Wine Guides: France, Italy and Spain

Wine tours are a wonderful part of travelling through Europe, as its regions hold some of the most famous vineyards, brands and family-run wineries in the world. Here is our guide to the Old World region's best known grape varieties and where to find them.

Wine Guides: France, Italy and Spain

Understanding the Wine Labels on a bottle of wine by Winefolly.com

FRANCE

ALSACE

Head to France’s most northerly wine region for structured whites such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer, best teamed with superb traditional food found in the area’s many famous restaurants.

 

Wines:

Riesling, Gewürztraminer

Renowned Producers:

Hugel

Zind-Humbrecht

 

The LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILLON

This was originally the poor man’s wine region.  But today quality has greatly improved and you can enjoy bold, fruity reds such as Minervois and Corbières.

 

 

Wines:

Minervois, Corbières

Renowned Producers:

James Herrick

Mas de Daumas Gassac

 

PROVENCE

Perhaps France’s most beautiful wine region.  The lavender-clad hills and sublime beaches are the perfect setting in which to enjoy the area’s celebrated rose.

 

Wines:

Bandol, Côtes de Provence

Renowned Producers:

Domaine de Trévallon

Domaine Tempier

Italian Vineyards - Thelostmanproject Flickr Creative Commons

ITALY

The VENETO

Soave, Valpolicella and sparkling Prosecco are all produced in the hills north of Venice.  Look out for sweet, recioto varieties that are made from dried grapes.

 

Wines:

Soave, Valpolicella, Prosecco

Renowned Producers:

Masi

Valdo

 

 

CAMPANIA

The region around Naples was once home to the Romans’ most prized vines.  Today the area’s wines are enjoying something of a renaissance, particularly the white Falanghina and the red Aglianico.

 

Wines:

Falanghina, Aglianico

Renowned Producers:

Feudi di San Gregorio

Mastroberardino

 Douro Valley - The Home of Port Wine in Portugal by Mats Eye - Flick Commons

PORTUGAL

The DOURO VALLEY

As well as producing the grapes for port, the area produces exciting, full-bodied reds.

 

Wines:

Port, full-bodied reds

Renowned Producers:

Quinta Do Crasto

Quinta Do Dona Maria

 

ALENTEJO

Traditionally better known for producing corks rather than wine, the area is now home to some of the country’s most forward-looking producers.

 

Wines:

Modern and innovative

Renowned Producers:

Cartuxa

Cortes de Cima

Zaynin Kanji

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