Best Places to Taste Wine
Collected by Jenna Francisco, AFAR Local Expert
Wine tasting is one of my favorite travel activities, so I've started looking for places where I can feel the history of the area, experience friendly service, and get to know something about wine and the winery's connection to wine making. Here are some places where wine lovers can have a quality tasting experience
18701 Gehricke Rd, Sonoma, CA 95476, USA
You can spend days and days drinking wine in Northern California's wine country. But why not try your own hand at blending some of the region's liquid gold? It is a fun way to learn about the properties of wine and your own personal preferences on...
1170 Tubbs Ln, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Some of the best Napa Valley winetasting experiences are to be had in the tasting rooms of the smaller wineries along the Silverado Trail. Envy Wines, just north of Calistoga (the northernmost part of Napa Valley), is a great pick if you want...
946 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1J7, Canada
Located in Leslieville in the East End, Swirl is in a small, converted apartment above a dog store in Leslieville. I love the decor here, from the tables made from doors or antique sewing machine bases to the artwork by local artists FAME. It's a...
6126 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558, USA
This Napa Valley winery is the only structure in the United States designed by the famed Austrian artist, architect, and ecologist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000). The building's playfulness will put a big smile on your face, and best of...
Q.ta da Romaneira, 5070 Alijó, Portugal
Set amid terraced vineyards along the banks of the Douro River, the guest rooms at the Romaneira have no phones, TVs, or cell reception. Visitors spend their days hiking the 1,000-acre property, drinking the region’s famous port wines, and...
Isla de Maipo, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
There is nothing like visiting central Chile during the wine harvest season. The DeMartino family has a 70-year history producing fine wines in this beautiful, lush region. They manage to grow their crop organically, and are the first winery in...
1236 Lincoln St, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
Tasting wine is enjoyable pretty much anywhere, but becomes especially so when there's a funky old Airstream involved. The Grade Cellars specializes in sauvignon blanc wines and their tour educates about the process, from harvest to bottling—and...
6725 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599, USA
This venue is temporarily closed for renovations, 10/2018. Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley is a well-curated art gallery and wine tasting room set amidst an eclectic sculpture garden. At this Napa Valley tasting room, originally built in 1904 as a private...
45 Blood Alley Square, Vancouver, BC V6B 1C7, Canada
This little hideaway in a back alley, with its communal tables and chalkboard menus, is where I go with friends when we want to share snacks. They match wines to "tasting trios" selected from their cheese and charcuterie cellar. It’s best to let...
nº 13, R. Bartolomeu de Gusmão 11, 1100-000 Lisboa, Portugal
Nutty bread layered with olive oil, jam, salt and cured pig's neck were the perfect accompaniment to rich Portuguese wine and 80 year old port. When visiting wine bars let the staff select your wines ask for the stories behind them. You'll feel...
116 Boulevard Haussmann, 75008 Paris, France
Paris wine shops routinely host free tastings, often led by the growers who make the wine. Paris by Mouth publishes a calendar of tastings, but two shops can be depended upon to have something interesting on the weekends: Les Caves Augé and La...
107 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448, USA
There are numerous wonderful wine tasting locations in Healdsburg. It is both possible and enjoyable to spend an afternoon walking around the square meandering from tasting to tasting. A small gem of a tasting room just a block off the square is...
Via Ciarliana, 53045 Montepulciano SI, Italy
A walk on the vineyards, after the harvest, enjoying the sun of October. You don't need really a car, you can simply walk for a couple of kilometres out of the historic center and you will see the vineyards used for producing the famous Vino...
3340 CA-128, Calistoga, CA 94515, USA
When you're driving up from San Francisco, Bennett Lane is the last winery in Napa Valley (meaning that it's the furthest north). The Calistoga tasting room is worth those extra few miles, though, for a couple of reasons. One, the tasting room...
202 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
The Santa Barbara Urban Wine Trail is a fun and convenient substitute for traditional wine tasting. Walk (or crawl) from one wine bar to the next, just minutes from Downtown Santa Barbara's State Street. First try Corks 'n Crowns, a comfortable...
4029 Hagen Rd, Napa, CA 94558, USA
Palmaz Vineyards is a family run estate in the best sense of the term: everyone, from the patriarch to the kids, has a role in running this state-of-the-art California winery. If James Bond wanted to make wine, he would start at Palmaz in the Napa...
37783 Co Rd 144, Clarksburg, CA 95612, USA
To get to Bogle Vineyards, I drive along a tiny highway that winds along the Sacramento River, past pear orchards, across an old drawbridge, and finally into Clarksburg farms and wine country. The last stretch to Bogle takes me past their huge...
Jelsa, 21465, Jelsa, Croatia
On the pretty island of Hvar, beneath the Bastijana Winery of Andro Tomic, lies a jewel of a wine tasting hall. The dramatic cellar is called Triclinium and has been strikingly constructed out of various types of limestone in a similar manner to...
Via Maddalena, 1, 06038 Spello PG, Italy
As if the picturesque Umbrian hill-top town of Spello wasn't perfect enough, it's also home to the fantastic Vinosofia wine bar and shop. This beautifully designed space is as warm and welcoming as it's owner, American expat, Brenda. Vinosofia...
5050 Arroyo Rd, Livermore, CA 94550, USA
Livermore Valley may not be the best known wine country of California, but there are plenty of reasons to visit, including Wente Vineyards, the oldest continuously operated, family-owned winery in the country. The Wente winery has two locations in...
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