10 Best Wine Destinations for 2013
New York-based Wine Enthusiast Magazine has released its picks for best wine travel destinations for 2013.
The selections are notable for including offbeat wine regions around the world, from a castle in Puglia, Italy, to a university town in South Africa.
Other picks include: Danube, Austria; Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil; Monterey County, California; North and South Forks of Long Island New York; and Willamette Valley, Oregon.
For each destination, the magazine recommends when and where to eat, taste and stay, with itineraries packed with information about boutique tasting rooms and winemakers’ studios.
Each region’s best wines are dissected and discussed — Australia’s Hunter Valley should be visited for its two distinctive wine styles “unduplicated elsewhere,” says the magazine. In Spain’s great wine regiion of Rioja — “the granddaddy of them all” — visitors can stay in Frank Gehry-designed Hotel Marqués de Riscal and take lessons in racking at Bodegas Muga.
Eyebrow-raising local lore is mentioned in the activities categories.
“This is a land of superstitions, and old-timers warn that poisonous tarantulas will bite humans (mostly young females), forcing them into a frenzied, trance-like dance called tarantella,” says one section about the summer dance and music festivals in Puglia.
Fun supplements include budget options (horseback rides through a vineyard, wine taverns) to insider tips from locals — a small vineyard owner in Douro Valley, Portugal, recommends taking the train through the valley for gorgeous vineyard views.