Food and wine holidays

√ Watch/Do-Play √ Culture √ People √ Climate

food and wine holidays

Many people enjoy food and wine, but often do not take account of their eating and drinking likes and dislikes when taking a holiday.   Therefore a food and wine holiday can be the perfect choice for holiday makers wishing to combine a visit to somewhere new with their culinary preferences.


In all corners of the globe you will find places with a vast array of different cuisines and often a selection of wines too.

For example, you can try an array of North and South American-influenced foods including Californian and Mexican in NapaValley and SonomaCounty, visiting some fabulous wineries growing Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir grapes along the north coast beyond San Francisco Bay.   Alternatively, and closer to home,     France as a whole is a culinary hub  and also the source of many grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah) that are now planted throughout the world, as well as wine-making practices and styles of wine that have been adopted in other producing countries.


If you love learning about how grapes turn to wine, or want to indulge your passion for tasting new and sometimes exotic dishes, then a food and wine holiday could be a good choice.  You are more than likely to run into like minded people on this type of holiday too, and whilst you shouldn’t expect to have to do anything particularly physical on a winery tour, you’ll probably strike up a good conversation with similar enthusiasts.   You can also tailor your trip to the weather that suits you – for instance, USA in autumn often provides blue skies, mild days and cooler evenings, whilst a trip to Dordogne in France during July or August is likely to be hot and dry.


You can visit wineries at different stages of the growing season, therefore you can travel at a time when the weather most suits your taste.    Whether you are available to travel in summer to France, autumn to North America, or winter to sample Australia (summer in Oz), you’re bound to find a place and date which is ideal for you.


Wine and food holidays are generally civilised affairs in developed countries, so you should not find any particular problems arranging and enjoying such a vacation.   Keep in mind that if you are visiting during the height of summer and touring a winery, a hat and sun cream are advisable, as well as insect repellent (flying insects love grapes as much as wine buffs!).   Remember also that if you have a hire car you should observe local laws on drink driving, which can often be strict.   Further information can be found at the usual UK government websites.


A two week stay in Northern California taking in a few days in San Francisco then a leisurely break somewhere like Sonoma in order to explore Napa and Sonoma County wineries should give you a great introduction to “Sideways Country”.   Alternatively, a one week stay in Northern France with perhaps a couple of nights in Paris will also give a good insight into the culinary delights of one of the world’s top wine making countries.


If you are thinking of the USA, plan to spend at least £1,500 per person for a two week holiday inclusive of flights and car hire, staying a couple of nights in San Francisco and 10 nights in a three star Sonoma inn.   You’ll need to budget extra for winery tours and tastings as well as dinner, lunch and excursions.   A one week stay in France could set you back at least £300 per person in a basic three star B&B inn with a return Eurostar ticket if you are taking your own car.    Lunches and evening meals will be extra.


There are many fans of culinary holidays, so you are likely to run into food and wine buffs, discerning writers and the occasional incognito movie star on such a trip.

Link to Other Things To Know (Passports, Visas, Health, Security)

A food and wine holiday in the USA, France or Australia should not cause a problem in terms of obtaining visas, and there are usually no special health or security considerations, but it is always wise to check in advance with government websites to ensure you are well prepared.

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