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Top 5 wine regions of the world

20 January 2017 ( 24 January 2019 )

So, which destinations should the wine aficionado add to their bucket list? Take a look at the top five wine regions of the world and find out!

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

We all have our vices, and if yours include a chilled Sauvignon Blanc, crisp Pinot Grigio or plummy Merlot, you're certainly not alone.

Research from the Office for National Statistics reveals that wine is one of the most popular alcoholic drinks consumed in the UK, so it's perfectly understandable that a dedicated wine buff might feel the urge to venture further afield than the local pub or supermarket and head out to the Motherland from whence their favourite tipple came from.

1. Loire Valley, France

With 434 square miles of lush vineyards to explore, the beautiful Loire Valley in the third-largest region in France is dedicated to the production of mouth-watering wines.

A wide variety of wines thrive here – ideal for travellers with diverse tastes or who wish to discover new flavours – though the most common grapes are the chenin blanc, Muscadet and cabernet varieties.

Wine temperature

2. La Rioja, Spain

Experience the very best of Europe in La Rioja, a region which nestles in Northern Spain, resplendent with medieval villages, wineries and acres of picturesque vineyards.

This is an area renowned for its reds with the principle grape the tempranillo. Visitors can even take their love of wine to the next level with a stay at the luxurious and contemporary Marques de Riscal, the famous winery hotel.

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3. Stellenbosch, South Africa

If you've been considering Cape Town as your next holiday destination, the fact that it's just 40km away from one of the best-loved wine-producing regions in South Africa might just push you over the edge.

Cabernet sauvignon is the area's most popular grape; enjoy a glass or two in the charming university town with its hip art galleries and historic buildings or head deep into vineyard country where a skyline of mighty mountains provide an atmospheric backdrop.

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4. Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Perched on the east coast of the North Island, the oldest wine region in New Zealand shows the others how it's done.

The wineries of Hawke's Bay specialise in full-bodied reds with grapes such as merlot, cabernet sauvignon and syrah the most prevalent. However, those who are partial to a flavoursome chardonnay won't be disappointed either – the region offers some rich and complex varieties.

Unusual bucket list destinations

5. Mendoza, Argentina

One for the intrepid wine-loving explorer, the Mendoza region of Argentina offers achingly beautiful scenery in the way of glorious mountain peaks and crisp blue skies.

It was the region's high quality malbec that really placed Mendoza on the world's wine stage – now there are a wide variety of wineries to visit, from local family-run vineyards to fancy new wineries boasting state-of-the-art architecture. Mendoza town itself makes for a wonderful visit – many travellers exploring South America, wind up here and simply forget to leave.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.