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The Best Wineries: 20 Unique, Beautiful Wine Spots to Visit

By
Sarah Ward
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The Best Wineries: Unique, Beautiful Wine Spots to Visit

The best wineries are scattered across the globe. From France to America to Germany, there’s a place worldwide for every type of wine. Of course, that means there’s the best place worldwide for every wine as well. The question is, how do you know what the best places are?

There are a lot of wineries across the world. When we say a lot, we mean it (there are about 65,000 wine producers worldwide). Pinning down the best wineries is a daunting task. Even after the research of finding the wineries for this list, there are surely other incredible wineries out there that are hidden gems. 

If you’re reading this and thinking, “Wait a minute, I know the best winery in Italy!” Let us know. We’d love to hear from you on BinWise socials, to keep expanding our wine knowledge as well as yours.

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The Best Wineries in Napa

This article wouldn’t be complete without the wineries of Napa Valley. We thought it was a good way to kick off this list. Napa is home to many of the most popular, wine-producing, tourist-attracting wineries. 

Which ones are the best? From our research, it’s the following spots.

Chateau Montelena

Chateau Montelena, nestled in the cozy area of Calistoga, CA, looks every bit the part of a long-standing family winery. In this case, looks are not deceiving. Chateau Montelena combines beautiful scenery, great California wine, and some wine you can taste there that you can’t buy (the exclusive Library Tasting collection). 

Charles Krug Winery

If you haven’t heard of Charles Krug Winery in St. Helena, CA, you probably haven’t been looking into Napa wineries. The Charles Krug estate is the oldest winery in Napa Valley. Basically that means wine from this spot is the result of ages of experience. The winery has been open for tastings since 1882, and you can experience their wine today and drink some Napa history.

The Best Wineries in Sonoma

Of course, Sonoma wines are just as much an integral part of California as Napa-grown wines. The physical size of the Sonoma area is breathtaking.

You’d be hard pressed to not find a bottle of something grown in Sonoma on any given shelf of the wine shop. There are lots of amazing wineries in Sonoma, but these are the best. 

Rodney Strong Vineyards

Rodney Strong Vineyards in Healdsburg, CA, is the place to taste what makes Sonoma County so exceptional. The winery was founded in 1959, and it’s been producing some of the best that Sonoma has to offer ever since.

If that wasn’t great enough, Rodney Strong uses sustainable farming practices from vine to bottle. For a company that celebrates Earth Day every day, that was more than enough to label this one of the best wineries in Sonoma. 

Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery

Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery, also in Healdsburg, is known as one of the most classically beautiful wineries in Sonoma. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the wine produced there is also delicious. The wine, vineyards, and gardens come together to make Ferrari-Carano one of the most exquisite wine visits in all of California. 

The Best Wineries in Willamette Valley

California isn’t the only place on the west coast with great wineries. Willamette Valley in Oregon has been responsible for some great wines for a long time now. Recently, it’s been growing in popularity with a larger crowd.

Innovative wines have been coming out of Oregon. As more folks discover that Oregon is ideal for lots of wines (we’re looking at you, Pinot Noir), its wineries have been getting noticed.

King Estate Winery 

King Estate Winery in Eugene, OR, sprawls across the land of Willamette Valley. King Estate has been around since 1991, and it is the largest Biodynamic certified vineyard in North America.

That means, effectively, that every part of the vineyard is part of the farming process, and no chemicals are used. Basically, King Estate is the crème de la crème of sustainable wineries.

Winderlea Vineyard and Winery

Winderlea Vineyard and Winery, located in Dundee, OR, is a specialist winery, known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Winderlea focuses on small lot wines, to put the best of Willamette Valley into every bottle. The fact that their wines are perfect for wine food pairing options is the cherry on top. 

The Best Wineries in Santa Barbara

When you think of California wines, generally you think of northern California. Sprawling fields with lots of room for vines is the typical Napa/Sonoma vision. That said, there’s more to California wines than just the northern regions.

Santa Barbara in particular has made quite a name for itself as a place with surprising room for wine. If you’re looking for wines outside of Napa and Sonoma, these are two spots you should check out. 

