London - Anna Rhodes goes in search of some unusual destinations for top class vineyards.
Khao Yai National Park, Thailand
Thailand's not known for its wine; you’re much more likely to think of beer when you picture this southeast Asian nation. But at Khao Yai National Park, around two hours by road from Bangkok, you’ll find a cluster of wineries, producing an array of reds and whites.
The locally run Thailand Wine Tours (thailandwinetour.com) take visitors around the national park, where they can spot a huge white Buddha statue on a hilltop and visit two wineries.
The Ionian island of Kefalonia, off the west coast of mainland Greece, has beautiful landscapes and exceptional wines – some of which can’t be exported, so a trip here is the only way you’ll get to taste them.
The Robola Wine Cooperative, in the Omala Valley, is around an hour from all of the main resorts, and half an hour from the capital, Argostoli.
Ljubljana markets itself as a “City of Vine and Wine”; this despite there being no vineyards in or around the city. But if you’re not satisfied with the Slovenian capital's numerous wineries, take a two-hour trip to the north-eastern village of Jeruzalem. It's renowned for its white wines and great views, which can be experienced on a walking wine tour.
The Ljubljana tourist board runs a Wine Routes of Jeruzalem tour (visitljubljana.com) in which you’ll visit Prlekija, a Slovenian region known for its wine, food and thermal springs, before heading to the wine hills of Jeruzalem.
Hawaii conjures imagery of fresh fruit, bright cocktails and exotic flavours, yet you’ll also find wine produced here. Island Mana Wines (islandmanawines.com), in Honolulu's beachside Waikiki neighbourhood, on the isle of Oahu, is a wine-tasting experience with a difference. The tipples here are not made with grapes, but instead include varieties produced from guava, mango, passion fruit and pineapple – all organic and native to the island. Reservations must be made in advance; entry is free, you just pay for the wine you drink.
Skane, the region known for producing Absolut vodka, started to make a name for itself in the wine world during the 1990s. The main grapes of the region are solaris and rondo, which produce fruity whites and full-bodied reds. The Hallakra Vingard (hallakra.com), however, is renowned for its pinot noir. Groups of eight or more can book tours and tastings on request all year round (it's open to the general public over the summer); prices available on request.