If you’ve been following us for a while, you’ve likely caught on that we’re pretty big fans of road trips and wine. While this may sound like a dangerous combination (don’t worry Dan is a great designated driver), it actually makes a lot of sense. We got married at a vineyard, took an 8-week road trip for our honeymoon and have made it a travel goal to visit all the most prominent wine regions in the world. The fascinacion with wine and travel continues in our daily lives as Casey has opened up a Wine Bar here where we live in Costa Rica!
Of course, the best way to taste and experience wine is straight from the source, the wineries themselves. And it just so happens that winerys tend to be located in the most beautiful of natural landscapes. They also tend to be rural and not easily accessible via public transportation. Which means the best way to explore any given wine country tends to be road trip style in a cheap car rental (so you can spend more on wine, obviously.)
So without further adieu, here are our 3 Favorite Wine Regions For A Road Trip (so far)
Located in the heart of Tuscany, Poggibonsi itself may not be the highlight of your trip, but the surrounding medieval towns, rolling hills and seemingly endless wineries certainly will be! When we stayed here we ended up coming home with over 20 bottles from wineries all over the region. Be sure not to miss the Chianti region, known for its signature Chianti Classico style blends.
As for towns to explore, be sure not to miss San Gimignano, called the Manhattan of Tuscany, with its fascinating medieval skyscrapers. We were also fortunate to time our trip with the thrilling Palio horse race in Siena. You can read all about that exhilarating and slightly terrifying experience here.
We’re big fans of dramatic landscapes (let’s be honest, who isn’t) and in the department, Pinhão delivers in spectacular fashion. Historically known for producing Port, more and more wineries are producing quality bold reds in the area. Visit any one of the hilltop wineries for a tasting experience overlooking the mighty Douro River. While you can take the historic train or boat ride up the river from Porto, we recommend taking your time on the N-222 road from Peso de Régua to Pinhao which is the most scenic part of the drive and offers amazing views of the surrounding valley and river below.
Hood River, Oregon
Our most recent trip took us to Pinot Noir central in Oregon. This is another great riverside drive that takes you along the Hood River that separates Washington State from Oregon. An easy day trip from Portland, there are several great wineries in the area with outdoor seating to enjoy on a warm spring or summer afternoon. There are also so great hikes in the area shadowed by the snow-capped Mount Hood. Although cloud cover blocked our view during our time there, the Mirror Lake Trail is a short worthwhile hike.
Where is your favorite wine region for a road trip?