written by
Matthew Schroeder

Pack your bags, fill up your gas tank, and get ready to indulge your passion for fine wine and adventure on four remarkable road trips through some of the world’s most scenic wine-country.

South Africa


As you settle in behind the wheel and make your way inland from Cape Town, you will discover the Boland, a region aptly named the “upland.” Renowned as an exceptional wine-producing area, it holds the distinction of being the most celebrated in South Africa. That’s because the Boland benefits from ideal microclimates that foster vine growth, and it’s here, nestled amidst the majestic mountain ranges, where you find the lovely towns Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.

Stellenbosch, a vibrant town at the heart of the South African wine industry and home to Stellenbosch University, has an electric atmosphere that’s fun and upbeat. The town offers plenty of history and wandering through its charming streets lined with historic Cape Dutch architecture is what you should be doing when you’re not popping corks at the estates and boutique wineries that speckle the landscape. The Jordan Wine Estate, known for its over-the-top wines and breathtaking views of the surrounding vineyards and mountains, is an ideal place to start. Their esteemed chenin blanc and refined cabernet sauvignon are outrageously good, so plan to take a couple bottles home with you. 
From Stellenbosch, drive east to the picturesque town of Franschhoek, a delightful enclave that pays homage to its French heritage and its decadent sparkling wines, crafted with the finesse and elegance that’s reminiscent of their French counterparts. Located here is Haute Cabrière, a cherished family-owned winery that has gained widespread accolades for its outstanding sparkling wines. Equally impressive is the winery’s breathtaking underground cellar. As you step into this subterranean sanctuary, you’ll be immersed in a world of sophistication. Each of their méthode traditionnelle Cap Classique wines is meticulously crafted with passion and precision, and the panoramic views that unfold before you are unrivaled. 
Lastly, no journey through the Cape Winelands would be complete without a venture to the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, lauded for its cool-climate wines. This valley is a haven for lovers of pinot noir and chardonnay thanks to its unique terroir and the gentle oceanic influences that shape its wines. At Hamilton Russell Vineyards, an esteemed winery focused on producing cool-climate wines, wine lovers can attend a tasting of their acclaimed pinot noirs and chardonnays and experience the finesse and complexity that define Hemel-en-Aarde Valley’s vintages.
Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a novice just beginning to explore the world of wine, California’s wine country promises an unforgettable road adventure where you can take in the Mediterranean-like climate, radiant wines, and let the flavors and aromas transport you to a place where every sip tells a story.
Starting in Napa Valley, you’ll see vineyards stretching as far as the eye can see. The region is home to iconic wineries such as Opus One, Robert Mondavi, and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars. While many grape varietals are grown here, it’scabernet sauvignon and chardonnay that truly shine as they’re reputed for their depth of flavor and craftsmanship. Over the past couple decades, Napa has also become home to many incredible farmto-table restaurants and Michelin-starred eateries where talented chefs pair transcendent dishes with the perfect wine accompaniments.
Continue your trek to the Sonoma Valley, Napa’s next door neighbor, lauded for its laid-back ambience and diverse wine offerings. Don’t miss a chance to visit historic Buena Vista Winery, California’s first premium winery established in 1857. A visit here is like taking a step back in time as you stroll through the winery’s serene grounds and taste their award-winning wines. Nearby, the sprawling grounds of Gundlach Bundschu, one of California’s oldest family-owned wineries, is celebrated for their exceptional cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, merlot, chardonnay, and gewürztraminer, further showcasing the unique characteristics of Sonoma Valley’s terroir. 
If you find yourself with some spare time, take the scenic 30-minute drive north on the beautiful Sonoma Highway to Chateau St. Jean. This elegant vineyard produces chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon too. While you’re there, enjoy a leisurely wine tasting experience within the estate’s courtyard where you’ll be enveloped by meticulously manicured gardens. It’s the perfect setting to relax and savor the flavors of their sublime wines.


