming character is defined by its medieval castles, quaint lakeside villages and crystal blue waters…The landscape is verdant with lemon and olive groves, and vineyards that provide quaffable enjoyment made from grapes that are grown on morainic soils left by glaciers millions of years ago…’ (Marisa Finetti)

4. Bordeaux: travel secrets of the local experts

‘We asked Bordeaux’s top English speaking wine-country trip planners and guides to reveal their favourite places to visit…’ (Ceil Miller Bouchet)

3. Napa and Sonoma: top wineries for visitor tastings

‘Napa has 16 appellations – known as American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) – spread through the mountains, valley floor and outlying areas, all with a vinous voice of their own…[while] Sonoma Valley, with 1708155945 19 AVAs, is a fascinating place for wine tourism…’ (Harry Fawkes)

2. Seven of the best Champagne houses for visitors

‘A UNESCO World Heritage site just a 40-minute train ride from Paris, the Champagne region is understandably a hit with visitors. With so many houses to choose from you won’t be able to tick off all your favourites on just a short visit, so you need to prioritise…’ (Tyson Stelzer)

1. Tuscany: the wineries you shouldn’t miss

‘Tuscany is like a great bottle of wine; lovingly created and carefully aged. The longer you spend contemplating its rich hues, the better it gets…’ (Filippo Bartolotta / Decanter staff)

See our full top 50 wine trips ranking here

decanter best wine trips

Image: Credit: Travel Wild / Getty Images.

This top 50 ranking first appeared in Decanter magazine’s August 2023 issue. Content for the article was compiled by Alicia Miller, who also wrote the introduction to the magazine feature. 

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