Swooping valleys of jewel-coloured vines and a chance to sample some of your favourite vintage? Autumn truly is a magical time to visit the world’s wineries, and we’ve collected the most popular autumn wine destinations among international travellers.*
Villány in Baranya, Hungary
A horticultural engineer measures the distance between vines
Wine production in the Hungarian town of Villány began with the Romans and the local wine makers have been refining the process ever since. This fascinating history is documented in the town’s Wine Museum, alongside the evolution of the region’s rich and aromatic Cabernet Franc (often referred to as ‘Villányi Franc’). For a fully immersive experience, book a room at the Crocus Gere Bor Hotel Resort & Wine Spa where you’ll meet the owner and his family, who are members of the region’s elite wine-makers.
Deidesheim in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany
Visit the vineyards in Deidesheim as the leaves change colour
Deidesheim is one of the many picture-perfect towns on Germany’s wine route, famous for the quality of its Rieslings. These light, fruity wines draw their tartness from the regions slate-heavy soil, making them a versatile and wonderful addition to any collection. Visiting in the autumn months will give you the opportunity to view the vineyards at their most beautiful, tinged with the late-season golden light. Travellers planning to explore are recommended to stay at the Loblocher Hof, a traditional guesthouse with its own wine cellar and bar, only 10-minutes drive from Deidesheim.
Nuits-Saint-Georges in Bourgogne, France
Cycle through the golden fields of Nuit-Saint-Georges
If you’re looking to start or add to your own wine collection, the Burgundy vineyards cannot be overlooked. According to our customers, the commune of Nuits-Saint-Georges is one of the best wine destinations to visit during the autumn months; when the local Pinot noir grapes are harvested and transformed into the full-bodied Nuits wines. If you're looking for somewhere to stay, try the self-catered Vign ‘Appart, which is a stylish, affordable base with its own wine cellar to delight and inspire you.
Barolo in Piemonte, Italy
A view from the vineyards surrounding Barolo
The Barolo commune in Piedmont is a World Heritage site and vineyards must be located on one of its sweeping hillsides in order to “qualify” as Barolo wine producers. A short film – Barolism – chronicles the picking of the dusty dark blue Nebbiolo grapes, the way the vineyards transform the landscape, and the associated rituals. Guests at the Easy Così will find themselves spoilt for choice by the in-house restaurant wine list and the 3-minute walk from the Barolo Castle wine museum.
Épernay in Champagne, France
The Moët et Chandon Champagne House in Épernay
Champagne may be known for its glamorous namesake, but the regional Chardonnay is not to be sniffed at. Or rather it is to be sniffed at and then sampled at length. The Côte des Blancs in the south of Épernay are a string of wine-growing villages and towns which produce the region’s distinctive, buttery wines. The Bubble 8 self-catered apartments are a 19th-century building at the centre of Épernay, 2-minutes walk from the Moët et Chandon Champagne House.
Walla Walla in Washington State, USA
Enjoy some savoury Syrahs in Walla Walla
A relatively new wine destination, the Walla Walla wineries have developed a reputation for savoury Syrahs. Thanks to the area’s dry, sunny days and cold nights, the wine produced is extremely potent, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec grapes doing well here. Visitors in mid-September through to late-October will be rewarded with acres of grape-laden vines and endless wine tastings. Keep those cold Washington State nights at bay and stay at the snug Green Gables Inn.
Paso Robles in California, USA
Early morning in Paso Robles Wine Country
Paso Robles is one of the most established wine regions in the U.S.A. and it’s still possible to see the fermentation vats of the 18th century wine-producing Padres of Mission San Miguel. Since the Padres time, Paso Robles wines have gone from strength to strength – literally in the case of the sweet, fruity Zinfandels. Other wines to look out for are those produced in Paso Robles’ ‘Rhône-Zone’, such as the Viogniers and Roussannes. After a long day exploring and sampling, check into the luxurious Allegretto Vineyard Resort.
**These destinations were the most highly rated in the world for ‘wine travel’, by Booking.com customers.