More Global Cruises for Wine Lovers
We’re returning to the tasting table for Part II of Crystal’s guide to the most eminent wine regions around the world, with more cruises for wine lovers to add to their travel lists. Part I took us through the rolling hillsides of New Zealand and the UNESCO-celebrated vineyards of Bordeaux, along with the roots of Spanish Rioja and the famed Napa Valley. Today, we travel to three continents, from the heart of German wines along Europe’s rivers, to South America, Italy and South Africa. Grab your passport, and a glass…
The Moselle Valley, one of Germany’s most spectacular wine regions, embraces the Moselle River on either side as it winds from Trier to Koblenz, and through Cochem and Bernkastel. Along with other regions of the Rhineland like Palatinate and the Middle Rhine, lovers of Rieslings and the rarely-found-outside-of-Germany Gerwürstraminer will relish the possibilities in Germany. While Riesling is the “queen of grapes” here, with its aromatic tang and acidity, oenophiles can also find lovely Pinot Noirs, with full-bodied velvety tastes from late harvesting.
Voyages to explore: Virtually every Crystal River Cruises voyage along the Danube, Rhine, Moselle and Main rivers sails through the wine regions of Germany, with complimentary excursions offered in every port.
Under the Tuscan Sun
Italy has it all. Really – history, art, architecture, philosophy, maritime culture, and daydream-inducing food and wine. For the latter, look no further than the rolling hills of Tuscany. With four major appellations to immerse yourself in, enjoy the ultimate wine experience in the place that first beautifully blended Merlot and Syrah into Super Tuscans, and in the South-facing Sangiovese vineyards of the Chianti region. The latter being the superstar grape of Italy, it ripens late in the season and offers a fruity, easy pairing with the mouthwatering food found virtually anywhere you look.
Voyages to explore: Head to Tuscany by way of Florence/Livorno, ideally in the late summer or early fall, as with Crystal Serenity’s September 23, 2018 sailing.
Country Comparisons in South America
Did you know? Uruguay is the fourth-largest wine-producing country in the world, with wine grapes thriving in the region for more than 250 years. While Uruguay’s neighboring countries, Chile and Argentina, have long fetched the limelight for herbaceous Carmenere wines and rich and rustic Malbec, the country’s iconic wine, Tannat, is widely celebrated as the robust star that put Uruguay on the winemaking map. After arriving in Uruguay from the Basque country in the 19th century, Tannat has proven well suited to the South American climate.
Sipping South Africa
While South Africa is widely considered “New World” in the winegrowing context, the country’s first wine vineyards were planted in the 17th century. Most South African wines are produced in the Western Cape, with signature vintages offering bold, high alcohol content owing to the continually warm climate and rapid ripening of the grapes. Look for fresh, light Sauvignon Blanc that is perfect for picnics, and dry Chenin Blanc with a sweet finish. For red wine lovers, South African Pinotage has earned an unexpected, but well-deserved reputation for easy drinking complexity, with rich blackberry and cherry notes, with a hint of smoke.
Voyages to explore: Two consecutive segments of Crystal Serenity’s 2019 World Cruise – departing February 20 and March 13 – explore several ports in South Africa, allowing guests to compare and contrast the local flavors.
Aboard every Crystal ship, all-inclusive, world-class cuisine can be paired with a world of complimentary fine wines. Take your palate on a delicious adventure.