Top Places to Go on Wine Tours in Europe

Maison Mirabeau, Provence

© Sophia Longhi

Maison Mirabeau, Provence

Maison Mirabeau, Provence

© Sophia Longhi

Provence

Fly into Marseille and begin your tour of this rosé-hued wine region in the super-chic city of Aix-en-Provence. Lunch in Café Caumont’s stunning 18th century garden will get you in the mood for the laidback Provence lifestyle – the fresh seafood dishes and hearty salads are divine. When you’re refreshed and ready to hit the vineyards, expect to fall in love with every dreamy domaine.

Whether it’s the glamourous beach at Château Léoube, the sun-dappled terrace at Maison Mirabeau or the scent of the pine trees at Château de l’Escarelle, you’re certain to be seduced by the Provençale joie-de-vivre. Stay at Bastide Saint-Louis du Thoronet and wake up to sunrise over the vines.

The vineyards of Provence

© Shutterstock

Lake Garda

There’s no shortage of wonderful wine regions to explore in the north of Italy, but for somewhere off the beaten track, head to the vineyards of Lugana on the southern shores of Lake Garda. In a country famous for its powerful red wines, here you’ll discover a white wine lover’s paradise with still and sparkling wines made from the Turbiana grape.

Its crisp, citrusy flavours make for refreshing sunshine-wines, which pair perfectly with a boat trip around Sirmione, but the Superiore and Riserva styles uncover Lugana’s real gastronomic potential. Local dishes, such as risotto with tench, pike in sauce or rabbit fritters are all complemented by these complex white wines. You’ll find plenty of boutique hotels in Desenzano for lakeside dreaming.

Lake Garda

© Sophia Longhi

Beaune

Burgundy might be one of France’s most historic wine regions, but there is still youth and energy to be found here, especially within the vibrant atmosphere of Beaune. Pitch up in this majestic walled town, which is surrounded by some of the most famous vineyards in the world. From here, you’ll be in easy reach of the wine villages of Pommard, Corton-Charlemagne, Romanée-Conti, Meursault, Santenay and Savigny-les-Beaune, though there are many charms to be discovered without even leaving the city walls.

To pair with those sublime wines, you’ll find classic dishes, like Boeuf Bourguignon, escargots and Coq au Vin at the plethora of restaurants and bistrots – the set menus at La Table du Square, Le P’tit Paradis and Les Pôpiettes are particularly good.

The wine village of Corton-Charlemagne 

© Shutterstock

Budapest

Unbeknown to some, Hungary is home to 65,000 hectares of vines across six major wine producing areas. Base yourself in beautiful Budapest to reach them all easily and taste your way through the 233 grape varieties. In the lush green valleys of Upper Pannon, cherry-scented Kékfrankos from Sopron pairs gorgeously with duck breast on top of red cabbage, while traditional method wines made from Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc are ideal for a sundowner sip in Etyek. The Hilton Budapest in Buda’s architecture-rich Castle District makes for luxurious lodgings, especially if your room looks out towards the magnificent Parliament building, which at night casts a golden glow onto the glittering Danube.

Parliament building, Budapest

© Sophia Longhi

Rias Baixas

The fresh, salty sea air can almost be tasted in the Albariño wines of Rías Baixas. Rugged coastlines and emerald hillsides characterise this part of Galicia, known as ‘Green Spain’, up in the northwestern part of the country. Still, there are stretches of sandy beaches to laze on and platters of mussels to devour in between winery visits around Cambados, dubbed the ‘Capital of Albariño’. Head to Cambados in the week leading up to the first Sunday in August for the Festa do Albariño, a feast of gastronomy, music, art, and of course, wine.

Rias Baixas

© Sophia Longhi

FIND OUT MORE

  • 16.09.2021
    Five Sherry Bodegas to Visit
    Sherry is one of those wines whose character is most strongly influenced by the way it’s made. Every sherry bodega has a slightly different...
  • Travelguide
    Wine Tour: Where the Chablis Flows
    The Yonne district is best known for its Chablis white wine, the 'coolest' of all Burgundies. But beyond its famous wine, the north of Burgundy has many discoveries in store.
  • 14.04.2022
    Five Wonderful Wine-Themed Drives
    Fancy hitting the road for a mini-break while sampling the best local wines? Falstaff has your itinerary sorted with these five great...
  • 02.03.2022
    A Danube Cruise Guide for Wine Lovers
    No river flows through more countries than the Danube, with its rich history and thrilling wine culture. Here are six sections for...
  • 04.03.2022
    A Douro Cruise Guide for Wine Lovers
    The Douro River is a natural guide to so many varied wine regions of northern Iberia. From famous names and big reds to rising stars and...