There’s nothing quite like tasting Champagne in the cellars of Épernay or sipping Barolo at a hilltop winery in Piedmont, but sometimes the most rewarding wine experiences are found off the beaten path. In regions where you’re unlikely to see a tour bus, you’re much more likely to meet interesting people. I won’t soon forget tasting perfectly balanced Weissburgunder with a princess at a winery outside Dresden or enjoying a private tour of a Lugana winery’s art collection with its owner. Plus, some of the world’s most arresting wines can be found in unexpected places, often made from unique indigenous grapes (Pošip, from the Croatian island of Korčula, is a favorite that comes immediately to mind).
We’ve rounded up some of the most exciting destinations for adventurous wine lovers, from New York to South Africa. Each would make a fine centerpiece to a larger itinerary. Our Travel Office can help you put together an unforgettable trip that will expand your oenological knowledge and introduce you to unspoiled, untouristy wine country.
In the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, the vibrant green vineyards of Meknes contrast sharply with the desert landscapes most people associate with Morocco. The hot summers and mild Mediterranean winters allow Meknes to cultivate classic warm-climate varieties like Syrah and Tempranillo. The wines I tasted on my last visit to Morocco convinced me to explore this region more thoroughly when I return to the country. At the top of the list to be reviewed is Château Roslane, a hotel and wine estate south of Meknes known for its Les Coteaux de L’Atlas, a rich and well-integrated blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Refreshing rosés are also made in Meknes: Domaine de la Zouina’s Volubilia Gris is a light and crisp wine that’s perfect with an alfresco seafood lunch, for example.