Winetraveler’s Top 15 Wine Travel Stories of 2019
Throughout 2019, we’ve taken you all around the world on Winetraveler. From self-guided itineraries to regional and grape profiles, travel advice and more, Winetraveler has grown exponentially in our resources available to provide to wine travelers around the world in the last year.
While it’s never easy to choose our favorite article (we love them all), we wanted to take time to reflect on the top articles on our site for the year. From Japan to Virginia and everywhere in between, these are Winetraveler’s top 15 wine travel stories of 2019 by popularity based on traffic and viral shares.
Did you know Japan makes wine? Beyond Sake, of course. Contributor Carrie Dykes takes us on a journey through Japanese wine in this intriguing article. Many wine lovers may not even know that Tokyo is a natural wine lover’s dream city, as the Japanese have an affinity for natural wine with its purity of flavor and production, which fits nicely with Japanese cuisine. Learn more about some of the natural wine bars and the native hybrid-grape variety, Koshu, as you get to know Japanese wine on Winetraveler.
Dubrovnik has recently risen in popularity as a travel destination due to Game of Thrones fans seeking out some of their favorite show’s locales, but we love it for the opportunity to do some medieval wine tasting. Contributor Lori Zaino takes us on a tour of the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” and even offers us advice about when to visit (plan for April and October). In this article, you can find out more about the best spots to taste some Croatian wines across the city, and where you can grab a glass overlooking the sea. Don’t miss this article if your wine travel plans take you to Dubrovnik.
What’s not to love about visiting an Italian island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea? Writer Carrie Dykes describes the beautiful, relaxed, beachy vibes of this destination, while also going into what we should eat and drink when we visit. Did you know that Sardinian wines are rich in resveratrol? It sounds like spending some time in Sardinia is good for the mind and body. Learn more about why locals live to over 100 years old with the island’s lifestyle, cuisines, and wines in our article.
If the answer is no, then you must start planning your travel for next year to one (or more) of these squares across Europe. Lori Zaino describes how Marienplatz in Munich and Old Town Square in Prague are must-see sights as you travel across the continent. From Stortorget Square in Stockholm, Sweden to moated Plaza España in Seville, Spain, don’t leave your European tour incomplete by missing these beautiful and historic squares, and make sure to bring your camera!
We are lucky to have so many beautiful wine regions across the United States, and New York’s Finger Lakes region is no exception. If you’re making your way up north for a weekend of wine tasting, take a minute to check out contributor Kristy Wenz’s Seneca Lake travel guide. You will learn how to get there, where to stay, and have access to a recommended wine tasting itinerary. Need a restaurant suggestion in the area? We got you covered. Don’t leave home without referencing our Seneca Lake guide.
Back to Europe and back to beautiful historic castles. From France to Portugal, Italy to Slovenia, Lori Zanio knows her castles, and she’s shared the best with us. Where can you find a castle that is reminiscent of the sleeping beauty castle but actually shaped like the bow of a ship? Or how about the “official” inspiration for the iconic Disney castle? These castles and more are included in our article, and it’s a “must-read” for travelers looking for places with historical significance on their travels across Europe.
We love giving credit to lesser-known wine regions on our site. Many of our wine traveling subscribers love to discover new and exciting places to taste wine around the world, like this place. Lake County California is located North of Napa and is actually one of Napa Valley’s best-kept secrets. It’s the source of high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon grapes used by many of the wineries in Napa, and it is also home to California’s largest lake! Learn more about this region and where to stay and taste from Winetraveler contributor, Jamie Metzgar.
We knew our readers liked a challenge! Try saying this grape five times fast. Contributor, Adrian J. Prieto, explains to us what’s in a name with one of his favorite grapes, and tells us exactly where you can find Blaufränkisch wine, but you’ll have to read the article to learn more about this unique variety.
Seneca Lake is so hot this year, and it shows by the popularity of our Finger Lakes articles. Not into New York Riesling? That’s ok. In this piece, writer Kate Meyers Emery takes us on a journey to some Seneca Lake wineries that are known for their dry red wines. Have you ever heard of Ravines Wine Cellars or Red Tail Ridge Winery? If not, then you need to get into this article and learn more about the dry red wine producers in the Finger Lakes.
Writer Kristy Wenz is a Chicagoan who has a thing for traveling to Southwest Michigan for the wine. If you also live in Chicago, or anywhere in the Midwest, the Lake Michigan shore is a lovely place to spend a weekend wine tasting. In our article, Kristy gives you all the information you need to plan a trip, including how to get there, where to stay, and the best spots to taste wine, like Hickory Creek Winery, Lake Michigan Vintners, or Moonrise Winery. Come during the summer for long days and warmer weather but visiting in the Fall can be just as charming. Is it time to travel to Michigan wine country?
What could be better than history and wine? Writer, Jacqueline Coleman, thinks not much else tops a wine tasting trip that combines the two. Luckily for history buffs and wine lovers alike, you can get both just outside of Washington, D.C. in Northern Virginia wine country. If you’re staying in D.C. and don’t have much time, head out to Clifton, VA, only a 45-minute drive to visit Paradise Springs winery. If you are into political dramas and spy mysteries, check out Desert Rose Winery in Hume, VA, where the owner has a very special secret. There are plenty of stories to uncover in Virginia wine country. What are you waiting for?
When she’s not soaking up history and wine in Virginia, Jacqueline Coleman can be found lounging at one of Miami’s swankiest bars or restaurants. Though Miami is not actually in a wine region, it is a city on the cutting edge of culture and cuisine. When you’ve had enough Mojitos, try out one of these incredible places to have a glass of wine in Miami, like Sugar’s rooftop garden or the sophisticated Living Room at the Faena on Miami Beach.
Just a few hours outside of the hustle and bustle of Atlanta is a whole different world of natural beauty in Northern Georgia. Contributor Kendra Hathway shares a love of hiking and wine, and she offers readers her list of hikes and wineries to visit for a perfect weekend in the North Georgia mountains. This is a great article to reference for a weekend getaway in Dahlonega, Helen, Ellijay, or Blue Ridge, Georgia, and Kendra even gives her advice for when to travel to this region. Don’t miss wineries like Fainting Goat Vineyards and Winery, Wolf Mountain, or Stonewall Creek Vineyards. See you on the trail!
London is a big city to navigate, but we’ve made it easy for you to find the top wine bars and restaurants. Contributor Sarah Phillips worked in the wine industry in London and has first-hand knowledge of the best spots to stop for a glass. In our article, find suggestions like Noble Rot, Gordon’s Wine Bar, and Vagabond, and find out where in the city they are located (even by subway stop). If you dream of sipping New Zealand wine in a shipping container in London, there’s a bar for that. Find out more in our Winetraveler article on London’s wine bar scene.
Niagara Falls is a draw for visitors from around the world. If you find yourself visiting Buffalo or the Niagara area, you may also want to do some wine tasting. Contributor Jamie Metzgar shares her insights into where to stay, eat, and taste while visiting the region, including wineries such as Chateau Niagara, Freedom Run Winery, and Arrowhead Springs Winery. Before you take the plunge and visit Niagara, check out our article for some local insights into the area.
There you have it, wine travelers, our top posts of 2019. Don’t miss out on a single one next year. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to get regular updates on wine travel advice and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see some of these places in action on social media.
Happy Wine Traveling!