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Best Wine Vacations

Gorgeous vineyards, colorful landscapes and (of course) top-notch vino — these are the essentials of a wine vacation. To help you plan a wine lover's retreat (where tours and tastings are just the start), U.S. News tracked down regions or cities that promise spectacular scenery and a distinguished wine culture. Vote for your favorite spot to sip chardonnay or shiraz to help determine next year's rankings. Then grab a glass, pour some "cab" and start packing.

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#1
Tuscany
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103 13

Why go: Tuscany's world-renowned Chianti Classico draws grape-seekers in droves. But another major draw is the region's verdant landscape with its rolling hills and leafy vineyards. For a heavenly glass, visit Castello del Trebbio, a palace-turned-winery skirting Florence. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Tuscany

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112 24

Why go: For an incredible grape escape, visit California wine country. Filled with cozy caverns, scenic vineyards and more than 50 types of grapes, this scenic retreat sits just 66 miles north of San Francisco. Seeking an intimate setting? Head to Frog's Leap or O'Brien Estate. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Napa Valley

#3
Sonoma Valley
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165 17

Why go: Often overlooked in favor of neighboring Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley boasts an equally impressive landscape and a collection of vineyards. And with top-tier restaurants and hotels nearby, you'll be hard-pressed to find a reason to leave. 

#4
Loire Valley
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64 11

Why go: This picturesque region of France consists of regal chateaus, lush vineyards and peaceful rivers. The gentle Loire River slivers past vineyards that yield some of the finest French vintages. Here, you'll try sweet Muscadets and crisp sauvignon blancs as well as smoky cabernets.

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38 12

Why go: Head about 30 minutes south of Cape Town, and you'll find the Constantia Valley. The valley's wine caught the attention of bigwigs, including the likes of Napoleon Bonaparte. Here, you'll sip sparkling chardonnay as you gaze at the picturesque Table Mountain. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Cape Town

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126 34

Why go: Vast vineyards surround Monticello, Charlotteville's premier wine destination. Chardonnay lovers will want to visit Blenheim Vineyards, a laid-back winery located about 10 miles south of town and designed by Charlottesville native, Dave Matthews. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Charlottesville

#7
Seville
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11 2

Why go: You won't find vineyards or wineries in the Andalusian capital, but you'll likely wash down several rounds of tapas with the local sherry wine. In fact, Jerez  often referred to as the world capital of sherry wine  is just an hour south.  Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Seville

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36 13

Why go: This is the destination for those who study the art of winemaking. The region's dark soils and dry climate enables wine cultivators to produce delectable syrahs and chardonnays. Sample the vintages at local wineries dotting the Pacific coastline. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Chilean Patagonia

#9
Porto
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18 3

Why go: If you're a fan of sweet wine, you've come to the right place. Porto is home to — you guessed it — port wine, and no visit here is complete without sampling the region's delectable vinho. When you're not sipping the city's top export, stop at the Port Wine Museum for a history lesson. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Porto

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26 10

Why go: This fertile New Zealand region boasts magnificent vineyards. Tour the Queenstown Wine Trail and you'll savor spectacular scenery along with sauvignon blancs. The crisp air, the gorgeous vineyards and the aromatic flavors are sure to leave you craving more. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Queenstown

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