Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Wine Vacation – Explore Your Foreign Tongue

Like me, do you believe the best way to experience another culture is sampling foods and thus their wine? Do you also think that history is always more interesting and vivid over a glass of wine? And doesn’t the idea of sampling great wine all afternoon for free sound great? Well if you said yes to any one of these I’d say you’d better give the other activities a try. But if you are like me and said yes to all three, I’d say stop wasting your time, get out and enjoy a wine vacation. A vacation in wine country promises to be informative, relaxing and overall enjoyable time.

One need not plan an exotic vacation to enjoy wine country. Nor do you need to fly a great distance. Here in the United States we have some great wine regions that are very accessible and in fact cater to wine lovers that want to get away for a weekend or maybe even just a day trip. California, Oregon and Washington are the largest producers in the US and conversely have the best infrastructure to keep wine tourist happy. Of the three California is by far the largest and glitziest. Oregon in contrast is smaller with a more down home, with ex-hippy feel. While Washington might be the fastest growing, giving an excitement to the overall experience. All three however produce great domestic wines, making the experience at the very least a tasty endeavor.

While exotic and distant is not necessary for a great wine vacation, it is of course an option. For years Americans have made their way to the France and Italy to experience the magic of these regions. But these are not the only countries in the EU that have great wine traditions. Spain, German and Portugal (to name a few) have thriving wine industries which could make an excellent excuse to visit these countries. But why stop in Europe for a wine vacation. The southern hemisphere continues to grow and surprise the world with the quality wines they regularly produce.

Australia is of course the best know of these southern hemisphere producers. The coastal growing region of Australia promise more than just great wines. The island neighboring country of New Zealand too holds it own in wine should one feel the draw of down under. Of course staying slightly closer to the US vacationers can enjoy a more exotic experience. The mountain regions of both Chile and Argentina contain adventure, foreign culture and superior wine. Perhaps the most exotic and distant region an American could experience during a wine vacation would be the vineyards of South Africa. Big game parks, great white sharks and African culture help to make South Africa an intriguing destination for any adventures wine vacation.

This of course is only the surface of wine vacations. All across the globe there are wine regions to discover and explore. Close to home or far away a wine vacation promises to be fun. But for those of us who can’t get away just yet to the wine vacation of our desire, I settle for a good book about the area, a quality bottle of wine and my imagination. If you can’t enjoy the people, at least you can enjoy their wine.

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