Liquid Geography: Journey Through the World’s Wine Tasting Regions with Hilton
February 6, 2020
From winding coastlines and dramatic cliffsides to arid plains and tropical jungles, many of the world’s diverse landscapes share one commonality: grape vines. The wines these grapes produce are more than a compilation of grape varietals, they are also a taste of the air, water, soil and spirit of a region.
Call it liquid geography that is well worth exploring. Whether you tend to travel to sample local cuisines, discover big cities, shop in local boutiques or explore the outdoors, a quick stop at a winery can enrich any trip and leave you with a true taste of your travels. A wine region can also be a worthy main attraction for a getaway for both avid wine drinkers and novices who want to learn more.
To help you navigate the world of wine and build an appealing itinerary, we curated a list of recommendations for high quality wine-producing regions around the globe, along with convenient places to stay while you explore them. Each region is conveniently located near a popular metropolitan travel destination, ensuring you’ll have plenty to do once your glass is empty.
Constantia Valley | Cape Town, South Africa
Nestled beneath the slopes of Table Mountain National Park, Constantia Valley is considered one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the Southern Hemisphere. The Constantia Wine Route is a collection of 10 well-known vineyards throughout the region, including Steenberg Farm
, which has been in operation since the late 17th
century and located on the outskirts of some of Cape Town’s lush suburbs. DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town – Upper Eastside
is in an ideal location only 15 minutes away from Constantia from where one can sample the region’s fine wine, including one of South Africa’s oldest, Klein Constantia Vin de Grand Constance, which is said to have been a favorite of the late French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
DoubleTree by Hilton Cape Town – Upper Eastside
North Region | Bali, Indonesia Bali
often conjures visions of exotic beaches, tropical drinks and ocean breezes, but those willing to explore beyond that will find unique Balinese wines. Bali’s North Coast, which has long been a grape-growing region, offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience of visiting tropical vineyards where grape vines are situated among banana trees. One of the first Balinese vineyards, Hatten Wines
, is located about 14 miles from Hilton Bali Resort
. The vineyard uses the French grape varietals Alphonse-Lavallée and Belgia to produce rosé, white and red wines that are perfect for sipping on a tropical evening.
Hilton Bali Resort
Yamanashi Region | Tokyo, Japan
Travelers looking to escape the bustle of Tokyo can find respite in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan’s small but scenic wine country. Accessible by train from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, Yamanashi is home to more than 60 wineries, some offering views of the Japanese Alps and Mount Fuji. Japanese vineyards are famous for their indigenous grape varietal koshu, with many wineries offering their own wines made with the grape. One such producer is Grace Wine
, located in Katsunama, Yamanashi, near Mt. Fuji, which produces several different types of koshu wine. Conrad Tokyo
, which is in the Shinbashi (also spelled Shimbashi) business district, is less than 5 miles from the Shinjuku Station, where travelers can start their two-hour journey to Yamanashi by rail. It’s also a short walk from Tokyo’s main shopping district.
Penedès Region | Barcelona, Spain
Cava is to Spain as Champagne is to France, and many consider the best cava to be produced just south of Barcelona, in the Penedès region. After a 45-minute train ride from the heart of the city, travelers can head into the Penedès region to explore some of Spain’s best wineries. At Codorníu
, one of the oldest businesses in Spain, visitors can sample glasses of a world-renowned cava in a picturesque setting. Located in Barcelona’s Eixample district, Alexandra Barcelona Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
offers travelers a convenient home base for a Penedès wine country experience and is near the lively Passeig de Gràcia, a major avenue that is a premier shopping and entertainment district.
Alexandra Barcelona Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Campania Region | Amalfi Coast, Italy
Dolomite rock cliffs and a sweeping blue sea alongside lemon trees and olive groves create an idyllic backdrop for the pergola-trained vines of Furore coastal vineyards. Located in the Campania region, many of the vineyards offer sweeping views of the Sea of Furore, which visitors can take in from the Cantine Marisa Cuomo winery
. It’s an ideal setting to sample wines from the Amalfi Coast. Hilton Sorrento Palace
boasts scenic views and a central location for travelers to explore the vineyards, which are a short 20-minute drive away. When they are not at a wine tasting, guests can enjoy the scents of lush citrus gardens and views of the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius from their windows before or after they make their way along the coast to explore nearby Sorrento and Capri.
