Wine-Lover’s Guide: 5 Regions to Visit Now
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Wine-Lover’s Guide: 5 Regions to Visit Now

David Cicconi Tanja Sirk at La Subida David Cicconi
As the wine-making map continues to broaden, so do opportunities for adventurous wine enthusiasts to beat the crowds. Bruce Schoenfeld points the way to five up-and-coming destinations in Italy, Spain, Chile, New Zealand, and the United States

As a wine writer, I love visiting winemakers in their tasting rooms, sampling small-production rarities I can’t find at home. But that’s hardly the only benefit of traveling to great viticultural regions. Wine tastes better at its source, and vineyards are usually surrounded by breathtakingly lush scenery. Beyond that, a thriving wine industry tends to attract accomplished restaurateurs and, eventually, first-class hoteliers. "People around the world are increasingly passionate about wine and visiting wineries," says Valter Scarbolo, a winery owner, restaurateur, and enologist in Friuli, Italy. And one after another, the world’s wine-­producing areas are getting ready to receive them.

These days, bodegas, châteaux, and cantine from Alsace to Tasmania stock T-shirts and corkscrews, open tasting rooms, and offer group tours. What I look for instead is authentic local cuisine; boutique inns and small hotels with crisp linens but also warm, personal service; and those delicious wines that I won’t encounter anywhere else. Here are five of the newest ready-for-prime-time wine regions from around the world, appellations and areas where these attributes have recently converged, along with inside recommendations for where to stay, what to eat, and what to taste once you get there.


Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Even Americans who love Italian wine have trouble getting their heads around this extreme northeastern region of hills and valleys, which spills so far around the corner of the ­Adriatic Sea that it actually overlaps into Slovenia. The names of the producers—Gravner, Jermann, Fantinel—hardly sound Italian. And unlike those of Tuscany, Sicily, and Piedmont, the best of the wines in Friuli are white.

What one finds upon visiting Friuli is undeniably Italy—old churches filled with frescoes; impeccably dressed businessmen with sweaters knotted loosely about their shoulders; pasta or risotto as part of every meal—but with a distinct Mitteleuropa air. The wineries are scattered among charming villages, each of which boasts its own highly touted restaurant.

La Frasca, Scarbolo’s casual restaurant outside Udine, is one of them. It serves simple but irresistible salumi and other local specialties and is the kind of place I’d eat at twice a week if I lived in the area. By day, Scarbolo makes a few thousand cases of serious wines, such as the nuanced Viotto ­Bianco, a blended white. And he’s not the only one pulling double duty. In Buttrio, winemaker Paolo Meroi spends his evenings cooking at Al Parco, a small restaurant tucked inside an old stone house with red shutters. Surrounded by an arc of tables, he grills meat over an open flame while his wife greets customers. I ate baby lamb chops accompanied by a Meroi Ros di Buri Merlot, of which 240 cases exist for all the world. Then Meroi took me out back, through a fragrant courtyard, to show off his tiny cellar.

Not everything in Friuli exists on such a small scale. Marco Felluga, one of the region’s major producers, has three wineries and two restaurants and is building an eight-room inn. The Fantinel family presides over an empire that includes three wineries, three prosciutto factories, 20 ham bars (one may come to Seattle later this year), a cooking school, and the Trieste soccer team. Yet its boutique winery, La Roncaia, set in the hills above Udine near the Austrian border, is as intimate a tasting experience as I’ve found in the region.

I especially enjoyed the wines of Livio Felluga. Now 92, he still oversees production at his modern winery of wood, stone, and glass, where you’ll sample the region’s most focused bottlings. But my most rewarding visit was to Vie di Romans, on the windswept Isonzo plain, where the wine world’s other Gallo family makes a sports car of a Chardonnay that could stand as an exemplar of judicious use of oak. Try it at the massive pine table in the tasting room, then ask for a taste of Flors di Uis, one of those perfectly peculiar wines that help define a region. A three-grape blend, it smells like Malvasia, tastes like Riesling, and could come from nowhere else but Friuli.



This Spanish island’s tourism bona fides are impeccable. The 13 million visitors who pass through annually make it one of Europe’s most popular destinations. Of course, hardly anyone comes for the wine; vacationers are lured to Majorca by sunshine, beaches, an abundance of good hotels, austerely beautiful scenery, and inexpensive airfares from just about every cold, gray, dingy metropolis on the continent.

