Major wine-producing countries like France, Italy, and even Australia may take top billing when it comes to wine tourism, but there are many wine regions in South America worth exploring as well. What's more, visitors who are accustomed to the higher prices often found when traveling in Europe will be pleasantly surprised at the bargains on offer in South America.
Wine aficionados will likely be familiar with the wines produced in Chile and Argentina, as these are the countries that most often export their wines outside the continent. But as is the case the world over, most countries produce wine to a certain degree, whether it's just for household consumption or for a larger community. There are several countries in South America that may not be known the world over for their wines, but if you're a wine lover you should definitely seek them out.
Colombia is more synonymous with coffee, but wine makers there produce Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon (among others). Brazil, famous for its lively Carnival celebrations, produces an equally celebratory drink - their specialty is sparkling wine. Peru and Bolivia grow most of their grapes for stronger drinks popular in those countries, but there are small (and growing) wine makers in both places.
Even the tiny country of Uruguay gets in on the wine making act. The wines may not be considered one of the highlights of Uruguay yet, but since most of the wineries are near Montevideo it's easy to incorporate a bit of wine tasting into a trip through the country without getting too far away from your itinerary.
In each country, it's a good idea to ask wine makers whether they export their wines to your home country so you can find out about getting any wines you particularly enjoyed more easily back home. Shipping some wine might be a fun holiday splurge, but it's probably not something you want to be re-ordering on a monthly basis.
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