Can you imagine anything better than sipping on an exquisite glass of wine, knowing that people have been sipping vino in that same location for thousands of years?
If not, here is an idea for your next international escapade: A time travelling tour of the world’s wine industry!
France is perhaps the world’s most popular wine destination in the world.
The origins of the drink date back millennia here, all the way to Roman times. As the Empire spread away from the Mediterranean and across into France, the Romans brought with them their love of viticulture. They named the main wine-producing area Burdigala (around 80 AD), though we now know it as Bordeaux.
Speaking of which, Bordeaux should be the top stop on your world wine tour. This stunning region is located less than six hours south of Paris, and is famous for such wine labels as Chateau Petrus and Chateau Latour.
The origins of wine date back even further around the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Grapes brought from the Caucasus (around Jordan/Azerbaijan) to Ancient Egypt flourished around 2,500 BC. Two millennia later, trade began across the shores of the sea, which is perhaps where Greece, and subsequently Rome, got its first taste. There is record of Aristotle remarking about the taste of ‘black wine’ in 340 BC.
To experience everything this region has to offer, consider booking yourself on a Mediterranean wine cruise. Many of the biggest names in cruising operate here, such as P&O, Princess, Carnival and more. With the right itinerary, you could be hopping from Santorini in Greece over to Barcelona, Spain, soaking in the sights, sun and the very best of European wine.
Though not often associated with wine to the same extent as Europe, China has a long history of viniculture dating back just as far.
It is tricky to trace the history of Chinese vino, as the language and terminology can become vague when distinguishing between wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages. However, there is mention of wine as far back as the Shang Dynasty, 11th Century BC. Inscriptions found on bone and bronze reference using the drink to worship their ancestors.
Ningxia, a small autonomous province of China located about a two hour’s flight from Beijing, is currently hailed as one of the best wine regions in the country to visit. It produces popular labels such as He Lan Qing Xue and Silver Heights.
If you don’t want to travel overseas just yet, Australia has its own fascinating wine history too.
Our country has no native varietals, so, much like most of our culture, it was imported from overseas. Wine reportedly first arrived on our shores with the First Fleet in 1788, though the first known successful plantation was not until 1791, in what is now Sydney’s Macquarie Street. According to Wine Australia, many of our oldest vines can trace their routes back to one man: James Busby. He planted numerous grapes in the Hunter Valley region, and the first commercial vineyard opened in 1828.
To celebrate this historic region, why not take a wine tour through the Hunter? There is a plethora of options available, ranging from tours in regular buses to Cadillacs, trikes and horses. Make sure to try Audrey Wilkinson, Brokenwood, Tempus Two and Tyrell’s.
Depending on where you intend to travel to, consider packing travel insurance before you go. Wine, foreign countries – you never know what could happen, so it’s a good idea to be prepared.
Which historic wine region would you love to visit?