Hilton Sorrento Palace
Bordeaux Region | Bordeaux, France
Journey to Bordeaux, a region known worldwide as a prime destination for wine lovers and a foundation of the fine wine market. Situated between the Gironde Estuary and Garonne River, the Bordeaux region has been cultivating wines for more than 2,000 years and boasts more than 6,000 wineries. Of note is the Château Pape Clément
, one of the oldest vineyards in the region. It was planted in the 13th
century by Bertrand de Goth who went on to become Pope Clement V. The estate continues to produce wine today and prides itself on having grown fruit on the same land for seven centuries. Hilton Garden Inn Bordeaux Centre
is located in the heart of Bordeaux and near the city’s train station, making it a great central starting point for travelers to explore the region by foot or tram.
Hilton Garden Inn Bordeaux Centre
Napa Valley| Napa, California
Considered one of the premier wine regions in the world, Napa Valley’s Mediterranean climate and rich soil yield superb cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot and other wine varieties. Visitors to Napa Valley have no shortage of wineries to choose from, but Chateau Montelena Winery
, an American staple whose bottle of 1973 chardonnay resides in a permanent collection at the Smithsonian, is not to be missed. Embassy Suites by Hilton Napa Valley
is in the heart of California’s wine country, giving guests easy access to the nearly 500 local wineries. When not tasting wine, travelers can explore the region by hot air balloon, take part in wine-inspired culinary classes or stroll through boutiques on Main Street.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Napa Valley
Niagara Region | Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
The Niagara wine region is known for its mild climate, fertile soil and, most notably, sweet Ice wine dessert wine made by crushing vidal or riesling grapes that are frozen on the vine and yield just one drop of sugary liquid per grape. Canada has the only wine-producing regions in the world with a climate so cold that its vintners can guarantee an annual production of this highly sought-after product. After admiring the impressive views of Niagara Falls, guests can travel 13 miles from Embassy Suites by Hilton Niagara Falls – Fallsview
into the Niagara wine region to sample Ice wine at Inniskillin
, a storied winery known for its pioneering role in the modern Canadian wine industry.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Niagara Falls- Fallsview
Willamette Valley | Portland, Oregon
Willamette Valley, sometimes referenced as America’s pinot noir “promised land,” is Oregon’s leading wine region. It boasts more than 500 wineries within a roughly 100-mile stretch from the Columbia River near Portland to just south of Eugene. Travelers can easily access the valley from Portland, with many tours of the region departing from the city’s downtown. After sampling Willamette Valley’s fine wine, travelers can stay at the Canopy by Hilton Portland Pearl District
, which is situated near dining and nightlife in one of Portland’s most beloved neighborhoods. Travelers can easily add to their wine country adventure by exploring art galleries, parks, shops, breweries and famed spots like Lan Su Chinese Garden and Powell’s City of Books.
Canopy by Hilton Portland Pearl District
Canelones Region | Montevideo, Uruguay
Unlike its neighboring countries, Uruguay does not have an abundance of sunshine and dry weather, but its rich clay soils and heavy rains make up for that. Tannat, a rich, dark, rustic red wine reigns supreme in the Canelones wine region, alongside less common white and red wine varietals like petit manseng and nebbiolo. Visitors to Montevideo can stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Montevideo
, which provides the perfect launching point into Uruguay’s miles of gorgeous countryside filled with lush vineyards. Travelers can also rent a car and drive 30 miles north of Montevideo to visit Bouza
, considered Uruguay’s most critically acclaimed wine producer, to try its famed tannat bottlings or enjoy a glass of tempranillo among the vines.
Hilton Garden Inn Montevideo
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