One of the biggest emerging markets on the list, Mendoza has wine serious enough for the true connoisseur coupled with an atmosphere anyone can enjoy. Indeed, everything about Mendoza speaks to South American joie de vivre, from the fun-loving growers and managers, to the clientele themselves. That, along with a quality pedigree of dark reds, makes Mendoza a place any true wine-lover needs to add to their bucket list.
Finger Lakes, New York
While perhaps not as important in the global export market as some of the other items on the list, there’s just something about the Finger Lakes area that’s charming enough to justify its inclusion. Maybe it’s the small, farmhouse bed and breakfasts that litter the roads to and from the wineries. Maybe it’s the cast of kindly, career staff that speckle the region’s hundred wineries. Maybe it’s just the rolling hills of upstate New York themselves. However, whatever it is that gives the Finger Lakes their magic, you can’t deny its effect: a totally bucolic nostalgia that every connoisseur should experience at least once in their lives.
The first real heavy-hitter on the list, Tuscany is not for the feint of heart. Indeed, most of the wineries of the region have been around longer than any of us have been alive, bringing an old-school originality that few other places can match. And yet, the wines the region produces are still some of the richest and most inventive to be found anywhere, a combination of texture and taste that makes the area so well-known and well-loved. It is that particular penchant for originality, even in spite of centuries of history, that more than earns Tuscany’s place on this list.
Napa Valley, California
Of course, wine regions are ultimately only as good as their reputations, which is why the area around Napa Valley and Sonoma in California is one of the best there is. The cradle of what is now-classic California wine-making, Napa Valley is home to over 2,000 individual wineries, providing even the most demanding explorer the diversity of experience necessary to have a truly transcendent wine-tasting expedition. Plus, the wine you’ll be tasting is absolutely top notch. Napa Valley is the number one exporter of wines in the United States, meaning the wines you’ll be drinking are nationally and internationally known, a boon any true connoisseur will find truly invaluable.
However, all of that pales in comparison to the place that invented wine-country to begin with: Bordeaux. Indeed, this region is home to some of the best vintages money can buy, one of the many attributes that attracted celebrities like Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino to purchase homes in the region. It is also seriously beautiful. The sloping hills and vineyards have inspired countless generations of artists, including the likes of Monet and Van Gogh. That, on top of the quintessentially Provincial attitude of the locals, makes Bordeaux the absolute best wine region to visit in the world, a place that will be sure to open its arms to you and give you the alcoholic retreat you always wanted.