But the Spanish wine revolution hasn’t skipped Majorca, which has a viticultural history that extends back a third of a millennium. (The enterprising friar who introduced wine grapes to California in the 1760’s, Father Junípero Serra, was ­Majorcan.) A combination of ambition, technical acuity, outside investment, and the lure of a growing international market has lately boosted the wines from the island’s two official appellations, just as it has the powerful reds and refreshing whites being made throughout the rest of Spain.

Over a long weekend of visiting the island, I don’t think I saw a single producer that didn’t have something endearingly quirky about it. Bodegues Macià Batle, in the center of Majorca, was typical. Ramon Servalls i Batle, a former director of sport and culture for the regional government—and a serious gourmand—specializes in blending the indigenous Manto Negro grape with Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The striking facility, an old stone macia (farmstead), that has been retrofitted with glass, polished floors, and an extensive collection of Modern art, is emblematic of another recent Spanish trend: using wineries to make architectural statements.

Perhaps the best Majorcan producer of the moment is Bodegues Ribas, which is owned by the painter Maria Antonia Oliver. The 90-odd acres of vineyard planted on the flatlands just outside the small town of Consell have been in Oliver’s family since the 18th century, but the push to make compelling wines from them has only occurred over the past decade. Oliver’s children, Araceli and Xavier Servera, have recently taken charge as winemakers, and the Ribas de Cabrera 2001, a lush Manto Negro–based blend they made in conjunction with Sara Perez, a star enologist from Spain’s Priorat region, speaks to the potential in the vines.

Because tourism is the island’s economic engine, the choice of hotels and restaurants here can be almost overwhelming. Palacio Ca Sa Galesa, a renowned boutique hotel in Palma de Mallorca, the capital, sits adjacent to the old cathedral and is a perfect home base from which to venture out to a different section of the island each day. All of the wineries are close enough that you can easily return to Palma for an evening swim in the Mediterranean before dinner. Try doing that in Napa Valley.


Casablanca Valley and San Antonio

Chile is known for making $8 wines that taste as if they cost $12, which is both a benefit and a bane. Historically not much of a wine-producing country, it gives an air of having created an industry out of a frenzy of marketing meetings.

On a recent trip, I discovered two viticultural regions that are challenging that notion. Both are nestled between Santiago and the Pacific Ocean, and either can be accessed on a day trip from the capital. The Casablanca Valley is the older and more evolved; think of it as the Napa to San Antonio’s Sonoma. San Antonio, 16 miles southwest of Casablanca, didn’t have a single vine until 1995.

The landscape of these two appellations, like nearly every other in this narrow yet capacious country, is marked by fertile valleys walled by densely forested mountains. That makes for stirring drives between wineries—though you’ll be grateful if you prolong some visits by including a meal. Two of Chile’s finest chefs—both of whom formerly cooked at the seminal Agua, in Santiago—are now running lunch-only dining rooms for the wineries Indòmita and House of Morandé.

At Indòmita, in a prefab castle on a hill just a mile or so into Casablanca Valley, chef Oscar Tapia brings inspiration gained from his work under several of Spain’s most adventurous chefs to classic Chilean cooking, serving sea urchin done three ways; mahi mahi accompanied by a corn purée studded with king crab; and a robust duck confit set beside chilote stew that brought out the best in the full-flavored Indómita reds. Down the hill and across the highway at House of Morandé, where the urbane Pablo Morandé planted Casablanca’s first vines in 1982, ­chef Christopher Carpentier’s menu is more international but no less appealing. Both restaurants rank among the country’s 10 best dining experiences.

And the wines?There’s been steady improvement in the tangy Sauvignon Blancs and muscular Pinot Noirs from Casablanca through the years, but I was even more excited by what I found in lesser-known San Antonio. At Casa Marín, just 2½ miles from the ocean, veteran enologist María Luz Marín has built a traditional manor house in the centuries-old pueblo of Lo Abarca and set up shop making Chile’s best whites. (They’re also Chile’s most expensive: the two single-vineyard Sauvignon Blancs, Laurel and Cipreses, are priced at $30 in the U.S. market, an act of substantial bravery.) To me, wineries of strong personal vision like hers are the country’s future. Or should be, at least.

