By Norire Arakelyan

Wines of the world

For the discerning wine aficionado, a holiday isn't just about sightseeing. It's about savouring the essence of a place, captured in every sip of a meticulously crafted wine. If combining luxurious experiences with exquisite wines sounds like a match made in heaven, read on! Below are five of our top recommended destinations that are ready-made for an unforgettable wine holiday.

Tuscany, Italy

Even in a country recognised for its impressive culinary and wine scene the world over, Tuscany stands out as one of Italy’s most desirable destinations. In fact, its love affair with wine dates back centuries. Etruscans, Romans, and generations of passionate Italians have perfected the art of coaxing exceptional flavours from the Tuscan soil. And, though Tuscany's crown jewel is without doubt the Chianti region, famed for reds, its white wines made from the Vernaccia grape are also highly revered. A quick tasting is practically a Tuscan tradition, enjoyed at most bars and restaurants. Of course, countless vineyards beckon for a more immersive experience too. 

Our recommended Tuscan wine itinerary

Cypress trees dotting winding Tuscan roads

South Africa

South Africa is a land of breathtaking beauty, captivating wildlife, and, of course, exquisite wines. Indeed, it's winemaking tradition stretches back centuries and is intertwined with the country's own unique story. These days, it is renowned for its bold and expressive wines, boasting diverse wine regions which all have their own distinct character. From the world-class Cabernet Sauvignons of Stellenbosch to the unique Chenin Blancs of Paarl, South African wines offer a world of discovery for wine enthusiasts. Best of all, it's perfectly combined with the country's other great attraction – it's wonderful wildlife – with countless national parks and safari opportunities. 

Our recommended South African wine itinerary

Vineyards of Stellenbosch

Margaret River, Australia

Margaret River isn't your typical wine region. Unlike many others across the world, it boasts stunning coastlines with pristine beaches, turquoise waters, limestone caves and ancient forests. So, for many people, its greatest appeal is that it allows you to combine your love of wine with exciting adventures like whale watching and kayaking. This fusion of luxury and adventure sets it apart. A visit on one of our tailor-made itineraries means to learn the secrets behind Margaret River's acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay from passionate winemakers. Savor private tastings where each sip reveals the unique character of the region's terroir, the cool climate and maritime influence adding a refreshing elegance to the wines. For the ultimate indulgence, we recommend stay in a charming and boutique country lodge and enjoying private wine tastings with breathtaking river views.

Our recommended Margaret River wine itinerary

Vineyards of Margaret River, near the Indian Ocean

Napa Valley, USA

North of San Francisco, Napa Valley reigns supreme in California's viticulture scene. Stretching approximately 35 miles through small picturesque towns and villages, its verdant valleys are dotted with over 650 wineries, calling on wine lovers the world over. While Cabernet Sauvignon reigns supreme in this part of the world, Merlot, Chardonnay and Zinfandel also hold a rightful place on the throne. Most of the best-known estates, and many of the smaller ones, offer daily tours and tastings, with the best, and busiest, time to visit falling between August and October when the grapes are harvested. Imagine yourself pedaling through the valley on a rented bike, the Silverado Trail guiding you between stops. For a touch of luxury, consider the Napa Valley Wine Train. Relax in meticulously restored Pullman carriages from the early 20th century, savoring multi-course gourmet meals perfectly paired with the region's finest wines as you admire the breathtaking views.

Our recommended Napa Valley wine itinerary

Wine train of Napa Valley

Douro Valley, Portugal

Portugal's Douro Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famed for its dramatic terraced vineyards clinging to the banks of the Douro River, as well as being the birthplace of the well known Port wine. What's more, steep, winding roads and a dramatic terrain create a sense of remoteness, offering a unique escape. Whether you're exploring it with a rental car, a chauffeured tour or a river cruise, its historic Quintas and traditional wine estates offer a window into the region's winemaking secrets. Our selection of Douro itineraries cover everywhere from Pinhão to Vila Real and Amarante.

Our recommended Douro Valley wine itinerary

Terraced vineyards of the Douro Valley