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Wine lovers know that there are few trips more relaxing than a proper vino vacation.
Planned correctly, the best wine trips will have you leisurely strolling through vineyards, visiting the source of world-renowned wines, and snacking on delicious Michelin-star-worthy meals – all while enjoying the serene views of the countryside.
Of course, there are great wines produced all over the world, from San Francisco (well, Napa and Sonoma) to South Africa. But if you're a wine lover planning your next vacation, these 5 countries deserve to be at the top of your list.
The best travel destinations for wine lovers
Chile produces some of South America's finest wines.
Home to a lengthy coastline, the towering Andes mountain range, and the driest nonpolar desert in the world (the Atacama), Chile is a place of dramatic landscapes. Unsurprisingly, the country's delicious wine is a direct result of grapes that grow in the diverse, varied terrain of Chile's wine regions.
From the crisp Sauvignon Blanc of Casablanca Valley to the world-famous Cabernet Sauvignons of Maipo Valley, wine lovers are sure to find a wine to suit their tastes in Chile.
Speaking of tastes, be sure to take advantage of tastings and tours from Chile's biggest wine brands including Concha y Toro and Viña Undurraga, both easily accessible from nearby Santiago.
From Rome to the Amalfi Coast and beyond, Italy is a dream travel destination for wine lovers. Home to several world-famous wines, each region offers a distinct one to try.
In the rolling hills of Tuscany, you can savor decadent Chianti Classicos along with stunning landscapes and rolling hills. In Piedmont, Barolos and Barbarescos have long attracted wine lovers from around the world. And in the sunny South, you'll find juicy Nero d'Avola red wines and refreshing Sicilian white wines.
Add in Italy's amazing food culture and it's no wonder that millions of wine enthusiasts flock there every year.
Paris isn't the only place in France worth falling in love with, especially if you're a wine lover.
Throughout France, you'll find a deep wine culture that has been around for centuries. In fact, France produces wine in almost every region of the country, save for those along the north coast. Meaning that from Burgundy to Bordeaux, Champagne to Chablis, you're virtually guaranteed to find a wine that delights your taste buds.
In the wine-making hotspot of Burgundy, wine lovers can explore wine trails and visit famous wine estates like Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. In fact, Burgundy is so famous for its wines that its terroirs (elements of a crop's growing environment) earned it UNESCO World Heritage status in 2015.
In the southwestern region of Bordeaux, wine lovers can tour famous vineyards and wine estates like famous Château Lafite Rothschild, producers of some of the world's most expensive wines.
Portugal's wine culture is one of the oldest in Europe, with the first vines being planted as early as 2000 BC.
Portuguese wine blends old-world traditions and new tastes while still maintaining a wine style that has been around for centuries. The country's crisp and citrusy vino verde (green wine) is perfect for those who are looking for an effervescent twist on their usual white wine.
But Portugal's most famous wine doesn't come from Lisbon. Instead, it hails from the picturesque city of Porto, where you'll find an abundance of Port wine, a sweet after-dinner wine from the Douro Valley that is fortified with grape spirits such as cognac or brandy.
From Barcelona to Madrid, Spain's wine culture is deep-rooted in the country's history. In the northwestern region of Castilla y León, you'll find Ribera del Duero, one of Spain's most prestigious wine-making areas, famous for producing high quality, deeply colored reds from Tempranillo grapes.
Nearby sits La Rioja. Home to more than 600 bodegas, or wineries, Rioja is famous for barrel-aged reds made from Temparanillo and Garnacha grapes. Must-visit stops in La Rioja include the world famous Bodegas Muga and Bodegas Franco Españolas.
Just be sure not to spend all of your time in the north. Spain also produces a range of wines from the southernmost wine region of Andalusia, best known as the birthplace of the fortified Sherry wine.
Start planning your trip to the world's best wine countries
Whether you're a casual wine lover or an aspiring sommelier, you simply can't go wrong with planning a trip to any of these incredible wine-growing countries.
Just be sure to take notes on your favorite wines so that you can come home and start investing in the good stuff with Vinovest.
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BY: ZACH ANDERSON, CONTENT MARKETING & FLIGHT EXPERT
Zach is a digital marketer, copywriter, and flight deal expert at Dollar Flight Club where he helps 1 million people travel more. As a digital nomad, he is deeply passionate about location independence, Thai food, and helping others see the world affordably.