When you think of wine destinations, cliché photos of French Châteaus and Tuscan villas probably instantly fill your head. But outside the regions that fill most of the wine store shelves lie some amazing emerging and ancient wine destinations that might not be on your map just yet. For some of these you might need to dust off your passport and pick up a local dictionary to be able to taste their wines, though for others you might be seeing them pop up on your local stores shelves soon. Lets dive into our 5 uncharted wine destinations.
The bold colors, smells and tastes of India condensed into a wine is an exciting idea. Located a few hours northeast of Mumbai lies the Nashik area, the “Wine Valley” of India, which is home to a few producers trying to carve out a stronghold into the emerging wine market. For the wine traveler traveler visiting India this is probably the easiest place to start, as day trips can be arranged directly from Mumbai.
Arrange a day trip from Mumbai to see wineries such as Sula Vineyards.
With Myanmar recently easing up visa and tourism regulations it’s quickly becoming a popular destination in South East Asia. With only a handful of producers located in its Shan State, Myanmar is a is hardly a winemaking powerhouse, but don’t let that fool you as they are making some of the best wine in Asia. The hills surrounding beautiful Inle lake is home to a few wineries and at least one can be reached by a short bicycle ride from town.
Rent a bike in town for around $1 USD and take short trip to Red Mountain Winery for a winery tour and tasting. On the way out pick up a bottle and head out to a restaurant on the lake and enjoy the sunset while tasting some amazing Shan food.
Mexico’s wine history starts in 1597, making it home to the oldest wine region in the Americas. Since then its had a rough history, but today its production is rising and its reputation growing. The Baja peninsula is home to most of its winerys and even has a established wine trail known as the “Ruta del Vino” which makes it easy to see many of the regions wineries. The region is also host to yearly wine celebrations with the biggest being their harvest festival, Fiesta de la Vendimia.
Plan your trip during the Fiesta del la Vendimia so that you can take part in the over two week festival of wine, food and local culture.
Tunisian wine has a long history starting with the Phoenicians, who were important in developing the ancestor to some of our modern white grape varieties. In more modern times under French rule winemaking flourished, though after gaining independence its wine production and exports decreased. Today it’s starting to pick up again, so it’s a great time to visit a wine region with such a long history. For the traveler, the Cap Bon region is the place to visit as it’s where most of Tunisia’s grapes are grown. The region isn’t as easy for wine travel as other countries so just showing up at a winery and expecting a tasting likely isn’t possible in most places. Unless you are familiar with the area it’s likely best to book a tour with a knowledgeable provider.
Arrange a local guide to take you around the region. Contact the wineries you plan to visit in advance to make sure they are accepting visitors. There is rumored to be a wine festival each September in Grombalia but we were not able to locate any definitive date.
South American wine has been growing steadily in popularity over the years, but for many people Uruguay isn’t yet known as one of its great wine destinations. Though located in the southern hemispheres wine growing region Uruguay has a different climate than other growing regions. Some compare it to France rather than its neighbors of Argentina and Chile, which also might explain why its “national grape” Tannat seems to grow so well. A large number of its wineries are located north of Montevideo, the nations capital, which is where the wine traveler should start. Some wineries around the area are open to visitors daily and there are also tours available with translators around Montevideo.
Plan a day tour to some wineries surrounding Montevideo to try some Tannat wines. Try the Wine Roads project for a grouping of 15 local family wineries so you can experience multiple in the same day.
What do you think? Did we miss an uncharted destination that should be featured here? Let us know in the comments below.