United States


Virginia’s wineries are concentrated in two areas: one near ­Charlottesville, the other within an hour’s drive of Dulles Airport. Linking them is an über-American landscape of gentle hills, picket fences, and white shingled houses. There are well-appointed inns and B&B’s at every turn and far more historical markers than vineyards. A trip here doesn’t seem like a wine tour so much as a visit to Colonial Williamsburg.

Until recently, I’d felt that same dissonance about Virginian wine. The state had been trading on the grape-growing reputation of noted wine lover Thomas Jefferson for 200 years without producing anything worthy of mention. Then a single bottle convinced me that Virginia was ready for consideration. And a single meal verified that it should be on the must-visit list of any adventurous wine traveler.

Both happened at the same place, Barboursville Vineyards, just outside Charlottesville and about a two-hour drive south of the Lincoln Memorial. The wine was Barboursville’s 1999 Nebbiolo, made from a fiercely difficult grape that I’d always assumed could be grown with success only in small, well-delineated pockets of Italy’s Piedmont region. When Luca Paschina, the winemaker, brought a bottle to the table during my first lunch at Barboursville’s Palladio Restaurant last year, I snickered. Nebbiolo from Virginia?That would be the punch line to a cruel joke.

But Paschina is from Alba, the center of the world’s tiny supply of great Nebbiolo—Barolo is a few miles in one direction, Barbaresco a few miles in another—and it turns out that he’s the Nebbiolo version of the Horse Whisperer, capable of gaining utter obedience from recalcitrant vineyard land. Barboursville was founded in 1976 by Italy’s winery-owning Zonin family, but when Paschina came aboard, in 1991, it was producing wines from too many unsuitable varieties. Paschina watched, learned, and revamped the entire process. The result is Virginia’s best red wine—that deep, dusty, slightly tangy Nebbiolo—and a Cabernet Franc that isn’t far behind.

In Palladio, Barboursville has a restaurant that rivals the renowned Inn at Little Washington, an hour up the road. The menu is nominally Italian, but chef Melissa Close, formerly of San Francisco’s Rose Pistola, has as sure a hand with soft-shell crabs as she has with spinach gnocchi. My first lunch there and a subsequent one several months later were revelations.

Barboursville is the highlight of Virginia’s wine scene, but it’s hardly the only worthy destination. Several small wineries near Dulles are hot on its heels. Foremost is Linden Vineyards, which makes a graceful Chardonnay from the estate’s Hardscrabble vineyard. Shocking as it might seem, I actually prefer Jim Law’s 1999 Chardonnay from Hardscrabble to just about any California Chardonnay I’ve had in the past five years. What’s more, it costs $24. Nearly the entire 830-case production is sold out of the wood-beamed tasting room off the winery, which is reason enough to visit. The problem lies in finding the place. I drove through and around a tangle of country roads for a half-hour before realizing I’d been right around the corner from it most of the time. My only consolation was that Jefferson might have spent hours wandering the same roads, probably looking for wine.

New Zealand

Central Otago

The landscape in Central Otago, between Queenstown and Cromwell along the Karawau River on New Zealand’s South Island, resembles no other viticultural region in the world. Mountains are snow-covered, and during winter, roads often are, too: the area suffers through 85 to 107 days of frost annually. By October, though, the valleys have turned green and fertile. Vast herds of sheep dominate the stony hillsides.

Until about a decade ago, the local wine industry had little to advertise it beyond the preponderance of sheep and one piece of trivia: it’s the southernmost grape-growing area on earth. The wines were typically unripe and disconcertingly herbal. Facilities were rudimentary. Since then, vineyard plantings have increased by over 500 percent, concentrated in the slightly warmer area around Gibbston, and up-to-date viticultural practices are now the norm. But the real backstory here is climate change, which nudged up average temperatures just enough to make a noticeable difference. Today, the best of the region’s wines are ripe and fruity but with a noted austerity that marks them as being worthy of interest.

The reason this matters is Pinot Noir, that decidedly finicky grape. Only about two truly great growing areas for Pinot Noir exist in all the world (I give full points to Burgundy and a half measure each to Oregon and the Sonoma Coast), but Central Otago shows signs of evolving into a third. That potential seemed enough to warrant a visit.

