Through the Grapevine: 6 Lesser-Known Wine Regions to Discover

CCalvin October 12, 2023 7:01 AM

You've heard of Napa Valley, Bordeaux, and Tuscany — the titans of the wine world. But did you know that there are countless lesser-known wine regions that offer excellent wines, beautiful vistas, and unique cultural experiences? In this article, we'll journey through six such regions that should be on every wine lover's travel guide.

1. Finger Lakes, USA

Located in upstate New York, the Finger Lakes region is one of America's top wine production regions. The region's cool climate and deep, glacially-carved lakes create the perfect conditions for growing Riesling grapes. Wineries in Finger Lakes offer some of the best Riesling wines in the world, earning it a spot on any wine tasting tour.

2. Central Otago, New Zealand

Famed for its Pinot Noir, Central Otago in New Zealand is a wine lover's paradise. The region's unique climate, with hot days and cool nights, gives its wines a distinct and powerful flavor. Plus, the breathtaking landscapes are an added bonus for any wine tourism excursion.

3. Douro Valley, Portugal

Douro Valley is one of the world's oldest wine regions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While it's best known for its Port wine, recent years have seen a surge in the production of high-quality table wines, making it a perfect wine travel destination for those looking to explore beyond the usual.

4. Swartland, South Africa

Once considered the breadbasket of Cape Town, Swartland has undergone a vinous revolution in the last couple of decades. This underrated wine region is now known for its Rhône-style wines and is a must-visit for anyone looking to discover new tastes.

5. Mendoza, Argentina

While Mendoza might be well-known to some, it's often overlooked in favor of more famous regions. With its high-altitude vineyards and focus on Malbec, this region offers a unique wine tasting experience that shouldn't be missed.

6. Kakheti, Georgia

Kakheti, located in the cradle of wine, Georgia, is one of the most ancient wine regions in the world. The region's winemaking tradition, which dates back 8,000 years, is recognized by UNESCO. Today, it's gaining popularity for its unique winemaking methods and indigenous grape varieties.

Here's a quick overview of these regions and what they offer:

Wine Region Known for Speciality
Finger Lakes, USA Cool climate Riesling
Central Otago, NZ Unique climate Pinot Noir
Douro Valley, Portugal Old world charm Port wine
Swartland, South Africa Vinous revolution Rhône-style wines
Mendoza, Argentina High-altitude vineyards Malbec
Kakheti, Georgia Ancient traditions Indigenous grapes

So, if you're planning your next wine tasting tour, consider stepping off the beaten path and exploring these hidden gems of wine regions. Not only will you get to taste some exceptional wines, but you'll also enrich your knowledge about different wine cultures around the world.

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