It’s been quite awhile since I wrote my last Where To Go? post, so in honor of my good friend Stephanie who’s visiting San Francisco this week and in the midst of planning her own wedding, I thought it would be quite appropriate to cover a topic that’s dear to her heart: wine.
The following is a list of honeymoon destination recommendations for wine-loving couples created by myself, someone who knows little to nothing about wine.* Since I am faaaar from being a wine expert, let’s just say that everywhere on the list is known for great wine, and hopefully my non-wine related comments will help you decide whether a particular location suits your particular honeymoon interests. Pour yourself a glass, and let’s begin!
1) South Africa
I’m starting off the list with the place that I want to visit the most. South Africa really has it all: beautiful beaches, incredible wild life and safari opportunities, and the infamous wine regions of Constantia, Stellenbosch and Paarl. It’s not a budget-friendly destination (especially if you want to go on safari as well), but if you’re going to go big on your honeymoon, I think South Africa would be absolutely fantastic.
On the other end of the budget spectrum, Argentina’s Mendoza region is another perfect honeymoon destination, especially if you love steak and a good Malbec. While Argentina may not be as cheap as it used to be, it should still be significantly less expensive than a honeymoon in either South Africa or Europe. Keep in mind though that Argentina is a huge country, so if you want to check out Buenos Aires as well as Mendoza, you’ll need to book some additional flights.
If you’re going down under for your honeymoon, you’re in for a treat because Australian wine is delicious, and you don’t have to travel far from Sydney if you want to experience the wineries first-hand. You can easily take a day trip to the Hunter Valley region in New South Wales, and then sleep off your hangover on Bondi Beach the next day.
There are three things that the French sure know how to do properly: food, wine, and romance. What else do you need during your honeymoon? The correct answer (at least for me): Beaches. Fortunately, the French Riviera is just a short flight or train ride from Paris so you can have the best of both worlds, as well as Champagne, Burgundy, Loire Valley, and Bordeaux in between. Stay tuned for an amazing Real France Honeymoon post coming up in a few weeks from a very food and wine-savvy couple.
How could I not mention Italy – the most popular Real Honeymoon destination on the blog so far? It’s actually impossible to go to Italy without drinking copious amounts of wine. (I once went on a bike tour through Tuscany and was given more Chianti than water to drink.) A lot of people particularly enjoy visiting wineries in Piedmont and Tuscany, but you really can’t go wrong when it comes to Italian vino.
6) Northern California Wine Country
I feel spoiled that I live so close to Northern California’s wine country, but it is an excellent destination for couples traveling from both nearby or far away. Whether you visit out Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Bennett Valley, or Russian River Valley (or all of the above), you certainly won’t be disappointed. Check out Jennie and Chris’ Napa Mini-moon post for some great recommendations.
* Okay, I think I can give myself some credit for knowing a little about wine. Someone I know recently referred to red wine as “colored wine.” And not in a horribly wrong racist joke kind of way. He really thought it was called that.