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The world's 10 great wine regions you've never heard of

Time:2019-08-19 18:22wine - Red wine life health Click:

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Blue Mountain Vineyard in fall, Okanagan Falls, BC.

Blue Mountain Vineyard in fall, Okanagan Falls, BC. Photo: Alamy BEECHWORTH AUSTRALIA

While the Barossa, Yarra Valley and Margaret River sweep up all the tourists, the vineyards in Victoria's sleepy Beechworth region have been turning heads in the wine world. The likes of Savaterre, Giaconda and Sorrenberg are producing some of Australia's finest drops, and a visit to their terroir is an absolute pleasure. Don't miss cellar-door visits at Indigo and Haldon Estate, plus a meal at the two-hatted eatery Provenance.

See explorebeechworth.com.au

OKANAGAN CANADA

CFBP8D Blue Mountain Vineyard in fall, Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada str17-trav10wine

Blue Mountain Vineyard in Okanagan Falls, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. Photo: Alamy

Wine storehouse in Ksara winery, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.

Wine storehouse in Ksara winery, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Photo: Alamy

Canada produces wine: there's your first surprise. Canada produces good wine: there's your second. The Okanagan Valley, in the south of British Columbia, is the country's largest wine region, a place of rolling, vine-covered hills that fall gently into pristine rivers and lakes. There are more than 100 wineries here, about a five-hour drive from Vancouver, with most offering tastings, and plenty with excellent restaurants on site.

See okanagan.com

KAKHETI GEORGIA

There's evidence that wine has been produced in Georgia for more than 8000 years, which has earned the country's industry a place on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list. And yet, what do we know of Georgian wine? Precious little, though a visit to Kakheti, the country's premier region, will fix that. The area is effortlessly charming, with fortified villages dotting the hilltops, plus the local wineries offer tastings of high-quality drops.

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See gnat.ge

ALENTEJO PORTUGAL

Most wine drinkers would be familiar with Portugal's Douro Valley, the home of port, but how about Alentejo, the large region in the country's centre? Alentejo is a laidback land filled with rolling hills and golden plains, where the bulk of Portugal's olives, citrus, cheeses and cured hams are produced. It's also an important wine region, known for high-quality but affordable reds and whites, usually produced at small vineyards that welcome guests.

See visitalentejo.pt

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FRANSCHHOEK SOUTH AFRICA

There's probably no wine region more beautiful than Franschhoek, the small hamlet just an hour away from Cape Town. Centuries-old vineyards here are dotted with stately Cape Dutch homes and backed by the rugged beauty of the Franschhoek mountains. The food in this area is world-class, with some of the country's best restaurants. However, it's the wine that's the real drawcard: affordable, delicious drops that are available for tastings.

See franschhoek.org.za

MARCHE ITALY

Though Italy is best known for the wines of Tuscany, Piedmont and Veneto, there are some excellent drops coming out of Le Marche, in the country's centre. Sandwiched by the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, Le Marche is as much a pleasure to look at as it is to taste. It's also blissfully free of the tourist hordes, which makes a tour here a relaxed dream.

Kakheti Region, Georgia.

Kakheti Region, Georgia. Photo: Alamy

See visit.marche.it

BASQUE COUNTRY SPAIN

Wine drinkers know La Rioja and its bold tempranillos, and Rias Baixas' mineral-rich albarinos – but how about Basque Country, famous for its food, but also a major wine producer? This verdant, vertiginous land in Spain's north is perfect for txakoli, the native white grape, as well as bold reds produced in the highlands near La Rioja. Needless to say, there's always plenty of food to go with the drink.

See tourism.euskadi.eus

Vineyards in the Le Marche province of Italy.

Vineyards in the Le Marche province of Italy. Photo: Alamy COLCHAGUA VALLEY CHILE

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