Four undiscovered wine regions to explore

Four undiscovered wine regions to explore

From South America to Asia, add these under-the-radar regions to your itinerary.

Words by Ute Junker

Photo Anthony Delanoix via Unsplash


WHY Chile and Argentina have built global reputations for their wines but when it comes to neighbouring Bolivia, few people are even aware that it has a wine industry. That is because Bolivia – its topography dominated by the Amazon jungle and the Andes mountains – has just 3000 hectares under vine, so most of Bolivia’s small harvest is drunk within the country. Grown at high altitudes, the thick-skinned grapes produce bold and intense wines with rich aromas.

TRY THIS Bolivia’s signature wine is the rich red tannat; you will find several varieties on the wine list at Gustu in La Paz, the restaurant launched by Noma co-founder Claus Meyer.


WHY Move over retsina. Greece has more than 300 indigenous grape varieties, many of which are now being showcased by local producers. Top white picks include the lean, flinty assyrtiko from Santorini and malagousia from Macedonia, a softer, fruitier wine. When it comes to reds, the full-bodied agiorgitiko from the Peloponnese has smooth tannins and blackcurrant and plum notes. Some wineries are producing sparkling wines using grapes such as debina, xinomavro and athiri.

TRY THIS Athens has a lively wine bar scene, where you can enjoy a glass of quality wine for just a few euros.


WHY Beaches, temples… wineries? Yes, Thailand has joined the ranks of the world’s wine producers. Over the past two decades, a handful of pioneers have found ways to produce drinkable drops in this tropical climate including Monsoon Valley Wines near Hua Hin, where vines are planted between canals to help mitigate the temperatures. Look for chenin blanc and colombards in the whites, while syrah tends to be the best-performing red.

TRY THIS Located next to the Khao Yai National Park north of Bangkok, PB Valley Khao Yai Winery offers daily winery tours. It also has an on-site restaurant.


WHY They have been making wine a long time in Armenia: at least 6000 years, judging by the latest archaeological finds. The industry ground to a halt during Soviet times, and today’s winemakers are having to relearn which locations and techniques work best with the region’s indigenous grapes. There are around 400 different varietals, with the white voskehat and the red khndoghni (also known as sireni) and areni noir winning global attention.

TRY THIS Saryan Street in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, is home to buzzing wine bars such as In Vino and Voskevaz Wine Time, where you can sample a range of local wines. Come in May for the Yerevan Wine Days festival.

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