Four Wine Trails through New World Regions

These trails in Asia and the Americas will allow you to get to know what's in your bottle and try new pours you may not find at home.
Illustration by Amber Day

For a taste of these emerging New World regions, your best bet is to go straight to the source. Here’s our guide to help you drink it all in.

Villa de Leyva, Colombia

Wedged amid the Andes mountains, the Colombian capital of Bogotá boasts temperate weather, impressive entertainment and a wide selection of dining and drinking pleasures. Over the past couple of years, a crop of quality winemakers has also emerged, making the city a perfect base to explore both wines and local sights.

Viñedo Ain Karim: A short drive from Bogotá, the colonial town of Villa de Leyva offers a beautiful setting to stroll among the vines. The town is also home to Viñedo Ain Karim, which produces wines under the Marqués de Villa de Leyva label. Don’t miss tasting their lineup of Cabernet Sauvignons, which includes three different reserve-level bottlings and a rosado.

Viñedo Umaña Dajud: This small winery, also near Villa de Leyva, has around 14 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon vines, most of which were brought in from France. The friendly owners are happy to show you around and tell you all about the winery as you try the estate’s red and rosé wines.

Urban Tropical Wines: In Bogotá, a group of young Colombians—James Valencia Salcedo, Santiago Valencia Rodriguez and Erika Guarín Lizarazo—crafts wines from the tropical fruits found here like mango and guava. —Daniela Serrano

An illustration of a New World wine regions
Illustration by Amber Day

Ojai, California

Tucked snugly below the Topatopa Mountains about 90 minutes from Los Angeles, the Ojai Valley is a legendary oasis for artists, free-thinkers and outdoor enthusiasts. Now, it’s also a hub for wine lovers, with a tasting room scene that’s more vibrant than ever before. The region’s early vineyards were hit hard by Pierce’s disease in the 1990s, so, while the number of new plots here grows, much of the quality wine is still made from Santa Barbara County grapes.

Vineyard Races for Wine Lovers

The Ojai Vineyard: Wild-haired wine wizard Adam Tolmach founded this vineyard in 1983. In addition to new releases of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and more, Tolmach opens and sells library wines that date back decades.

Topa Mountain Winery: This is the promising new kid on the block, with Tolmach protégé Dominic O’Reilly in place as winemaker. Its single-vineyard expressions of Syrah and Chardonnay are great, but so are the blends. Enjoy games, live music and picnic grounds.

Casa Barranca Organic Winery and Tasting Room: Since long before it became fashionable, this winery has poured certified organic wines on Ojai’s iconic arcade. —Matt Kettmann

An illustration of a New World wine regions
Illustration by Amber Day

Quebec, Canada

International visitors flock to Montreal and rave about its food culture. The wine scene throughout Quebec, however, remains less well-known. Within a 60- to 90-minute drive from Montreal, you’ll find innovative producers who combat unpredictable weather to draw vivacious juice from vinifera and cold-hardy grapes like Marquette, Vidal Blanc and Seyval Blanc. There is a large concentration of vintners near Dunham, southeast of Montreal, which was the birthplace of Quebec winemaking in the 1980s. There are also a few fun producers near historic Québec City.

Vignoble Les Pervenches: Superb organic Chardonnay is crafted from vines that are 25 years old.

Le Vignoble du Ruisseau: This ambitious winery installed geothermal systems in it vineyards to help its Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay, Riesling and other vines through frosty times.

Vignoble et Cidrerie Coteau Rougemont: From a sunny western slope on Mont Yamaska, find tasty blends of Frontenac Noir and Marquette, as well as Chardonnay and ice wine. —Rémy Charest

Yantai, China

China has the second-highest number of acres under vine in the world, just behind Spain. Within the country, the Shandong Province and its most prominent region, Yantai, has the longest winemaking history in the country as well as the greatest value in terms of wine sales and volume. Home to more than 140 wineries and about midway between Beijing and Shanghai, Yantai is a seaside city with plenty of cultural attractions to check out between tastings.

Chateau Changyu-Castel: This French-style chateau was built in 2002, though the business itself dates to 1892. Taste its Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Gernischt, which is the Chinese name for Carmenère.

Treaty Port Vineyards: Hop outside of town to a Scottish castle built by an English businessman to try Syrah and Chardonnay.

Chateau Junding: The gracious grounds house a winery, tasting room, restaurant, hotel and golf course. —Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen

Published on February 7, 2019
Topics: Travel



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