While early summer (with both warm weather and fewer crowds) and early autumn (harvest time!) are great times of year to explore wineries in Europe, this might not necessarily be the time of year you have available to travel. So here is a guide to the seasons, with suggestions for what wine region to visit for each:
France’s Bordeaux region is a great place to visit any time of year – it’s often the first place people visit on a wine tour – but springtime is a fantastic time of year to visit. Practically a small version of Paris, Bordeaux is a striking city with many cultural attractions and brilliant places to eat, stay, visit and drink. Exploring the region further, you’ll find some of the best wines in the world, picturesque villages and breathtaking scenery.
La Rioja in Spain has quite the reputation for itself. Summer is a great time to visit Spain, and you can flit between sandy beaches and vineyards, Mediterranean forest and mountains, historic cities and fabulous food, enjoying the balmy sunshine and cooling sea breezes. While you’re there, don’t miss chic winery Roda in Haro – you’ll need to book a private tour.
Italy’s Tuscany region – a magical place that draws lovers of wine, scenery, architecture and history – is especially magical in September, during the harvest season. Harvest also brings with it festivals and great buzz and excitement throughout the villages of this world-renowned wine region, so it’s a perfect opportunity to glimpse another world where business, tradition and celebration is governed by nature and not the other way around.
Burgundy, another of the world’s most famous wine regions, comes into its own as the days grow colder. In this crisp air, it’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy beautiful red wines, warming you against the chill air. You can even enjoy a wine tour from the comfort of a barge as it traces the network of canals in the region.
Wine tasting is great at all times of year, whether for an easy mini-break or a few weeks touring the area and getting to know the lifestyle of different areas, signature tastes for different regions, and the people who make the wine happen. Speak to a wine tour expert to help you tailor a tour to your needs, budget and interests while recommending the best wineries to visit.