Wine tourism is booming, and we’re not the least bit surprised
A niche market on the rise, wine tourism is expected to gain considerable momentum in 2018, with several travel companies projecting their own wine tourism sales to increase as much as 30 percent in the coming year.
But what’s driving all this growth?
Over the past several years, wine has gained popularity among a wide range of demographics, boosting overall consumption. In fact, some reports even suggest Millennials are consuming more wine than their Baby Boomer parents. This boost in consumption has bolstered the wine industry and the culture that surrounds it, inspiring some to reach for their passports and experience firsthand the regions from which their favorite varietals hail.
With celebrated wine regions in unique corners all over the globe, there’s no shortage of options for experiencing the world by way of wine. Here’s a look at our picks for must-see wine regions in 2018:
Castilla y León, Spain
A historic region rich with art, viticulture, and gastronomy, the Castilla y León region of Spain is a wine lover’s paradise. Consisting of high plateaus encircled by dignified mountains, Castilla y León boasts highly esteemed estates and vineyards, prominent wine regions in the area include D.O. Ribera del Duero and D.O. Toro. With a long tradition of winemaking in the region, Castilla y León offers visitors a firsthand look into the history of one of the world’s most important viticulture areas.
Entrenched in a history rooted deeply in winemaking, Croatia has gained popularity in recent years for its increased production of top-notch wines. Home to 64 indigenous grape varietals, Croatia has two distinct wine regions — coastal and continental — which are divided into smaller sub-regions. While both white and read varietals are produced in Croatia, white varietals account for 60 percent of Croatia’s wine production.
The largest of the Mediterranean islands, Sicily — with its 2,700-year-old history —is an island off the coast of Italy acclaimed for its well-preserved art and architecture. However, while ancient ruins and landmarks like Mount Etna may attract the average traveler to this Italian island, it’s the wine this region is renowned for that sends oenophiles flocking. With the highest concentration of vineyards in any region in Italy, it’s no surprise that Sicilian wines have grown in popularity over the years. Notable varietals include marsala, cabernet sauvignon, and chardonnay, but a recent trend has been a focus on grapes indigenous to the island, such as the bold, full-bodied Nero d’Avola, which pairs wonderfully with the local cuisine.
Rolling vineyards, fragrant lavender fields, lush olive groves — these are just a few of the distinguishing features that make Provence a region worth relishing. Located in southeastern France bordering Italy and the Mediterranean Sea, Provence is home to important wine regions like Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where vineyards cover more than 7,900 acres of land and boutique wineries dot the landscape. This celebrated region is a delight for the senses, beckoning wine lovers (and gourmands alike) to experience the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes the region is renowned for.
A quintessential destination for any wine lover, Tuscany is home to some of the world’s most celebrated wines, savory cheeses, and treasured monuments. Located in central Italy, Tuscany boasts a diverse landscape complete with craggy mountains, pristine beaches, lush olive groves, and some of the most notable vineyards in the world. Between sipping Super Tuscan wines and indulging in exquisite local cuisine, Tuscany also provides visitors the opportunity to travel back in time while viewing some of the most revered Renaissance art and architecture in the world.