I wasn’t there long before I realized that the region’s man-made beauty was almost as spectacular as its natural wonders. The Peregrine winery, for example, is designed to look like the wing of the eponymous falcon and could pass for a Christo installation. It functions as the social center of the area, hosting catered weddings, corporate outings, and other group events. Concerts are held under its translucent roof each February and March. And there are a half-dozen other wineries that are similarly striking.

Central Otago wasn’t much of a tourist destination before the wine boom, so many of the area’s restaurants are tied to the emerging wineries. I found the food to be particularly wine-friendly, a sure sign of a destination coming of age. At Amisfield’s nouveau rustique winery and bistro on Lake Hayes, Jeff Sinnott’s nuanced Pinot Noirs are paired with dishes like wild rabbit stew and risotto of chorizo and chicken, which are served at a purposefully leisurely pace all day. But save a dinner for Inspire, Queenstown’s best restaurant, at the 10-room boutique hotel, the Spire. The tasting menu can range from Asian to European and back again in a single dish, such as the oregano-scented chicken with green-tea noodles, lemongrass, and tomato essence.

There’s no restaurant at Felton Road and few amenities beyond a handsome tasting room. Visitors are welcome only on weekday afternoons, and must book appointments well in advance. Still, a visit to Central Otago wouldn’t be complete without tasting Blair Walter’s single-block Pinots. To my palate, they rank among New Zealand’s best wines and can compete with the top New World Pinots made anywhere. I once spent weeks tracking down a bottle of Walter’s small-production Block 3 Pinot, to no avail. When I arrived at Felton Road, I finally understood why I couldn’t find it back home: the wine is all still there. Everyone who visits the winery gets a glass.

Bruce Schoenfeld is Travel + Leisure’s wine and spirits editor.

Where to Stay

Terra e Vini
Comfortable, homey rooms above a busy enoteca, overlooking rows of vines. Owned by the Livio Felluga winery, which is across the street. 34 Via XXIV Maggio, Brazzano di Cormòns; 39-0481/60028;; doubles from $129.

Vinnaeria la Baita
Affiliated with the Jermann winery, this 12-room inn beside a field of wildflowers offers a modern take on Friulian tradition. Rooms have soaring ceilings and blond wood, and the restaurant excels at sea bass crudo. 2 Via degli Alpini, Capriva del Friuli; 39- 0481/881-021;; doubles from $156.

Where to Eat

Al Parco
Grilled meats and house-made pastas in a manicured setting. 7 Via Stretta, Buttrio; 39-0432/ 674-025; dinner for two $80.

La Frasca
`Valter Scarbolo’s homage to a typical Friulian frasca has become the clubhouse for locals and tourists alike. 10 Viale Grado, Lauzacco; 39-0432/675-150; dinner for two $82.

La Subida
The singular Josko Sirk serves traditional Slovenian specialties, game, and a broad selection of regional wines. 22 Località Monte, Cormòns; 39-0481/60531; dinner for two $100.

Where to Sip

La Roncaia
Part of Fantinel, the largest producer in Friuli. Try the sweet Picolit—apricots and honey in a glass. Open weekends. 26 Via Verdi, Cergneu di Nimis; 39-0432/790-280;

Livio Felluga
Wines focused like a beam of light, at a coolly contemporary facility near Cormòns. Prior booking essential. 1 Via Risorgimento, Brazzano di Cormòns; 39-0481/60203;

Russiz Superiore/Marco Felluga
The Felluga family owns both properties, several miles apart. Stroll vineyards lined with cherry trees at Russiz Superiore, then taste the white Collio Blanco Col Disôre blend at the home base in Gradisca. 121 Via Gorizia, Gradisca d’Isonzo; 39-0481/99164;

Vie di Romans
Sophisticated wines, including a Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc blend. 1 Mariano del Friuli, Gorizia; 39-0481/69600;

Where to Stay

Palacio Ca Sa Galesa
Magical 12-room manor house tucked behind Palma’s vast cathedral, steps from the beach and a short drive from the wineries. 8 Carr. de Miramar, Palma de Mallorca; 34/971-715-400;; doubles from $409.

Where to Eat

Es Baluard
A glass box attached to a contemporary art museum, with cooking nearly as vanguardista as the installations. Don’t miss the trampò salad rendered in soup form, with shrimp and watermelon, or the apple cake with Sichuan-pepper ice cream for dessert. Extensive list of Majorcan wines (and more). 10 Plaza Puerta de Santa Catalina; 34/971-908-199; dinner for two $110.