Alma Rosa 

Alma Rosa Winery, settled in the Sta. Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County, CA, is a classic of the region. The mix of ocean and mountain air (this isn’t scientific, but trust us) makes the wines produced here the most interesting wines you'll taste. From Pinot Noir to Syrah, there’s something for everyone at Alma Rosa.

Foley Estates

Foley Estates, joining Alma Rosa in the Sta. Rita Hills in Santa Barbara, was founded in the late 1990s and has been producing some of the most recognizable Santa Barbara wines since. With great wines reminiscent of the region, as well as tastings, events, and a wine club, Foley Estates is a must-see in Santa Barbara.

The Best Wineries in NY

Over on the east coast, wines are occasionally less talked about. Rest assured, however, the wines there are just as impressive as west coast creations.

From New Jersey to New York (what a range) there is thoughtfulness being poured into every bottle. We’ve focused on New York, as we’ve mentioned Jersey before in talking about US wineries

Benmarl Winery

Benmarl Winery, in Marlboro, NY, boasts the title of the oldest vineyard in America. Quite specifically, the winery is the holder of New York Farm Winery license number one.

That said, Benmarl hasn’t been resting on its laurels these many years. The winery is known for its Baco Noir, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, and Merlot. Woah, that’s quite the wine list!

Whitecliff Vineyard and Winery

Whitecliff Vineyard and Winery in Gardiner, NY, is exceptional, not only among New York wineries, but among wineries in general. This winery fame is based on it being regional, sustainable, artisanal, and vegan.

Regional and artisanal are words you might not get if you’re not versed in wine terms. Effectively, they mean that the wine produced at Whitecliff is unique and authentically created. Unique and authentic are two perfect words to describe Whitecliff wines. 

The Best Wineries Worldwide

Of course, those wineries are all great, but they only span the United States. There is much more wine out there! The art of winemaking has been perfected across the world for centuries. We would be neglecting our duties towards this article if we didn’t acknowledge the wider wine world. 

Even this list won’t be a complete collection of the best wineries in the world. There are simply too many wineries to count. We’ve narrowed it down to some of the best countries for wine production, and then the best wineries in those spots. A standard wine pour from any of these spots will give you a taste of the world of wine.

The Best Wineries in Italy

The landscape of Italy is known for some of the best wine in the world. It’s hard to describe just how rich, robust, tannin-filled, and all-around amazing Italian wine is.

Of course, it’s not for everyone. If you love rose or prosecco, Italian wine might not be for you. But for everyone who loves red wine types, these wineries are a match.

Possessioni Serego Alighieri

Possessioni Serego Alighieri–located in the Valpolicella Classica district–nearby Verona and Lake Garda, is one of the most famous wineries in Italy. Yes, the wine is exquisite, but that’s not even what makes this place so famous. The winery has been the home of descendants of Dante Alighieri, the poet. It doesn’t get cooler than that. 

Marchesi di Barolo

Marchesi di Barolo, located in the town of Barolo, is the classic place for anyone who loves Barolo wine. From the vineyards to the cellars, this winery is aged in Italian history. It’s hard to put into words just how amazing this spot is; you’ll just have to book a trip to Italy to find out. 

The Best Wineries in France

As anyone from France would tell you, the wineries in France are like everything else in France: simply the best. Better than all the rest.

We’re not French; we won’t try and convert you to that line of thinking, but there’s no denying the quality of French wine. Of course, that means the quality of French wineries is on another level. 

Château de l’Engarran 

Château de l’Engarran, in Lavérune, France, is everything you would want a French winery to be. The architecture is stunning. The history is enchanting. We haven’t even mentioned the wine yet. Of course, it’s French wine; it’s amazing. We’re itching to hit the road and visit this winery.

Cos d’Estournel

Cos d’Estournel, located in Saint-Estèphe, France, is the epitome of French wines. There's a mix of reds and whites being produced in this historical and innovative winery. If you’re looking for a taste of France in wine by the glass, this is the place. 

