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124 | squaremeal.co.uk

Wine tourism is a great way to combine your love of travel, culture, food and drink.

Square Meal rounds up the top 10 destinations for a vinous getaway WORDS JULIE SHEPPARD travel

A THIRST FOR

The �rst time I took a group on a

trip was to Champagne, 27 years

ago. We were the only group

of wine tourists in the region!'

remembers Tim Clarke of wine

tour company Arblaster  Clarke.

How times have changed.

Today, wine lovers regularly visit their

favourite regions to experience the local food,

culture, sights and sounds. Alongside visits

to wineries, you might go whale watching,

truƒe hunting, learn to make fresh pasta

or brush up on your art history. Companies

such as Arblaster  Clarke (winetours.co.uk)

or Winerist (winerist.com) o†er group tours

or bespoke itineraries, often with access to

private wineries and unique activities.

'One of the best times to visit a wine

region is during the grape harvest, so not

peak season,' advises Diana Isac of Winerist.

'Book an authentic boutique hotel - if it's a

wine resort, even better - and make sure you

aren't far from the wineries,' she says. Isac

also recommends doing a cookery course or

a food and wine pairing dinner to understand

how the local cuisine a†ects the wine.

'Winemakers are often the best people

to talk to if you want to �nd out about local

history and culture,' she adds.

'It's very important to meet the people

who are directly involved in making the wine,'

agrees Clarke. 'For a great wine tour you

need really great wine and food. But there's

an emotional side to it, too; there's got to be

something about the area that hits you in the

heart, not just the liver.'

With that in mind, here are Square Meal's

favourite destinations, guaranteed to give

you a wine experience you'll never forget.

Index

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