Stride climate

9 Surprising Wine Regions Around the World

By Megan Eileen McDonough, Grabr
July 29, 2016

Pop into any corner wine store and you’ll find shelves of red and white packed to the brim. Take a closer look and you’ll notice most wines hail from three or four famous regions. In short, there’s a lot you’re not seeing...and tasting. So, whether you’re a fan of red or more of a white wine and spritzer type of drinker, these are 10 wine regions around the world you probably never heard of, but should!

1. Cafayate, Argentina


If you’re looking for a less crowded but equally authentic Argentine wine region, skip Mendoza and head straight for Cafayate. The region doesn’t exactly have ideal weather conditions for wine growing (think red rocks and desert), but the results are delicious. As it turns out, the sandy soil is actually really good for irrigation control, hence why Cafayate tops our list. Spend a day winery-hopping in the charming downtown area before venturing out to nearby vineyards.

2. Lavaux, Switzerland


If you've never tasted Swiss wine, you need to change that, stat. Switzerland is no newbie to wine growing but because only 1-2% of their total production is exported outside the country, few people know what they're missing. Lavaux is a must-see, with its terraced vineyards that almost look like rice fields you’d see in Bali and birds-eye views of sea and sky. It's also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and with quaint villages below, it’s the perfect city escape.

3. Stellenbosch, South Africa


South Africa is a lot more than safaris and amazing sunsets. One of the best wine regions is located just outside of Cape Town. The architecture of this university town is reminiscent of the country's Dutch colonial history so don't even think about leaving your camera behind. When it's time to taste, try a white Chenin Blanc (locals call it a Steen) and the red Pinotage, which is basically a mix of Pinot Noir and Cinsault. 

4. Galilee, Israel


Israel isn't just a historical hotspot; it's also a foodie's dream destination. There are several main wine regions throughout the country, but Galilee is one of the most unexpected. That said, it does bring new meaning to the “water into wine” story in the Bible. The location couldn't be more perfect; situated between the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights, the high altitude gives off a cooler climate than most, yielding some surprising flavor combinations.

5. Purcari, Moldova


Flanked by Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is among Europe's least visited countries, but what it lacks in geographic size, it more than makes up for in flavor. In fact, up until the communist collapse in the 1990s, Moldova was the Soviet Union's best wine-producing country. In recent years, Moldova has begun producing great-tasting wines again and is definitely a must-see for history buffs.

6. Nashik, India


Yup, India makes the cut! India might be better known for its vibrant fabrics and flavorful cuisine, but the wine scene is not to missed. Nashik is about a two-and-a-half hours drive northwest of Mumbai, making it an easy weekend getaway or even a quick day trip. Many local vintners produce basic French varietals such as Chenin Blanc and Shiraz and, as of late, some wildcard flavors. Come for the culture, but stay for the wine. 

7. Niagara Peninsula, Canada


Canada might have some pretty cold winters, but don't let a little chill keep you from sampling their famous ice wines. Canada's Niagara Peninsula is having a renaissance of sorts, with their ice wines often being called "liquid gold." Taste-wise, ice wines are sweet and often treated as a dessert wine, whether paired with other treats or served solo. As for making them, vintners wait until temperatures are below 14 degrees Fahrenheit before picking the frozen grapes from the vineyards.

8. Khao Tai, Thailand


In case you need an excuse to visit Thailand, here you go! The southeast Asian country has long been revered as a beer-loving backpackers paradise, but wine connoisseurs will find it just as hip. Khao Yai is considered the birthplace of Thai wines and as such, this is where you'll need to go for the best varietals. Getting there is fairly easy. First fly into Bangkok, and from there, you're an hour's drive away. Pair some wine tastings with a bike tour that weaves through vineyards.

9. Bekaa Valley, Lebanon


If you've never heard of Bekaa Valley, today is your lucky day. While often overlooked entirely, this wine region has been crushing grapes for over 5,000 years. It's even home to the Temple of Bacchus, aka the god of wine. Despite being one of the world's oldest wine producing regions, few people know about Bekaa Valley. Come here for wines of every flavor, from dry to spicy plus traditional varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. 

Craving your favorite wine? Order it on Grabr and a traveler heading your way will deliver it.

Share and Enjoy
2503 Views    No comments

Write New Comment

Tours & Operators on Stride Awarded and Featured by:

  • National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure
  • Outside, The New York Times
Sign in to Save Trips
Welcome back! We're so happy to see you. ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
  • Bookmark trips you like
  • Share with your travel companions
  • Track price changes
  • Access private discounts on trips you save
Sign in to see your results

TripFinder is a member-only feature. Don’t worry, it’s free!

With a membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
Activate your free Stride membership

Just use the email address and password provided in the email we sent.

? Forgot Password?

With your free membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
To Follow, sign in or sign up (it's free) ? Forgot Password?
Don't have an account? Join
member benefits
First name is required!
Last name is required!
First name is not valid!
Last name is not valid!
This is not an email address!
Email address is required!
This email is already registered!
Please enter valid email address
Password is required!
Enter a valid password!
Please enter 6 or more characters!
Please enter 32 or less characters!
Passwords are not the same!
Terms and Conditions are required!
Email or Password is wrong!
Please select the captcha checkbox!
Please select the valid captcha!
Something went wrong! Try again later!
Find the 3 best trips for you.
Take a short quiz to recieve your top matches.