Sa Torre de Santa Eugenia
Authentic food served in a 500-year-old palace lately converted to agrotourism, in the heart of Majorcan wine country. You’ll find Michelin-starred restaurants with celebrated chefs around the island, but nothing more genuine than this. 70 Alqueries, Santa Eugenia; 34/971-144-011; dinner for two $90.

Where to Sip

Bodegues Macià Batle
Slick and professional operation, and the wines have real style. The collection of Modern art (some of it reproduced on the wine labels each year) is reason enough to visit. Cami de Coanegra, Santa Maria del Cami; 34/971-140-014;

Bodegues Ribas
Founded in 1711, this family-owned estate outside Binissalem has stateside distribution and worthwhile wines across a range of prices. Cami de Muntanya, Consell; 34/971-622-673;

Where to Stay

Matetic Guesthouse
An estancia on the vast estate owned by one of Chile’s richest families. There are only three suites, so book as early as you can. Fundo el Rosario, Lagunillas, Casablanca; 56-2/232-3134;; doubles from $360.

Where to Eat

El Sauce
Since 1950, this roadhouse has delighted day-trippers from Valparaíso and Santiago with unforgettable Chilean-style barbecue. Look for the Coca-Cola sign. Calle Palomino, Lo Abarca, San Antonio; 56-35/437-206; lunch for two $25.

House of Morandé
Accomplished food served in a dramatic glass-walled dining room. Morandé wines include the absurdly underpriced Terrarum Reserva Sauvignon Blanc: crisp, intense, and about $8 a bottle. Km 61, Ruta 68, Casablanca; 56-32/275-4701; lunch for two $50.

Restaurante Viña Indòmita
Oscar Tapia is related by marriage to the Cuban-American chef Douglas Rodriguez (Miami’s Yuca, New York’s Patria), and his cooking is like Rodriguez’s raised to a higher power. Km 64, Ruta 68, Casablanca; 56-32/275-4400; lunch for two $60.

Where to Sip

Casa Marín
A hilltop spa among the vines and a small inn are the newest elements of María Luz Marín’s boutique winery, which is rapidly becoming one of Chile’s most compelling. Taste the bright 2006 Riesling, only available here. Camino Lo Abarca, Cartagena, San Antonio; 56-35/437-205;

Garcés Silva
The winery looks like a spaceship, and the wines buttress a Californian ripeness with a Chilean feel. A barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc leads the way. By appointment. Fundo San Andrés de Huinca, Camino Rinconada de San Juan, Leyda, San Antonio; 56-2/428-8080;

The area’s first winery with California-style amenities still draws the biggest crowds. Highlights include a clay oven in a hidden clearing off the vineyard where groups can sit on hay bales and enjoy an alfresco lunch. Km 66, Ruta 68, Casablanca; 56-32/232-9924;

Where to Stay

1804 Inn & Vineyard Cottage
This painstakingly restored Jefferson-era home with adjacent cottage, furnished in original antiques, is impossibly romantic. Barboursville Vineyards; 434/760-2212; the; doubles from $325.

Boar’s Head Inn
A resort centered around an old gristmill, near downtown Charlottesville and a perfect starting point for a day of wine touring. 200 Ednam Dr., Charlottesville; 434/296-2181;; doubles from $185.

Where to Eat

Grandale Farm Restaurant
Perhaps the best thing about visiting Breaux Vineyards is this 32-seat restaurant across the street. The chef, Author Clark Jr., takes homegrown ingredients and adds just enough creativity to turn familiar dishes into memorable meals. 14001 Harpers Ferry Rd., Purcellville; 540/668-6000; dinner for two $94.

Inn at Little Washington
Sumptuous, if rather overdecorated, and Patrick O’Connell’s cooking is justifiably famous. Tuna sashimi is paired with cucumber sorbet; medallions of rabbit loin are wrapped in house-cured pancetta. The massive wine list includes local selections. Washington; 540/675-3800; dinner for two $300.

Palladio Restaurant
Melissa Close may be the region’s most underrated chef, and service is impeccable, with an actual Italian de Medici as maître d’. Barboursville Vineyards; 540/832-7848; dinner for two $140.

