Wine in Europe
Europe is home to a number of countries with fantastic wine heritage. The ancient Greeks spread their love of wine to their colonies in ancient times, and this influence is still felt all across Europe to this day.
France has vineyards all over the country, producing a huge range of wine, including some of the most expensive and well-regarded wines in the world!
Most British people will be familiar with French wines, but those interested in discovering more can visit the country’s vineyards for tours and samples.
Musée du Vin - Burgundy
Burgundy’s wine museum is located in the historic and beautiful town of Beaune, easily reachable in less than 6 hours from our ports in Dieppe, Dunkirk and Calais. The Musée du Vin provides a fantastic insight into the way wine has been produced in this region for over 600 years and includes a 15th-century wooden press, which was renovated burst back into life and a few years ago. The museum is also a short distance from the Hotel Dieu, which hosts a famous wine auction each year.
Chateau Mouton Rothschild - Bordeaux
One of the few top wine chateaus that allows visitors in without extensive pre-booking or introductory letters (although it is recommended to pre-book in the summer). This chateau is not just home to one of the world’s finest red wines, but also hosts a collection of artwork from wine labels, and artefacts used in wine-making over the years. Bordeaux is also home to over 100,000 vineyards, so should be a vital part of any wine holiday!
Saumur - Loire
Saumur is a beautiful, picturesque city lies in the shadow of one of France’s most impressive castles, the Chateau de Saumur. The city is a prime wine tourist destination due to the number of wine houses and cellars in the city, as well as the tours available. Visit Bouvet Ladubay and for just €2 you can explore one of the city’s oldest wine cellars and even sample a sparkling wine made in collaboration with Gerard Depardieu! Just south-west of the city lies Langlois-Chateau, a winery which produces excellent sparkling wines, and provides a 4-part, in-depth tour and tasting session.
Bergheim – Alsace
Located in eastern France, near the border with Germany, Alsace is an area with a strong and visible medieval heritage, and the town of Bergheim is no exception. Bergheim is also home to La Cour du Bailli, a hotel, spa and winery which has an ancient stone wine cellar inside its walls. There is also a restaurant with a huge and impressive wine list, as well as wine-infused dishes and desserts, to enjoy once you’ve been sufficiently educated in the winery.
Perhaps surprising to those who aren’t wine buffs, Germany actually has a number of prestigious wine-producing regions, which create high-quality wines of various flavours and types.
Even if you’re not familiar with German wines, you’ll be sure to find something you love in one of the country’s wine regions.
The Moselle Valley
Germany’s Moselle Valley is one of the country’s most naturally beautiful and spectacular regions. The area has a great pedigree for wine, and each year there are a number of wine festivals. Moselfest, Germany’s oldest wine festival, takes place at the end of August each year in Winningen. If you’re looking for some wine to take home with you, be sure to head to the Mainz wine market, taking place in August and September, where thousands of wine-lovers head to discover new wines and enjoy the summer sun.
The Ahr Valley
The Ahr Valley is Germany’s red wine paradise, with vines growing up steep hillsides along the river. This region is one of the northernmost wine-producing regions in Europe, and is also famously small, not that this affects the quality of the region’s excellent wines. Each year, the Art & Wine Festival near Bachem attracts visitors for its daytime events, as well as its night time grape harvest. If you’re looking for a wine tour and tasting session, then the Jean Stodden Winery offers free tasting if you buy wine, as well as longer tasting sessions for a fee. Alternatively, Bernhard Huber’s winery offers great value wine tastings.
The Baden is a wine region in the south west of Germany, and is the country’s longest wine region, measuring approximately 400km and divided into 9 distinct districts, more than any other Germany wine region. Head to Schloss Staufenberg in Durbach, a striking castle which offers cellar tours and barrel tasting sessions, as well as stunning views. Franz Keller’s winery is modern and contemporary, as well as being an architectural wonder, built into the side of a mountain in Oberbergen. Alternatively, the wine museum at the Weingut Schloss Neuweier includes a tour of the vineyards and cellars, as well as wine tasting.
Franconia is an area in the north of Bavaria which is famous for producing quality wines. As the only wine-producing area of Bavaria, there are over 15,000 acres of vineyard, growing different kinds of grapes. The region has an almost-Mediterranean feel and climate, and is spectacularly beautiful. The most common grape in the region is Silvaner, and most of the wines are sold in small, medicine-esque “bocksbeutels”. There are 5,400 wineries in the region, so you’re sure to find a tour that suits you!
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