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A Wine Lover’s Guide to Must-Visit Vineyards in the World

by Stacy D

Picking the best vineyards can vary depending on personal preferences, as everyone has their own unique tastes. Nonetheless, some vineyards always shine with their exceptional wines, stunning views, and memorable tours. Here are ten must-visit vineyards in the world that are worth a visit!

Zuccardi Valle de Uco – Argentina

 Zuccardi Valle de Uco winery
Courtesy of Zuccardi Valle de Uco

Zuccardi Valle de Uco is a celebrated family-run winery across the Uco Valley, spanning various altitudes and soil types. The winemaking team combines traditional techniques with modern technology to craft high-quality wines that reflect the region’s terroir and the Zuccardi family’s winemaking philosophy. Focusing on organic and sustainable viticulture practices, emphasising expressing each vineyard site’s unique characteristics in its wines, the winery produces a range of varietal wines, blends, and single-vineyard expressions, with Malbec being a standout. The winery also offers tours, tastings, and culinary experiences amidst breathtaking mountain scenery.

Robert Mondavi Winery – United States

Located in the Napa Valley of California, Robert Mondavi Winery stands out as one of the most iconic estates in the region, known for its significant role in shaping American fine wines. Established in 1966 by Robert Mondavi, his dedication to excellence, creativity, and wines that reflect the terroir helped put California wines on the world map. The Mediterranean climate of Napa Valley, with its warm days, cool nights, and abundant sunshine, creates ideal conditions for grape maturation and flavour enhancement. This distinct terroir plays a pivotal role in the depth and complexity of the wines produced. The winery offers a wide selection of wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Fumé Blanc.

Château Margaux – France

Château Margaux, situated in the Bordeaux region of France, is renowned for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon blends. Established in the 12th century, the château was constructed in the 17th century and has since become synonymous with top-tier winemaking. Throughout its long history, Château Margaux has been passed down through several distinguished families, each leaving their mark on its legacy. The estate’s flagship wine, Château Margaux Grand Vin, is celebrated for its enchanting aromas, velvety texture, and impressive ageing potential. In addition to the Grand Vin, the estate also produces a second wine, Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux, and a white wine, Pavillon Blanc du Château Margaux.

Rippon – New Zealand

Rippon, situated in the Central Otago region of New Zealand’s South Island, is well-known for its picturesque lakeside vineyards and its organic, biodynamic approach to making wine. As one of the most southern wine-growing areas globally, it has gained recognition for its exceptional Pinot Noir and Riesling wines. The Mills family has owned Rippon for five generations, with the current generation upholding the family tradition of sustainable vineyard management and top-notch winemaking. The estate was initially planted with grapevines in the early 1970s by Rolfe and Lois Mills, establishing it as one of the pioneering wineries in Central Otago. The family’s dedication to organic and biodynamic farming methods has been instrumental in establishing Rippon as a frontrunner in sustainable wine production in New Zealand.

Bodega Garzón – Uruguay

Bodega Garzón is one of many top quality vineyards
Courtesy of Bodega Garzón

Bodega Garzón, located in the beautiful Garzón region of Uruguay, is renowned for its sustainable viticulture practices and exceptional wines. Nestled in a charming rural area with rolling hills and fertile plains, the vineyard benefits from a mild maritime climate influenced by the nearby Atlantic Ocean. This climate ensures moderate temperatures and refreshing breezes, creating the perfect conditions for growing grapes. The region’s limestone-rich soils and unique microclimate are instrumental in producing top-quality grapes, including Uruguay’s signature Tannat variety, as well as Albariño, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Visitors to Bodega Garzón can explore the state-of-the-art winery, indulge in wine tastings, and savour delicious meals at the on-site restaurant while enjoying breathtaking views of the vineyards.

Montes – Chile

Montes, located in the Colchagua Valley of Chile, is famous for its high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, and Syrah wines. It has been instrumental in revolutionising Chilean winemaking by introducing new grape varieties, modern vineyard techniques, and rigorous quality control measures. Through its emphasis on terroir-driven wines, Montes has helped Chile establish itself as a top wine-producing region. Founded in 1988 by Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray, two experienced winemakers, the vineyard operates in some of Chile’s most prestigious winegrowing areas, including Colchagua Valley, Apalta, Marchigüe, and Zapallar

Bodegas de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal – Spain

Marqués de Riscal, also known as Bodegas de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal, stands as one of Spain’s oldest and most esteemed wineries. Established in 1858 by Guillermo Hurtado de Amézaga in Elciego, a village in the Rioja Alavesa subregion, this winery quickly made a name for itself with its innovative winemaking methods and unwavering dedication to quality. Throughout the years, Marqués de Riscal has continued to lead the way in Spanish winemaking, introducing the use of French oak barrels for ageing, adopting modern viticultural techniques, and crafting wines that truly reflect the unique terroir of Rioja. With vineyards in key subregions like Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta, and Rioja Oriental, Marqués de Riscal remains a prominent figure in the world of Spanish wine.

d’Arenberg – Australia

d'Arenberg is one of many top quality vineyards
Courtesy of d’Arenberg

The McLaren Vale region of South Australia is renowned for its robust Shiraz and Grenache wines. The vineyard was established in 1912 by Joseph Osborn, a teetotaler who saw the property as an investment. However, his son, Francis d’Arenberg Osborn, took the vineyard to new heights, naming it after his mother, Helena d’Arenberg. Throughout the years, d’Arenberg has remained a family-owned and operated winery, with the fourth and fifth generations of the Osborn family carrying on the legacy of crafting top-notch wines. One of d’Arenberg’s distinctive winemaking practices involves using small-batch, foot-treading fermenters, which gently draw out the rich colour and flavour from the grape skins without any harsh tannins.

Concha y Toro – Chile

Concha y Toro, a well-known winery in Chile, is one of the biggest and oldest wine producers in the country. Its fascinating history dates back to the late 1800s when it was established by Don Melchor Concha y Toro and his wife, Doña Emiliana Subercaseaux. They had a brilliant idea of planting vineyards in the Maipo Valley, close to the capital city of Santiago, intending to create exceptional wines that could compete with those from Europe. The Maipo Valley, where Concha y Toro’s impressive Pirque Estate is situated, offers perfect conditions for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carmenère. On the other hand, the cooler Casablanca Valley is renowned for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varieties.

Quinta do Crasto – Portugal

Quinta do Crasto‘s vineyards are nestled in the breathtaking and rugged landscape of the Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its terraced vineyards, schist soils, and Mediterranean climate. This vineyard has a fascinating history that dates back to the 17th century when it was established as a wine estate by the Portuguese royal family. Since the late 19th century, the Roquette family has owned and operated the estate, with each generation of winemakers carrying on the tradition of crafting exceptional wines. The estate offers a wide variety of wines, including reds, whites, and fortified wines, all showcasing the region’s rich viticultural heritage. At the pinnacle of their winemaking expertise is Quinta do Crasto’s flagship wine, Vinha Maria Teresa, a remarkable single-vineyard red wine.

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