The Mediterranean is one of the best regions in the world when it comes to producing delicious wines. The climate of hot summers and mild winters, combined with the rich, fertile soil, and the breeze from the sea ensuring reliable rainfall, all contribute to growing grapes which create some of the world’s most famous wines.
If you’re a lover of wine, why not make a holiday out of it? Here we explore some of the best spots to discover the wine culture of the Mediterranean.
The Mediterranean coast of Spain is a very diverse macro-region when it comes to wine production. The region can be split into Catalonia, Valencia and Murcia, and produces wines such as Priorat, Montsant, and Cava.
If you’re looking to explore Spain’s Mediterranean wine regions, many cruises to Spain visit both Catalonia and Valencia. Aside from visiting the vineyards and sampling local wines, when stopping at Catalonia you can explore the wonders and cultural delights of Barcelona, the Catalan capital.
Barcelona has plenty of charming wine bars, but by day nothing will hit the spot quite like a jug of sangria. While the red wine used won’t be of the best quality, when mixed with Cointreau, freshly chopped citrus fruits and lemonade and served over ice, it tastes divine.
The ancient Romans loved their wine, and modern Italians are no different. The country could be considered one huge vineyard, as over 1,500,000 acres of land are dedicated to the growing of grapes. There are almost 350 grape varieties grown in Italy, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Moscato, Pinot Grigio, Prosecco, and Chardonnay. Due to Italy’s geography, almost every one of its wine regions could be considered Mediterranean.
Many Italian cruises disembark at Civitavecchia (close to Rome), in the Lazio wine region. If you have time before the cruise departs, you could visit wineries producing full-bodied Merlots and Sangiovese wines.
Naples, a city close to the historic ruins of Pompeii and within the Campania wine region, is another regularly visited cruise destination. You might also visit Sardinia, which produces Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Moscato grapes.
Venice is another popular stop on cruise holidays in the Mediterranean, and the Veneto wine region is famed for its production of Prosecco. The sparkling wine has experienced a surge in popularity in Britain in recent years, possibly due to Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene being awarded DOCG status (the highest level of Italian wine quality) in 2009. Like Champagne, Prosecco now enjoys a protected status, and the name is reserved exclusively for wines in this region.
No wine-centric holiday would be complete without a stop in France. Loved for producing world-famous wines like Champagne, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, almost every region of France produces its own distinctive flavours. The country’s Mediterranean wine regions include Provence and Languedoc, which both benefit from the balmy coastal climate.
Provence is best known for its rosé and blush wines, the most famous being Cotes de Provence and Coteaux d’Aix. The Provence area is dotted with vineyards, but is also famed for its glamorous resorts like Saint Tropez, Cannes and Antibes, and for the pristine beaches and turquoise waters of the Cote d’Azur. Many of our Mediterranean cruises include a stop in Marseille, Provence. Take a trip to one of the many vineyards in this region to sample crisp, fresh rosé with notes of summer fruits.
Greece is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, and was the first European country to make wine. Greek wines can vary considerably in taste and colour to their French, Italian and
Spanish counterparts, and the country produces a lot of ‘black’ wine.
Many of the Greek islands grow their own unique grapes, such as Mandilaria grown on Rhodes and Crete, Mavrodaphne on the Ionian Islands, and Limnio grown on Lemnos. Small vineyards on these islands often offer tours and wine tastings, so be sure to enquire with your cruise line to find out if tours are available.
If this guide to the Mediterranean’s wine hotspots has whetted your appetite for a cruise to this delightful part of the world, head over to our homepage or call our friendly sales team on 0808 2746 777 for a great range of deals.