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Vacations® •

Summer 2018 • 61

60 • Vacations

®

Summer 2018

Worldly Delights

STELLENBOSCH, SOUTH AFRICA

This is a perfect place to spend a day, picnicking on a

centuries-old wine estate, quaffing smooth Pinotage reds

from the encircling vines. The surrounding landscape is

spectacular with imposing mountains, beneath which nestle

dazzling Cape Dutch farms. Wine has been produced here

since the 1650’s when the first Dutch settlers recognized

its potential. The Coastal Region is the best place for wine

lovers to spend some time as it includes big-name locales

such as Franschhoek, Paarl and Stellenbosch. All are an easy

drive from Cape Town.

GEORGIA

Here, where Western Asia meets Eastern Europe, wine

production first began more than 7,000 years ago. This

is where the very word ‘wine’ is derived: from “gvino”, the

Georgian word for wine. Today, more species of grape are

grown in Georgia than anywhere else in the world. Visits to

wineries here are like stepping back in time to a simpler, but

authentic vinicultural experience. For instance, Pheasant’s

Tears Winery offers both tastings and horseback riding

tours through the vineyards.

BAROSSA VALLEY, AUSTRALIA

Less than an hour’s drive from Adelaide, Australia’s most famous

wine region invites visitors to linger awhile amongst its many

vineyards, which are now complemented by some outstanding

restaurants. The vantage point of Mengler Hill provides a fine

overview of the valley. Then descend to sample the delights of

the many vineyards that welcome travellers to some of the oldest

Shiraz vines in the world. Famous brands include Penfolds and

Wolf Blass. Every two years the Barossa Valley Vintage Festival

adds another reason to spend some leisurely time in this delightful

part of Australia.

MARLBOROUGH, NEW ZEALAND

Any visit to New Zealand’s South Island should include time on the Marlborough Wine

Trail which is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the east and imposing mountain ranges

to the north and south. A mix of broad alluvial plain and narrow valleys offer a range of

terroir, ideal for what has frequently been described as the world’s finest Sauvignon.

Marlborough is New Zealand’s largest wine growing area, producing iconic brands such

as Cloudy Bay, through to small boutique family producers.

MENDOZA, ARGENTINA

It’s all about Malbec here in the foothills of the Andes.

With the snow-capped mountains rising to more than

6,000 metres in the background, the vineyards seem

to float off into the sky. Mendoza is the place to go: its

wines range from the finest Malbecs to simple

foot-pressed wines. Best of all, wine tourism is now

well-developed, and it is possible not only to tour and

taste, but also to eat well and stay in fine fincas, or

manor houses.

MOLDOVA

For the ultimate wine trip, consider Moldova! It’s a landlocked

country in Eastern Europe bordered by Ukraine and Romania. Its

large wine production is becoming better known in the west, and

wine tourism is rapidly developing. One of the star attractions is

the world’s largest wine cellar at Mileștii Mici. It is recognized as

‘the largest wine cellar by number of bottles’ by Guinness World

Records: underground tunnels stretch over 50 kilometres and are

filled with 1.5 million bottles of wine.

EXOTIC WINE COUNTRIES

Wine tourism has become a popular travel category – these more exotic

destinations will give you real bragging rights!

By Chris Robinson

SPECTACULAR LANDSCAPE IN STELLENBOSCH

ASSORTMENT OF WINES FROM

PHEASANT’S TEARS WINERY

GRAPE VINES AT JACOB’S CREEK

IN BAROSSA VALLEY

WINERY IN MENDOZA, ARGENTINA

WITH ANDES IN THE BACKGROUND

BRANDED WINES FROM

CHATEAU VARTELY

IN CHISINAU, MOLDOVA

MARLBOROUGH’S BRANCOTT ESTATE SAUVIGNON BLANC