The creak of the corkscrew… The pop of the cork… The glug-glug-glug of the pour… It’s a beloved ritual repeated endlessly around the world every day. Indeed, in 2021 global wine consumption across red, white and rose varieties was estimated to be around 236 million hectoliters – that’s a lot of grapes.
Good friends, better wine. The perfect recipe for any vacation.
Unsurprisingly then, the wine tourism industry is booming. Entire regions have been reinvented as vacation destinations, vineyards have developed into hotels and full-blown experience resorts, and the range and choice of where to visit has become overwhelming. Which is why Compare the Market has selflessly done the hard miles for us, analyzing data across number of grape varieties, vineyard size, wine production and consumption rates alongside critic scores, prices and world rankings of the most popular wine in each country and region to create a comprehensive ranking of the world’s best wine destinations.
Cote de Beaune vineyards in Burgundy, where the views are almost as good as the wine.
Want to try the number one ranked wine region in the world? Then you’ll need to book tickets to France and head for Burgundy, whose Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, ranks eighth in the world wine list with a critic score of 98 but an eye-watering price of just over $25,000 a bottle.
Prefer instead to get maximum vino for your vacation? Then the USA is the place to aim for with 47 regions appearing in the overall ranking—more than any other country. The East Coast features many, top of whom is Washington followed closely by California on the West Coast, which at 39th and 40th in the ranking respectively are the first anywhere outside of France or Italy. Europe then is clearly the place to explore the very best wines, but the USA wins out as the perfect wine road trip destination.
While there try the Opus One, made in Oakville, California—the most popular wine produced in the United States, ranked 12th in the world, with a bottle setting you back $415.
The top ten wine countries
It should perhaps come as little surprise that France dominates the ranking as the number one destination for wine lovers. While it has the second highest consumption rate in the world, second only to the USA, it also produces the number one ranked wine, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, priced at $700 a bottle. Accordingly, it’s French regions that also dominate when we crunch down to distinct wine producing regions within countries. With Burgundy taking the top spot, it’s closely followed by Bordeaux and Jura in third and fourth respectively.
Italy’s Piedmont region is an undulating landscape of vine rows and beautiful villages.
Not far behind France in the country ranking is Italy. It produces the most wine anywhere in the world, has the third-highest consumption, and lies fourth in number of grape varieties, at an impressive 453. Its Piedmont region narrowly missed out on overall first place and is followed not far behind by Veneto and Tuscany in fifth and sixth. While there be sure to try the Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Bolgheri, which came joint third in critic scores and ranks fifth in the world at $330 A bottle.
France and Italy dominate, occupying the first 38 regions in the ranking.
The US, Australia and Spain have plenty to offer too.
Grape varieties, vineyard surface area, wine consumption and wine production data was taken from the International Organisation of Vine and Wine. The most popular wine critic score, most popular wine price, and most popular wine world ranking were taken from Wine Searcher.