Best countries for the wine lover expat

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Published 2 months ago

Wine tasting at a picturesque winery is an excellent unwinding and invigorating experience, and you don’t have to be a leisure traveller to enjoy it. If your expatriation journey has taken you to one of the world’s most astonishing landscapes in the USA, Portugal, Australia, South Africa, France, or Spain, you are fortunate because you can indulge in the country’s rich wine heritage at any time.

Portugal

Vineyards in the Valley of the River Douro
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Douro Valley in northern Portugal (a 90-minute drive from Porto) is a Unesco World Heritage Site thanks to its natural beauty and long-standing tradition in winemaking. The region has been producing wine for more than two thousand years. However, the area was officially recognised for its winemaking only in 1756, and it became the first demarcated wine region in the world. Here, you will witness the knowledge which has been passed from one generation to another and the abundance of natural gifts (the river, the sun, the valley), which all contribute to the making of a unique, internationally recognised robust red wine.

South Africa

Cape wine routes
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The Cape vineyards or Cape wine routes are made of about six wine regions, 20 routes, and a few hundred wineries in total, justifying the area’s reputation as the largest winemaking area in South Africa. Decide whether you prefer a boutique winery with an intimate set-up, a big production winery, or a winery with a fascinating outdoors space -- Cape vineyards have something for every taste. The most established wine valleys are Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Constantia, but if you wish to explore something off the beaten track, check the vineyards in Swartland, Wellington, and Tulbagh.

France

Bordeaux wine
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Some of the most renown wine-related names such as La Champagne and Bordeaux originated in France. The department of Gironde where Bordeaux is located, has about four and a half million visitors per year, making it the most popular destination in France for oenophiles. Over 90% of Bordeaux wines are Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon red wines, and what makes them so special is the region’s complex geology and microclimate. The vineyards of La Champagne are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are amidst an area of 450 km of walking and cycling tracks.  

Australia

Canal Rocks in the south west of Western Australia
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In Australia, it is very easy to combine all in one adventure -- the wine tasting, the hiking in lush forests, and the surfing -- as long as you find yourself in Margaret River, a 60-mile-long peninsula in the south-west of Australia. If you are closer to Australia’s cosmopolitan capital city, the Adelaide Hills and the historic German settlement of Hahndorf are a great escape to enjoy local wines in a rustic, tranquil environment. Not far away from Adelaide is the Barossa Valley, one of Australia’s oldest wine producing regions with more than 150 wineries.

United States

Hot Air Balloon Trip in Napa Valley, California USA
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The US is home to one of the world’s top wine destinations. Napa Valley is located just one hour north of the hilly city of San Francisco in California, and is home to over 400 wineries. The most famous variety is Cabernet Sauvignon, but wine is only one part of the fun. All year round you can indulge in fine dining, relaxation, and recreational activities such as ballooning, golfing, and cycling.

Spain

Nuestra Senora de Valvanera Monastery, La Rioja, Spain
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If you are into wine, you are of course familiar with the wines from the province of La Rioja in northern Spain. This area has more than 500 wineries, but what makes it unique is the phenomenal combination of culture, natural beauty, and winemaking tradition. La Rioja is also home to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites of Suso and Yuso monasteries, where the first literature in Castilian (or Spanish) language was produced. The best time of the year to visit the rolling hillsides of La Rioja is early summer or in autumn when the grape harvest begins.