Wine Savvy on August 6, 2013 2 Comments Depending on your preferences, your list of famous wineries you want to visit is likely different than everyone else’s. There are so many factors to consider when deciding which wineries you want to visit. While the wine is obviously a primary factor, you must also consider the location, ease of access, history, architecture, and overall ambiance. With so many factors to consider, it is nearly impossible to come up with a concrete list of the absolute best wineries. At the same time, there are definitely a handful of famous wineries from across the globe that stand out for numerous reasons. 1. Château Mouton Rothschild (Bordeaux, France) It is difficult to make a list of famous and enjoyable wineries without mentioning Château Mouton Rothschild. This winery not only offers you the chance to experience some of the best red wine in the world, but it is uniquely situated among the scenic views offered by the breathtaking French countryside. This winery sits on a gorgeous 203 acre plot of land, where it grows vines of grapes for Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Many other wineries in the region require long waiting lists and some even need you to provide a letter of recommendation. This is one of the few historic facilities in the area that is completely open to the public. While you should make a reservation during the warmer months, you can always drop by on a whim. If you want to take a tour, you’ll need to book it far in advance. They offer multiple tours Monday through Friday, but they are by appointment only. Unfortunately, the tour does not include the cellar. 2. Jacob’s Creek (Barossa Valley, South Australia) There are a growing number of famous wineries in South Australia, but Jacob’s Creek is one of the most well-known. since 1847, Jacob’s Creek has been growing their grapes and making a wide range of wines to accommodate every occasion. Its unique location in the Barossa Valley makes it an ideal spot for a short day trip from a number of large Australian cities. If you’ve never been to this area of South Australia, you will be surprised by the rolling mountain ranges and lush countryside. Jacobs Creek also offers an excellent selection of red and white wines and a variety of tours which will guide you through the region. Jacob’s Creek offers two daily tours of their vineyard, where you can learn and observe what goes into making their delicious wine. Vineyard tours last approximately one hour and cost only $12.50 a person. For a more flavorful experience, book a structured tasting where you will learn how they grow their grapes, a history of the region, and most importantly, taste six of their wines. Structured tastings are by reservation only, and require a group of 10 or more people. 3. Bodega Colomé (Salta Region, Argentina) Founded in 1831, Bodega Colomé is a unique winery experience that’s a must-see for anyone who can make the journey to the Salta region of Argentina. This winery consists of four high-altitude vineyards ranging from 5,700-10,000 feet above sea level. Due to its high-altitudes, the vineyards grow grapes with thicker skins, which ultimately helps produce stronger flavors, colors and aromas. Bodega Colomé is owned by Swiss born entrepreneur Donald Hess, after he first visited it in the late nineties. Over the last fifteen years, Hess has planted new vines and the vineyard has reached approximately 140 hectares. The Hess family has even gone a step further and helped build the local village’s church and community center, giving back to the village that consists of approximately 400 people. Tours of the winery and wine tastings are available every day from 10:30-6pm. The visitor center will teach you all about the history and agriculture of their wine, as well as give you a taste of the local cuisine. There’s no better place to learn the best wine/food pairings. To ensure you get the most enjoyable experience, it’s wise to call ahead and book your tour and tasting. 4. La Rioja Alta (Rioja, Spain) If you’re interested in a more historic winery, then look no further than La Rioja Alta in Spain. Founded in 1890, this century-old bodega is one of the region’s most storied wineries. With a 360 hectare vineyard and 73 hectare estate, this winery is well known for its red wines based upon the traditional Spanish Tempranillo grape. However, in recent years it’s lost some popularity in the United States market because there was no importer available for several years. To take a tour of this winery, you must book it in advance. Tours last approximately an hour and a half, taking you through the winery where you learn about their process and their brands. End your tour with three samples of their delicious wine. After your tour, you can hang out in the gorgeous environment, enjoy a three course lunch in their private dining room, or visit their wine bar and shop. 5. Talley Vineyards (California, United States) There are a ton of popular vineyards that make delicious wine in the United States, but a hidden gem is Talley Vineyards. Located on the coast in Arroyo Grande, CA, Talley Vineyards is in the perfect spot to grow grapes for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. For the Talley family, the last three generations have consisted of learning, refining and perfecting the wine-making process. As a result of their hard work and passion, Talley Vineyards now produces approximately 30,000 cases of wine every year. We would recommend taking the private Estate tour and tasting. This experience blows all others away. For an hour and a half, you will get a private tour of the estate, vineyard and winery, as well as a barrage of tastings. For this tour, you must call ahead and book it in advance. No visit to Talley Vineyards is complete with out checking out the views of the vineyard from their tasting room. Anyone who still wonders whether or not California can produce an elite Chardonnay must visit this Vineyard. Despite being one of the elite California estates, Talley Vineyard is reasonably priced and truly enjoyable. Which famous wineries did we miss? Let’s hear your thoughts down in the comments below.