The Best Wineries in Australia

Like everything else from down under, wine from Australia is a unique mix of classical and zany. You can find some of the best wines in the world on the country/continent. From Chardonnay to some of the most unique Shiraz you will ever taste, Australian wines are–gosh–it’s hard to find the right words. 

Penfolds 

Penfolds, originally founded in Adelaide, South Australia, and known for having great wines of the Barossa Valley, is one of the best Australian wineries. Penfolds has an amazing variety.

There are limited editions, including wines you can only taste and not buy. There are also a mix of classic Shiraz and other varieties you can experience on any tasting. 

Paringa Estate

Paringa Estate, in Red Hill South, Australia, is the perfect place for anyone to experience wine and everything else Australia has to offer. Not only are the tastings extraordinary, the winery features all sorts of foods to pair with wine and create a wonderful palette of flavor. If you‘re unsure of what wine pairs with salmon or which option is the best wine to pair with turkey, Paringa Estate offers quite the selection.

The Best Wineries in Portugal

The wines of Portugal are known for being a mix of decades of tradition and of the enjoyment of easy-going wines. Every wine that comes out of Portugal is sure to excite your taste buds. From classic Port wines to a mix of exciting types of white wine, Portugal has something for every wine lover.

Regional de Colares Winery

Regional de Colares Winery, in Colares, Portugal, is the oldest winery in Portugal. If that wasn’t cool enough, the winery uses Old World Viticulture techniques. With those techniques, they produce some of the best Portuguese wines in the present day. 

Burmester

Burmester, located in Vila Nova de Gaia (Gaia), Portugal, is the birthplace of some of the best Port wines. If you’ve ever struggled to find a Port that really speaks to you, a tasting at the Burmester cellars will guide you to Port.

The Best Wineries in Germany

When you think of Germany, you might not immediately think of wine. You should turn that thinking around, because German wine is, frankly, some of the best wine.

If you aren’t a fan of Riesling, you need to try German Riesling, it’ll change your mind (and maybe your life). If you’re looking for great wine of any variety, you can’t go wrong with German wine. 

Scharzhofberg

Scharzhofberg, in Wiltingen, Germany, is almost mythical in its level of prestige in the wine world. Some wines from Scharzhofberg have been sold at auction for tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, if you want a taste of these masterpieces without coughing up quite that much, a tasting is the best way to go.

Bacharacher Posten

Bacharacher Posten, located in Bacharach, Germany, is a vineyard responsible for producing some of the finest Rieslings ever made. If you want to explore this spot, you really have to travel to Germany. The wine minds behind this vineyard are busier making wine than spending time online.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Wineries

Of course, there’s a lot of information out there about the best wineries in the world. There are so many amazing spaces out there that we couldn’t begin to touch on.

Some day, perhaps, when BinWise writers travel to see and experience them all. For now, we’ll expand with a few frequently asked questions about the best wineries out there.

Who Has the Best Vineyards in the World?

This is a tricky one to answer definitively. When you search for the best vineyards in the world, you find a mix of France, Italy, South America, Australia, and more. This is because technically, there are vineyards across the world that are the best for different types of wine. There isn’t one best vineyard of them all. 

What is the Most Visited Winery in the US?

The most visited winery in the US is Biltmore, in North Carolina. Biltmore is well known for an expansive winery that produces around 150,000 cases of wine each year. When you know how much a case of wine is, you know that’s a lot.

Which Country is Best for Wine?

By and large, France rings true as the country best suited for wine. The lands and climate across France are well-suited for a variety of wine. You could start drinking French wine varietals today, and never run out of bottles to try.

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The Best Wineries: Pack Your Bags

If you want to find the best wineries in the world, the best thing to do is hop on a plane. Online research can only get you so far when you're finding the best wines across the globe. Maybe you’ll find someone who is just opening a winery that will become one of the best.

Maybe you’ll discover an old hidden gem. Either way, searching is the best way to find out. If you want to start exploring from your couch to begin with, watching wine movies is a good start. You could also invest in a wine aroma kit, to prepare yourself for enjoying the world’s best wines.