Every winemaking country prides itself on the many different wines that it produces. Each region and city has its own wines, each of which comes with distinct flavours and even production methods.
Just take a look at Italian wine as an example. The DOC was created, in part, to govern the regional aspect of Italian wine production. If a wine doesn’t come from the right region or city, it can’t carry an official DOC label.
Wine tourism has also seen a massive leap over the last few years. 2018, in particular, saw more people travelling to different cities for the sole purpose of visiting the wineries than any other year.
We believe that 2019 will be no different. The cities and the wines that come from them are so indelibly linked that you’re almost spoilt for choice as to where you should visit.
To help you along, we’ve come up with a list of a few cities that we think may deserve the classification of City of Wine in 2019.
City #1 – Corsica, France
We’re actually going to step away from Italy for our first choice and instead focus on the island city of Corsica.
Corsica, much like Sicily in Italy, is an island that’s really starting to build a reputation for itself as a purveyor of fine wines. The island’s gorgeous landscapes are sure to catch the eye of any who visit. But it’s the coastal vineyards that really clue you into what Corsica ha to offer.
The joy of Corsica is the fact that it’s wines are relatively undiscovered treasures, at least when compared to wines from some of the major cities in the industry. In fact, it’s only recently that Corsican wines have come onto the radar. The island has only just started to build a presence as an exporter. Prior to the last couple of years, most of the wine produced in Corsica was actually consumed by the locals.
That means that visiting the city means you have the chance to enjoy some great wines that have already started to make their way onto leading wine lists in other countries. You’ll also enjoy a truly local and welcoming experience from winemakers who are delighted to find that those outside of Corsica enjoy their work as much as the locals.
It may be an underdog pick for the title of City of Wine 2019. But we see nothing but good things ahead for Corsica’s wine industry.
City #2 – Florence, Italy
You had to know that a major city from the Tuscany region would find its way onto this list. The only real choice that we had to make is which one.
After some deliberation, we’ve decided to go for the artistic city of Florence.
Of course, Florence has plenty to offer any tourist outside of its fabulous wines. Lovers of art, architecture, and food will all feel right at home in the city. In fact, you could easily spend a week in the city and not even come close to seeing everything that it has to offer.
But we’re talking about wine here, so we’d best focus.
Of course, Florence has some of the most famous wines in all of Italy. It is the home of the Chianti Classico, which you’ll find in practically every restaurant in the city. Brunello di Montalcino is another wonderful Florentine wine that many enjoy.
On the white side of the scale you have the likes of Pomino Vin Santo alongside many others.
Florence is a true heavy hitter when it comes to the world of Italian wine. Simply put, you can’t go wrong when you visit the city and you’re sure to find a wine that you absolutely adore.
City #3 – Valle D’Aosta, Italy
From one of Italy’s most famous wine cities we move onto one of its biggest hidden secrets. We’re also moving away from Tuscany and into the other most famous of Italian wine regions – Piedmont.
This mountainous city is a favourite of my adventure-minded tourist who love the many opportunities that it provides for hiking. It’s also home to Mont Blanc, which is one of the highest mountains in Italy. That makes it a great destination for walkers, climbers, and skiers alike.
But what’s most interesting about this location is where it is. Valle D’Aosta lies on the borders of both France and Switzerland. And it very much wears those influences on its sleeve. Italian and French are both spoken regularly in the region, as is the local dialect of Valdôtain.
That can make it a little impenetrable for the wine tourist. However, you’ll definitely be glad that you came when you get the chance to enjoy some of the local wines. Fumin or Prié Blanc are both standouts that are worth anybody’s attention. We also recommend the Nebbiolo wine that comes from this region.
City #4 – The North Coast, California
Okay, so we’re cheating a little bit with this entry. California’s North Coast encompasses a few different towns and cities, including the famous Napa Valley. However, we’re including them all here for a simple reason.
The wildfires that affected these regions in 2017 had the potential to absolutely devastate California’s wine industry. It’s remarkable that the North Coast has bounced back to enjoy a fabulous year during 2018.
You could argue that many of the wines that make the Napa Valley famous have been co-opted from other territories. Its quality Chardonnay and Zinfandel are among the most revered and popular in the United States.
However, there’s a certain romanticism to taking a road trip across the North Coast to enjoy all of these wonderful wine cities and towns. So while it may be a bit of a cheat, we’re looking towards California’s North Coast to get some recognition once 2019 rolls around.
The Final Word
So, which will be the City of Wine for 2019?
It’s hard to guess. We’d argue that any city that helps you to discover a new love for wine deserves the designation. The four that we’ve spoken about here are just wonderful places that produce amazing wine.