From classic regions to lesser-known corners, our editors select this year’s best in wine, food and cultural adventure. Published on Jan 8, 2013 BY WINE ENTHUSIAST EDITORS
A sense of place—the sights, sounds, smells and spirit of a travel destination—can endear that area to a person forever. For wine lovers, there is no better way to cement that connection than to explore the world around those vines. As the wine market becomes ever more global, packed with offerings ranging from the most storied wine regions to the most offbeat, so does the wine traveler’s itinerary.
Each year, our editors travel the world to experience the best wine and food, and in turn, discover the most exciting places to visit. Our list for 2013 represents the wide swath of cultural and culinary experiences on the must-see list.
Whether your tastes lean toward the rustic climbing trails of South Africa’s Stellenbosch or a tour of a Puglian castle, this list promises outstanding travel experiences and unforgettable wines.
1) Rioja, Spain
2) Danube, Austria
3) North & South Forks of Long Island, New York
4) Stellenbosch, South Africa
5) Monterey County, California
6) Vale dos Vinhedos, Brazil
7) Willamette Valley, Oregon
8 ) Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
9) Douro Valley, Portugal
10) Puglia, Italy
More on Puglia Region… Flanked by two seas, magical Puglia is a thin peninsula packed tight with the same attributes that attracted us to Italy decades ago: It’s an undiscovered land with an enviable quality of life. The octagonal Castel del Monte, a 13th-century castle, inspires architects today, and the historic city of Lecce offers the purest expression of Moorish-Italian Baroque. Weathered stone and whitewashed buildings pop against green olive groves. Trulli are the mysterious cone houses in the Itria Valley, and all of Puglia’s stunning beauty is surrounded by some of the bluest waters in Europe.
Puglia Prominent Wines
Puglia excels at warm-climate wines made with indigenous grapes. Castel del Monte delivers red wines from Uva di Troia, Bombino Nero and Aglianico. Interesting work is being done with crisp Bombino Bianco white wines and sweet Moscato di Trani. Further south, the Primitivo grape (Primitivo di Manduria) is famously linked genetically to Zinfandel. Local wines show ripe berry nuances, inky concentration and soft tannins. Salice Salentino is planted to Negroamaro (sometimes blended with Malvasia Nera) for hearty reds. The past five years have a remarkable rise of crisp white wines from Greco, Fiano, Malvasia and Chardonnay.