If you’re a true wine lover, you probably think that all wine regions are beautiful. And most are! But if you’re traveling to taste the tannins as well as capture the essence of the region in photos, some wine destinations fit the description just a little bit better than others. Here’s a list of Winetraveler’s top picks for the most picturesque wine regions for photography lovers.
Besides capturing epic views of Florence and beyond from the Plaza Michaelangelo or every angle of the colorful Duomo possible, each of the aforementioned wine regions brings visions of fairy tales to mind. The green rolling hills dotted with stone castles and quaint farmhouses are a photographer’s dream.
Yarra Valley, Australia
Just an hour away from Melbourne, where you can snap some pretty amazing street art along Hosier Lane or penguins frolicking at the St. Kilda Pier, the Yarra Valley is all about modern, minimalist wineries catered towards a younger, millennial crowd. Sip a chardonnay or sparkling wine as you capture the Yarra River weaving through the valley.
Willamette Valley, Oregon, USA
Oregon’s most famous wine valley isn’t just well-known for wine — Willamette Valley is actually famous for its mix of vineyards, lavender fields, flowers and orchards. Photograph the lavender in bloom, all while sampling Pinot Noir and hand-picked fresh fruit from a nearby orchard. Photographers (and anyone else) should visit in mid-July during the lavender festival — you can even submit your photos to their yearly contest.
Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
Whitewashed haciendas and stone farmhouses abound in Mexico’s most famous wine region, still an under-the-radar spot for the wine-obsessed. Foodie photographers should consider dining at Corazón de Tierra or Laja, both on the Top 50 Restaurants in Latin America list, to get some of those detailed, mouthwatering cuisine shots perfect for Instagram.
Loire Valley, France
Two words: castles and wine. That’s pretty much everyone’s dream, isn’t it? The Loire Valley has over 100 châteaux. Yes, you heard right, that’s one wine valley with over 100 castles. So act like royalty for a day, sample some Sauvignon Blanc and photograph a castle. Or all 100!
Lake Geneva, Switzerland
This lesser-known wine tasting destination not only allows you to visit family-owned wineries and taste many wines that aren’t exported beyond Swiss borders, but it also gives you the opportunity to take pictures of the beautiful lake and surrounding mountains and greenery. Plan to snap those storybook villages delicately set in small valleys between rolling hills and towering mountains — they simply ooze charm.
Is there anything more picturesque than sipping wine at the foot of the snow-capped Argentinian Andes mountains? You can also visit and sample olive oil in the Mendoza region too. More adventurous photographers should consider exploring the region via bike or horseback, making for some pretty cool photos — think wine and landscape in action.
Franschhoek, South Africa
Often overpowered by its nearby bigger sister Stellenbosch, Franschhoek is one of the oldest and most beautiful areas of South Africa. Small, boutique wineries sit in the Franschhoek Valley, also home to the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. The contrast of the regions greenery with the rugged mountains beyond is stunning, and quaint B&Bs make for the perfect photo opportunities.
Peloponnese is a very special wine region, different from every other one on this list. Why? Because along with sampling the region’s dry, white Mantinia wines, you can sunbathe at some of the most stunning, pristine beaches in the world. Very few wine regions have long stretches of green vineyards that overlook the blue, sparkling ocean, so snap away!
Okanagan Valley, Canada
With over 160 wineries, many popping up in the past few years, Okanagan Valley offers dramatic, sweeping views of the expansive Okanagan Lake and low, craggy mountains. The climate is perfect for producing Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay, and the smaller Skaha Lake, Vaseux Lake and Osoyoos Lake and surrounding forests and valleys make this destination prime for camera-happy winos.