From its rolling hills dotted with vineyards and cypress-lined avenues to its mesmerizing medieval towns preserved in time, it’s no surprise why Tuscany tops most oenophile’s bucket lists. From the moment you arrive you’ll be entranced by the idyllic countryside that has inspired countless artists and writers throughout history. 
A great place to start your Tuscan wine exploration is in the Chianti Classico region, where prestigious wineries await your arrival. Don’t miss the chance to visit Castello di Brolio, a historic estate with vineyards that have been producing noteworthy wines for centuries. Take pleasure in a glass of their Chianti Classico and you’ll experience the essence of Sangiovese, the grape variety that characterizes this region.
As you traverse the lovely Tuscan backdrop, venture to the inviting town of Montalcino, famed for its bold and sensational Brunello di Montalcino wines. Plan to stop at the fabled winery of Castello Banfi where you can immerse yourself in the winemaking traditions and taste their sumptuous Brunello di Montalcino. Outside, the grand views of the vineyards are the perfect pairing to the rich flavors that have made this wine so highly regarded. 
Next, consider making your wine excursion to the captivating town of Montepulciano, where you’ll discover not only breathtaking landscapes but also the venerable Vino Nobile. Vino Nobile de Montepuciano is one of Italy’s classic red wines, and one of the must-visit wineries in the area is Avignonesi. Avignonesi truly embodies the essence of Montepulciano’s winemaking heritage and offers a memorable time for wine enthusiasts seeking the best of Tuscany’s legendary Vino Nobile.
Don’t forget, while savoring the wines of Tuscany, take the time to engross yourself in the region’s rich history, art, and culinary delights. Visit the regal city of Florence, home to definitive landmarks such as the Duomo and the Uffizi Gallery. Explore the medieval town of Siena and its magnificent Piazza del Campo. Indulge in the Tuscan cuisine, pairing the local wines with delectable dishes like ribollita(a hearty and flavorful Tuscan soup), picipasta (a simple, thick hand-rolled pasta), and bistecca alla fiorentina (a huge mouthwatering steak including both the tenderloin and the striploin).

New Zealand

When it comes to tracking down one of the greatest vintages, sometimes you have to travel to the ends of the Earth, literally. And in this case it’s Marlborough, located on the northern tip of New Zealand’s gorgeous South Island.
Known as the Land of the Long White Cloud, New Zealand is jaw-dropping in nearly every way, from its rugged peaks to its verdant valleys – and its wines are no different. So, if you’re ready to succumb one of the most delectable sauvignon blancs of your life, then this is your place, and what a place it is! 
First, venture to the cozy town of Blenheim, where you will be captivated by the highly-regarded wineries that dot the landscape. Here you’ll find Cloudy Bay, a winery that has become synonymous with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. A guided tour of their vineyards will help you gain insight into their winemaking process and provide you the opportunity to try their wines. Another top-notch winery in the region is Brancott Estate, known for its stunning hilltop location and breathtaking panoramic views. A leisurely stroll through their vineyards with a glass of their award-winning sauvignon blanc in hand, while soaking in the sweeping vistas of the Wairau Valley, is sure to ignite your senses. 
For a unique and intimate wine experience, head to Fromm Winery. This boutique winery is honored for its handcrafted wines, particularly their pinot noir and chardonnay. Should you be truly passionate about New Zealand wines, take part in their personalized tasting session where passionate winemakers will guide you through their flawless range of wines, offering insights into the nuances of each type.
As you venture further into the heart of Marlborough, you’ll come across the enchanting Wairau Valley, a tapestry of rolling hills and lush landscapes. At Wairau River Wines, a family-owned winery that has been producing wines for over 40 years, you can sample from their diverse range of cultivars, including their acclaimed sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, and chardonnay.
Continuing your Kiwi wine odyssey, the town of Picton beckons with its ethereal charm and coastal allure. If you want to take a break from it all, there are loads of colorful creatures to uncover in the Marlborough Sounds, a labyrinth of waterways adorned with emerald-green forests and tranquil bays. When you’re ready to relax, stop by Nautilus Estate, nestled in the heart of the Sounds. 
Whether it’s their expressive sauvignon blanc, their velvety and complex pinot noir, or their rich and luscious chardonnay, each sip is a journey in itself, revealing layers of flavors that dance upon your palate.

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