Wine tasting vacations
map & highlights

One of the great joys of wine tasting vacations is that vineyards are so often found in stunningly beautiful landscapes that produce not only extraordinary grapes, but food and culture, too. Wine tasting vacations take you on a sensory odyssey through the world’s most acclaimed wine-producing countries: France, Italy, South Africa, but also lesser-known beauties including Georgia, where wine has been made for thousands of years, and Istria in Croatia. The chance to sample exquisite wines give wine tasting vacations their vintage appeal, but you can also blend your tasting sessions with delectable cookery lessons, tours of vineyards and wine cellars, or walking through countryside.

1. Croatia

Guided and self-guided wine tasting vacations in Croatia take you walking on coastal and rural routes around Dubrovnik or to Istria in the north, which can be explored by bike or combined with exploring and wine tasting in Slovenia. Sip regional reds and fruit liquors accompanied by dried figs, smoked hams and cheeses, and perhaps even a few famous Istrian truffles.

2. France

Burgundy is sheer paradise for oenophiles of course, but also cyclists. Self-guided trips take you on a loop from Beaune, Burgundy’s wine capital, past medieval villages, through Chardonnay country and immensely picturesque landscapes of rolling hills and forest woven with vineyards. You can also drive around Bordeaux, learning how to blend your own Grand Cru, visiting oyster farmers and climbing the gigantic dune of Pilat.

3. Georgia

Georgia’s wine-making heritage goes back thousands of years, and ancient methods are still very much practised today, with wines stored in large earthenware vessels called kvevri. Wine tasting vacations in Georgia take you from medieval monasteries to magnificent royal estates, and are often combined with cookery classes in regional cuisine. Wine-making is practically a national hobby here – you’re never far from a glass of something excellent.

4. Portugal

From the superb reds and port wine of the Douro Valley to the vinho verde of the north, and the classic whites around Lisbon that have been exported to England for centuries, Portugal is heaven for wine lovers. And with such beautiful rural and coastal landscapes, it’s unsurprising that wine tasting vacations in Portugal are usually combined with walking, taking in historic quintas and prestigious estates.
South Africa

5. South Africa

The vineyards lying just outside Cape Town produce world famous wines, with the historic towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek at the heart of these winelands. Wine-tasting tours of South Africa’s Western Cape introduce you to the local Pinotage reds, and can easily be combined with the Garden Route, safaris in Kruger or exploring Cape Town. This is also a foodie destination, with superb local fare to complement the wine.

6. Tuscany

For the dedicated epicurean, there can be few destinations as guaranteed to elicit sheer joy as Tuscany, where gourmet Italian cuisine and acclaimed wines go hand-in-hand. Tour Chianti vineyards in historic hilltop villages, prestigious cellars, and hotbeds of culture in Florence and Siena. Or if you prefer the simple life, retreat to a rural idyll perfect for families, with wine-tasting sessions in local osterias easily arranged.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Wine tasting or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.


Simon Mills from our supplier Native Escapes has some top tips for wine tasting in South Africa:

When to go

“To be honest, South Africa is a great place to go all year. Even in the southern hemisphere during winter (our summer) you can enjoy a glass of red around the fire, and in their summer you can have a crisp white in the shade. It works as a year round destination.”

The Wine Tram

“The Franschhoek Wine Tram is superb – allowing you to enjoy lots of different vineyards. Food in the region is phenomenal, with plenty of local ingredients used and many award-winning chefs based in the area. The landscape is pretty dramatic too – a backdrop of mountains whilst you enjoy the fruits of the region.”
Nune Tatunts from our supplier Arara Tour talks us through the winemaking tradition in Georgia:

Monastery wines

“Winemaking in Georgia has pre-Christian roots. Ancient works of art indicate it began around the 3rd millennia BC. In the monasteries, which also served as centers of culture and education, the monks tended to their own daily needs and meals, which is where the winemaking tradition originated. Nowadays of course you can buy their wines in the monastery shops. They are interesting, though not a major part in Georgian wine industry, but in the shops you can also buy lots of other delicious Georgian delicacies including natural honey, cheese, and the absolutely unique pine cone jam.”


“The autumn harvest is called Rtveli and in the Kakheti region there are several local folk festivals taking place in this period – their schedule is flexible and depends on several conditions, such as the weather, for example. Beside Rtveli, there are also lots of wine exhibitions and samplings going on in Kakheti and in the capital, Tbilisi.”
Monica Princic from our supplier Exodus on wine and walking vacations in Tuscany:

Walking terrain

“You’ll be walking around 10km each day. The terrain is for the most part either well kept tracks or quite quiet roads. In terms of gradient, it’s hilly in places but nothing too extreme.”

Wine classes

“For the wine course in Siena, it goes quite in-depth, so that you are taught such things as how to tell how acidic the wine is, how to gauge the alcohol level. The group sits in a class together and you try different types of wine with crackers. As a group you talk about the different flavors you’re getting, you learn about the different types of grape in the region and the different kinds of wine they make in Tuscany – it’s very involving for wine enthusiasts as well as those with just a passing interest.”


At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do – and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful wine tasting vacations travel advice that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation – and the space inside your suitcase.
Beautiful area that is not spoilt by too much tourism, the local wine and olive oil were delightful.
– Colin Pearson on a Croatia wine tour by bike
“A wonderful mixture of fabulous walks through forests and vineyards, local history, culture in Siena and Florence, a fabulous cookery course in a nearby restaurant, and several most enjoyable and informative wine tastings. Come prepared for any kind of weather. We had wind, rain, thick cloud and hot sunshine.” – Susan Sargeant on a Tuscany walking and wine tasting tour

“Be prepared for more than just undulating vineyards - there are some hills and you should have a decent level of fitness. (However, we managed and are in our more senior years!) The hire bikes were excellent, sturdy machines and there was technical back-up if required. (Luckily not needed! ) …The vacation was superb. Everything was well-organised with a varied itinerary and just the right length.” – Neil Crawley on a Burgundy self-guided cycling tour
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Capricorn Studio] [Croatia: Cristian Iohan Stefanescu] [Burgundy: Matt Lamers] [Georgia: Dan Lundberg] [Portugal: mat's eye] [South Africa: South African Tourism] [Tuscany: Francesco Sgroi] [South Africa wine tasting: Rod] [Georgia monastery: Dan Lundberg] [Tuscany walking: Luca Micheli] [Croatia Krka National Park: Nick Kane]