With 80% of all wine coming from just 10 countries, certain places clearly have just what grapes need to thrive. But where are the best wine regions in the world? From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the sunny vistas of Spain, it’s time to explore where the best wines come from and what makes them such tantalising taste bud tinglers.
France is a haven for wine lovers. It’s one of the biggest wine-consuming countries and one of the biggest exporters, so you know they’re making some good stuff. And it doesn’t get much better than wine from Burgundy.
It’s one of the most expensive regions, but it’s worth every penny. The old-world area comprises 44 charming villages, unique micro-climates and vineyards aplenty. It leads to unbelievable grapes for mouth-watering wine of the finest quality. A red burgundy is made from 100% pinot noir grapes, while the whites are nothing but Chardonnay.
If you want to try a taste of Burgundy, or any other wine for that matter, it’s worth finding a reputable wine merchant with a wide range available.
Rioja is the leading wine-producing region in Spain. And seeing as over a million acres of land are dedicated to growing grapes in Spain, that’s quite a claim. Situated in the north of the country and faced with fierce winds, the Cantabrian mountains offer shelter to the vineyards.
After establishing such a household name, many people think all Rioja is red, but whites are also available. The region uses a mixture of traditional and modern techniques to produce such a beautiful array of wines. However it’s made, you still get that identifiably warming taste of Rioja.
Sitting in central Italy, Tuscany is famed for its world-class wines. With a plethora of elevated vineyards, many of which are situated on luscious rolling hills, the region attracts tourists for the views as much as the quaffing.
The Sangiovese grape suits the terroirs and micro-climates of Tuscany, so it’s no surprise it’s the most popular choice. It produces fine red wines on its own, or mixes well with non-native varieties to create the “Super Tuscans”. These are an increasingly popular choice with the heightened retail price to match.
The Marlborough Region, New Zealand
Marlborough was established as a geographical indication in 2018 and, in that short space of time, has developed a name as one of the best new-world wine regions. In particular, it’s known for its delightful Sauvignon Blanc.
The area nestles between mountains and the Eastern coast, which creates a prolific wine-growing climate. Sunshine is abundant without too much heat or rainfall, leading to intense flavours in the wine. If a Sauvignon doesn’t float your boat, fear not. The region also makes a highly rated pinot gris and chardonnay, amongst others.
When you think of Bordeaux, you think wine. It’s such a famous region that we couldn’t not include it in our list. The area is steeped in wine-making history to the point of having its own wine-themed amusement park to entertain the many tourists heading there to sample a taste of the old-world delights.
Bordeaux is best known for red wines, but you can also get your hands on fresh and fruity white wines well worth a taste. Certain producers have been there for centuries, making some of the finest wines in the world.
Whether you choose to sample wares from the left or right bank of the Gironde River, you’re bound to find some excellent wines to taste.
Napa Valley, California, USA
Napa Valley is one of the best-known wine-making regions in California. There are now more than 400 wineries soaking up every acre of fertile land. Napa offers the perfect blend of climate, soil and terrain, making it an ideal grape-growing location.
But what makes it so idyllic? Plenty of sunshine and a lack of harsh winters give the grapes a long growing season, while cooler mornings allow the vines to rest a little.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the prized productions of the region. It was thrown into the spotlight in 1976 when a bottle from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars was rated ahead of its Bordeaux competitor.
Maipo Valley, Chile
The Maipo Valley is responsible for producing some of the finest wines, with Cabernet Sauvignon being the star of the show. The wine from this region is so good that people have started calling Maipo the “Bordeaux of South America”.
Location plays a huge role in Maipo’s success, as vines benefit from the higher altitudes in the foothills of the Andes. Why does this help so much? The hot days and cooler mountain nights slow down ripening, leading to a longer growing season and more intense flavour.
While these conditions yield excellent results for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay are other varieties the region handles particularly well.
The Mendoza region is another that sits at the base of the Andes. It’s the largest wine region in Argentina and sits across the mountains from Chile.
The Malbec grape is a big part of how the area made such a name for itself. Even though it’s mainly thought of as a blending grape for old-world wineries in France, the Argentinians have mastered producing single varietal wines from it in their new-world ways.
So impressed were French wineries that some producers even moved to Argentina to try and tweak their production techniques for this wonder grape. With France boasting some of the finest wines in the world, It speaks volumes as to the quality of the harvest in Argentina.
Along with malbec, the area produces other varieties and is now dipping a toe into the world of sparkling wine production.
With so many regions around the world offering beautiful wines, it’s hard to capture them all in one article. Tastes differ, too, with each new person you speak to having their own preferences.
We’ve covered some of our favourites, but with more up-and-coming regions appearing each month, it’s sure to change again before long.