Drink your way from one beautiful vista to the next

Slide show: From France to Chile, we look at some of the world's lushest wine trails

By Megan Cytron

Published April 10, 2011 1:01PM (EDT)

While the prospect of travel may inspire your inner Apollonian to fantasize, scheme and dream, once on the ground, there is immense pleasure in letting a well-laid plan play itself out in a hedonistic, Dionysian fashion. A bit ahead of the now-trendy agritourism curve, wine trails developed as rural outposts of flavor and culture, providing travelers with stimulating opportunities for inebriation.

Even if you know little about grapes or abhor the fussy dissection of flavors and terroir -- you can learn so much just by exploring the leafy landscape of wine -- digging into the dirt, smelling the vines under the beating sun, going underground to contemplate the almost holy ritual of controlled fermentation, and pondering the effects of a cold night, southern exposure, altitude or soil composition on acidity and flavor.

We chose 16 spots that make it easy to drink your way from place to place, sampling different types of wine in intoxicating settings. You can read about many more wine country spots here: http://www.trazzler.com/tags/wine-country

Megan Cytron

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