We know that you Lazenne blog readers are a globetrotting lot, so next time you find yourself in a new European city, why not spend some time becoming acquainted with the local wine production? We’re not talking about Bordeaux or Florence or Porto, the names synonymous with wine, either. We mean the great capitals and more! If you’re prepared to dig a little you may just uncover some wonderful wine discoveries in and around cities you least expect.
Believe us; you’ll be pleased you made the effort.
Should you want to take a few bottles home in souvenir, don’t forget that we can deliver the Wine Check luggage to hotels throughout Europe. So relax and enjoy, knowing you can transport any impromptu wine purchases with safety and ease!
Here are some of our favourites:
More commonly associated with Mozart and the Waltz, Vienna also lays claim to being the only European capital which cultivates a serious wine industry. In fact, Viennese wine is so appreciated by the local population that they keep most of it for themselves! Very little of the production makes it to export. We’d recommend catching the tram to explore the vineyards of Nussdorf, a charming suburb in the city’s north, on the banks of the Danube. Vienna’s vineyard taverns, the heuriger, are legendary, so settle in for a glass of the great local grape, Grüner Veltliner, and the other iconic Viennese treat, a Wiener schnitzel!
Taste traditional (and wonderfully exotic sounding) grape varieties such as Arinto, Fernão Pires and Trincadeira in one of the nine wine regions that fan out from Portugal’s buzzing capital, Lisbon. Until recently known as the Estremadura, the Lisboa wine region encompasses nine DOC’s (denominação de origem controlada) as well as a more generic Vinho Regional Lisboa classification. Two of these DOC’s, Colares and Carcavelos, have become rather endangered species, threatened by Lisbon’s urban sprawl and rising property prices; we’re talking prime, coastal land after all. Wine production is understandably dwindling, so the still red and whites from the former and the fortified wines from the latter are becoming somewhat of a collector’s item.
Nothing says celebration and romance quite like bubbles, and a glass of sparkling wine is a perfect match to time spent in one of the world’s most romantic cities, Venice. Italy’s great sparkling wine, Prosecco, comes from the hills surrounding Treviso, one of the main gateways to Venice. The Prosecco Wine Route is the oldest and arguably most spectacular wine roads in Italy, offering visitors nearly 50 kilometres of winding roads and gentle slopes to explore. The main ingredient is a grape called Glera (until recently the variety was called Prosecco as well), and creates a delightfully light, fresh and fruity fizz which is dangerously easy to drink.
The biggest city on the French Riviera is an eternally popular tourist destination thanks to its moderate climate and glorious beaches … but wine? Yes! In fact, these Nice vineyards are so much of a secret that even many locals aren’t aware of their existence. The Bellet AOC (appellation d'origine controlee) can be found on the western fringes of the city is one of the smallest and oldest appellations in France. Most of the eleven vineyards which produce Nice wine are boutique operations, with cellars in the basement of the family home. A visit will also introduce you to Nice’s two unique grape varieties: Braquet and Folle Noire.
Don’t forget to read our guide to learn more about flying with wine and alcohol. We’d love to hear your favourite European wine cities as well!