Top 10 Wine Destinations in Europe

Here are the top 10 Wine Destinations in Europe according to

1) Tuscany, Italy

It’s hard to find a bad bottle of wine in Tuscany—even the most modest trattoria will usually have an excellent house red. Standouts include Chianti (of course), Vernaccia di San Gimignano and the so-called “Super Tuscans.” So tear yourself away from the museums of Florence, even if just for the afternoon, and tour a few wineries in the countryside. We can’t think of a more beautiful (or delicious) way to spend a day.

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2) Aquitaine, France

Château d’Yquem, perhaps the world’s most prestigious wine, is produced here. How prestigious? Well, Thomas Jefferson was a fan, and a bottle of the 1811 vintage sold at auction in 2011 for $117,000, the highest price ever commanded by a single bottle of wine. But there are thousands of chateaux to visit in the region, so even if the Château d’Yquem is a bit out of reach, you’ll still have a wonderful time tasting notable red and white Bordeaux vintages.

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3) Provence, France

If you’re one of the many new fans of rosé, head to Provence to taste some of the world’s best. The crisp, dry pink wine (made from red grapes) pairs particularly well with garlicky foods, like the region’s famous aioli. You’ll also find good, spicy reds. For a special treat, visit in late June or July, when the lavender is blooming.

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4) Umbria, Italy

Umbria may not produce as much wine as Tuscany, but there’s a silver lining—it’s not as popular with tourists. If you’d like to taste great Italian wine without the crowds, Umbria is a good bet. Orvieto Classico, a white available in dry and sweet versions, is the region’s top wine. But for something a bit different, try Sagrantino, a tannic, full-bodied red. Don’t forget to visit Perugia to tour the Perugina chocolate factory.

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5) Sicily, Italy

Dessert wines like Marsala are the big draw in Sicily—they account for 90% of the local production. Legend has it that new wine is ready to drink on Saint Martin’s Day, November 11. If you’re in the area, put this to the test by attending the Festa del Vino (Festival of Wine).

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6) Languedoc- Roussillon, France

There’s no doubt about it—wine is huge in Languedoc-Roussillon. This is the world’s largest wine region, and if it can be made from grapes, local vintners probably produce it. Over two billion bottles of white, red, rosé, sparkling and sweet wine are made here every year. Try the Cremant de Limoux, a modern-style sparkling wine with a taste to rival much more expensive Champagne.

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7) Burgundy, France

Romans first planted wine grapes in Burgundy roughly two millennia ago, so the local vintners have had plenty of time to perfect their craft. If you like reds, head to Côte de Nuits; if you’re a fan of whites, try Côte de Beaune. Many TripAdvisor travelers recommend a stop at La Cave de l’Ange Gardien in Beaune, for a comprehensive introduction to the food and wine of the region.

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8) Champagne-Ardenne, France

Dom Perignon, Cristal, Veuve Clicquot… The very names evoke images of decadence and luxury, from star-studded parties in sunny destinations to candlelit evenings in five-star surrounds. Champagne-Ardenne breaks out the bubbly by the millions of cases every year, drawing thirsty travelers from the world over to taste its unparalleled sparkling wines and explore the chalky caves in which the Champagne matures.

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9) Costa de la Luz, Spain

If you love sherry, you’ll be in heaven in Costa de la Luz. Over 60 bodegas in the area produce various kinds of sherry, ranging from delicate Manzanilla to Cream Sherry to Amontillado (the perfect gift for fans of Edgar Allen Poe). If you’re an art lover as well as a sherry buff, don’t miss the Bodega Tradicion. There, you can sample excellent VOS and VORS sherries and view works by Goya and Velazquez from the owner’s personal art collection.

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10) Porto District, Portugal

Centuries ago, the British were at war with France but dearly missed French wine. They tried importing Portuguese wine but found it spoiled on the journey. Enterprising wine makers decided to fortify it, and port was born. Porto is the center of the port industry, and no visit here would be complete without visiting a few local port houses to sample the many different types and vintages. Find a tasting room that offers port/chocolate tasting flights, because port and chocolate go perfectly together.

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