Can winetasting be considered a hobby? We certainly think it can be! Tasting local wines on vacation is a perfect way to take in the countryside, meet new people, and introduce your taste buds to incredible craftsmanship produced by talented winemakers and grape growers. We think it’s time to plan a vacation to the vines. Here is our list of some of the best wineries to visit around the world.
Big Island, Hawaii
Wait. A winery in Hawaii?
Volcano Winery on Hawaii’s Big Island was originally started in 1986, by retired veterinarian, Lynn “Doc” McKinney. Doc planted grape vines in the lava-covered land 4,000 feet above sea level. Soon, he started experimenting with different fruit and grape blends for wine. Exotic fruit like star fruit, passion fruit, and even papaya were blended with grapes and transformed into tropical Hawaiian wine.
Finally, in 1993 Volcano Winery opened its doors to the public with a selection of some of the most uniquely produced wine anyone had ever made. Award-winning wines made with Aloha is the heart of Volcano Winery and the prices can’t be beat! Along with the signature wines – Symphony Mele, Volcano Red, Guava Wine, and Macadamia Nut Honey Wine, the winery also features some amazing Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir grape was suited very well to the special cool climate, so now Volcano Winery will introduce their “Estate Pinot Noir” and “Estate Cayuga White” from vines planted five years ago.
Where to Stay: Choose from our incredible Big Island resorts.
Founded by Italian immigrants Mike and Rose Fiore nearly 30 years ago, Fiore Winery offers so many great wines to choose from. Tastings and vineyard tours are available year-round. Your palette will be spoiled by their cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, pinot grigio, chardonnay, sangiovese, merlot, and chambourcin. This winery is also a distillery, so in addition to the wines, Fiore makes distilled spirits, like grappa, limoncello, rye whiskey, corn whiskey, and more. The winery offers live music on certain weekends. A great time to visit the winery is the third weekend in August, when it hosts its annual jazz festival. This event has been running for over 25 years!
You can’t beat the tasting price here! Tastings cost $5 per person, and for an additional $5, the winery offers spirits tastings.
Where to Stay: Fiore Winery is a two-hour drive from Washington D.C. Stay at the The District by Hilton Club.
Millbrook Vineyards & Winery
Hudson Valley, New York
Called the “Hudson Valley’s flagship winery” by The New York Times and “a great place to visit” by The Wall Street Journal, Millbrook Vineyards & Winery offers a wine-country feel on a 130-acre estate. The winery is conveniently located in the along the Hudson River, just 1 ½ hours north of New York City. With more than three decades of winemaking in the books, visitors can expect high-quality wines like their chardonnay, cabernet franc, or Tocai Friulano white, which comes with citrus blossom, ruby red grapefruit, white peach and lime aromas, as well as key lime and guava flavors. Yum.
Millbrook offers visitors a variety of special events throughout the year. Plan your visit during the Summer Solstice Lobster Bake, or Friday Night Food Trucks, or enjoy the fall foliage during the Harvest Party in October.
Where to Stay: Choose from our three properties in Manhattan and you can take the beautiful train ride north to the Hudson Valley.
St. Cousair Vineyard & Winery
Nagano Prefecture, Japan
What once began as a jam-making studio, is now a world-renowned vineyard and restaurant perched among the green rolling hills and fruit trees. The owners of St. Cousair Vineyard & Winery in the Nagano Prefecture took a trip to Normandy, Bordeaux, and Burgundy, France. They came back to create a winery with the richness of the countryside in France combined with the village feel of Nagano.
St. Cousair is surrounded by Hirakata, Kurohime, Togakushi, and Ichinose Hokushin, and is so rich in nature. Visitors can enjoy walking the vineyards, tasting room, the original jam studio, restaurant, and chapel.
Be sure to taste their Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, during your time in this beautiful setting.
Where to Stay: Choose from one of our many HGV resorts in Japan.
Monte Da Ravasqueira
East of Lisbon, the Alentejo is emerging as a world-class wine destination. With its artisanal markets, hilltop tavernas, and rolling hills of vine after vine after vine, this Portuguese wine valley is a must on your next vino-seeking holiday. Monte Da Ravasqueira is a three generation family vineyard committed to quality wine production and is the perfect reflection of the region’s identity, history, and unique natural environment.
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O dia começa cedo, pela fresquinha e antes que o sol nos obrigue a procurar abrigo em trabalhos na adega. Nesta fase, todos os detalhes contam. // The day starts at dawn and before the sun forces us to find shelter on some other tasks inside the winery. At this point, every detail counts. . . . #MontedaRavasqueira | #Alentejo #Portugal | #vinha # #vineyard
Monte da Ravasqueira enjoys excellent geological and climatic conditions for the production of the best wine that Alentejo can offer. In addition to wine production, there are other activities related to cork, olive oil, honey, and cattle breeding.
The cellar of Monte Da Ravasqueira is inspired in Napa Valley, California, and is equipped to produce varietals including Syrah, Viognier, and so many grapes unique to Portugal. During your visit you can choose to visit their museum, tour the vineyards, picnic, or even take a wine course.
Where to Stay: Hilton Vilamoura Vacations Club
We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the best wineries to visit around the world. Planning a vacation surrounded by good wines, rolling green hills, live music, and delicate slices of cheese, sounds pretty perfect to us. Cheers!