Whether you’re a well-seasoned wine buff or a complete novice, there is never a better time to visit Europe’s wine regions than in September and October. In these months, the vineyards are harvested and production of new wines takes place. This means the wine regions are a hub of activity, with more wine festivals, tastings and tours than any other time in the year. France, Spain and Italy are some of the most famous wine regions in the world, so here’s the lowdown on what you can expect from a vineyard short break in autumn.
1. Burgundy – France
The region of Burgundy is located in central France and is known by many as the heartland of French wine. Steeped in wine-making history that dates back to monks in the 500s, the region is home to some of France’s most celebrated tipples. Burgundy is famous for its pinot noir grapes for red wine and chardonnay grapes for white wine, two bottles which are household names all over the world. For a break in Burgundy, the picturesque town of Beaune is ideal for a small French town experience whilst the town of Dijon is ideal for those looking for a little more hustle and bustle. Driving through the vineyards throughout France is a truly incredible experience and of course any wine lovers heaven. Be sure to stop off to try and take advantage of some wine tasting… make sure the driver stays off the pop though!
2. Champagne – France
Undoubtedly the most famous wine region in the world, Champagne is situated just one hour north east of Paris. For an autumn break with a difference, why not combine the glamour of a Superbreak short break to Paris with a day trip to Champagne during harvesting season? The region is booming with chic B&B’s, many of which are attached to the vineyards, giving you a real taste of what life is like on a working vineyard. It’s also a great opportunity to pick up some high quality and good value bottle of the famous fizz.
Did you know? Dom Perignon champagne is named after monk Dom Pierre Pérignon, the 17th century monk who perfected the technique of making sparkling wine, which was later named Champagne.
3. Catalonia – Spain
In north eastern Spain lies the region of Catalonia, one of Spain’s most prominent areas for wine production. Areas including Priorat, Montsant, Penedes and Emporda are all ripe with grapes that produce world famous Catalan wine including sparkling Cava. With its vineyard covered hills, stunning coastline and Barcelona no more than an hour away, Catalonia is an idyllic holiday destination for wine enthusiasts.
4. Tuscany – Italy
If you’re looking for somewhere to combine sun drenched vineyards, fine wines and romance, there aren’t many places that can rival the beautiful region of Tuscany. Most famous for its production of Chianti and Sangiovese wines, Tuscany provides Italy (and the rest of the world) with a superb collection of whites and reds. For a short break to Tuscany, the quaint medieval town of Siena provides the perfect base. Situated on the edge of the Chianti foothills, it is here where the region’s finest wines are served next to mouth-watering Tuscan cooking. Consider it your gateway to the Tuscan wine country.
Offering stunning scenery, warm Mediterranean climes and of course, education about world-class wines, Europes top wine regions offer short breaks with a difference. And you’ll be sure to come back knowing your Chablis from your Chateauneuf du Pape!
About the author:
Jessica Gibson is an avid traveller and blogger with passion for water sports such as Scuba Diving, Windsurfing and Sailing. She has most recently travelled to destinations including Mauritius, Marrakech, La Reunion, Munich and Greece, where she sailed around the Greek Islands