5 New Wine Vacations
Napa is out, people
Forget Burgundy and Napa. These five destinations are the new hot spots for wine tourism.
The tiny Balkan republic of just 2 million people has been making world-class wine since the days of Julius Caesar, but it's received recognition from connoisseurs only a couple. Stay at Popova Kula, a gorgeous winery and inn in the village of Demir Kapija (from $100 a night--a total steal), and be sure to check out nearby Bovin Winery, the first to emerge after Macedonia gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
Oregon’s not just for artisanal jam and fancy coffee: It also produces top-notch wine. Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley, for example, are some of the best in the world. When you visit, stay at The Allison Inn & Spa. The charming hotel debuts its premier estate vintage later this year, and its executive chef, Sunny Jin, was just nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Northwest.
Wines in this mountain region spanning France and Switzerland are on the upswing, likely because of the interesting flavors that come from the extreme climates and limestone-rich terrain. Côtes du Jura whites have almost smoky flavors, while the light, red Arboises taste like strawberries. Both pair well with Comté fondue, a staple in the area, and can be found at the family-owned estate Domaine Ganevat. Note: The owners aren’t Internet savvy, so you’ll have to ask locals for directions. As for accommodations, may we suggest a charming rental cottage.
Arizona’s Verde Valley wine trail in Sedona is giving Napa a run for its money. Echo Canyon Winery was one of the first vineyards in the area, and formerly provided fruits and vegetables for gold miners. At the family-run Page Springs Cellars you can book a massage treatment among the estate vines. L’Auberge de Sedona is easily the nicest hotel in town. The cozy rooms are equipped with fireplaces and outdoor showers, and terraces overlooking the towering Red Rocks.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Alentejo is also the most highly respected wine region in Portugal. Cartuxa Wines occupies an old Jesuit farm outside the city walls (and several offerings cost only 5 euros a bottle), while the modern wine bar Herdade dos Grous rests on a picturesque country estate. Stay at the L'And Vineyards Resort, which has stunning modern rooms, a Caudalie spa and a Michelin-starred restaurant.