Where to Sip

Barboursville Vineyards
Owned by Italy’s wine-producing Zonin family. Palladio Restaurant and the 1804 Inn are on the grounds. 17655 Winery Rd., Barboursville; 540/832-3824; barbours

Breaux Vineyards
A home winemaker turned commercial producer on a 400-acre hillside estate. The Merlot-dominated Meritage may be the best Bordeaux-style blend made east of the Mississippi. 36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane, Purcellville; 540/668-6299;

Linden Vineyards
Handcrafted wines by an obsessed perfectionist include Virginia’s best Chardonnay. 3708 Harrels Corner Rd., Linden; 540/364-1997;

Where to Stay

The Spire
A sleek boutique hotel in picturesque Queenstown, a 15-minute drive from the vines. Church Lane; 64-3/441-0004;; doubles from $656.

Where to Eat

The best of the area’s winery-based restaurants, it fills to capacity on weekends. Dress in layers due to the changeable weather, and request a courtyard table. 10 Lake Hayes Rd., Queenstown; 64-3/442-0556;; lunch for two $60.

Inspire Restaurant and Bar
The Spire’s restaurant is spare and intimate, and its 10-course tasting menu is the most interesting dining experience in the region. The wine list includes older vintages from Felton Road, and martinis are a specialty. The Spire hotel; 64-3/441-0004; dinner for two $110.

Where to Sip

These subtle wines are sourced from young vines at a former sheep farm in the Cromwell Basin, then aged and sold at a modern stone-and-glass cottage on Lake Hayes. 10 Lake Hayes Rd., Queenstown; 64-3/442-0556;

Felton Road
The region’s top producer, Felton sets the Southern Hemisphere’s standard for Pinot Noir. And be sure to try the Block 1 Riesling, a white wine with a touch of residual sugar that isn’t distributed internationally. Bannockburn; 64-3/445-0885;

The lure at this winery is the Pinnacle Pinot Noir, blended from the four best barrels harvested each year. Only 100 bottles of the inaugural vintage, released last December, were shipped to America. Visitors to the winery can taste the new vintage alongside the standard releases. Kawarau Gorge Rd., Queenstown; 64-3/442-4000;

Not every wine-producing region has that combination of ambitious cuisine, comfortable hotels and top-quality wines that makes it worth a visit, but more of them do all the time. Here are five more on the cutting-edge:

FRANCE: Roussillon. Bordering the Languedoc in the country’s southeast corner, it gains culinary inspiration from Spain’s Catalonia, just over the border. The wines have improved more dramatically than anywhere else in France. Where to taste: Domaine Sarda-Malet, Chemin de Sainte-Barbe, Perpignan; 33-4/68-56-72-38; Where to eat: Auberge du Vieux Puits, 5 Avenue de Saint-Victor, Fontjoncouse; 33-4/68-44-07-37;

ARGENTINA: Mendoza. Once a sleepy provincial town, it now boasts accomplished restaurants and a Park Hyatt. The center of Argentina’s wine industry, which is approaching first-rank status. Where to taste: Bodegas O. Fournier, Calle Los Indios s/n, La Consulta; 54-262/245-1579; Where to eat: Azafran, Sarmiento 765, Mendoza; 54-261/429-4200

WASHINGTON: Woodinville. Nearly two dozen wineries have packed into this suburban town northeast of Seattle, despite the utter absence of grapevines. (They use trucked-in grapes.) Where to taste: Chateau Ste. Michelle, 14111 NE 145th St., Woodinville; 425/415-3300; Where to eat: Café Juanita, 9702 NE 120th Pl., Kirkland; 425/823-1505;

HUNGARY: Tokaji. The best sweet wines in the world, bar none, and a tourism industry that’s finally hitting its stride a decade-and-a-half after Communism. Seek out the amazing Eszensia, a viscous, low-alcohol nectar made around the region that’s rumored to help slow the aging process. Where to taste: Disznóko Szolobirtok, H-3931, Mezozombor, 36-47/569-410; Where to eat: Grof Degenfeld, 9 Terézia Kert, Tarcal; 36-47/380-173;

CANADA: Okanagan Valley. As in southern New Zealand, global warming has helped these British Columbian wines edge into connoisseurs’ strike zones. The appellation’s spectacular lakeside setting is enhanced by architecturally notable wineries. Where to taste: Mission Hill, 1730 Mission Hill Rd., Westbank; 250/768-7611; Where to eat: Fresco, 1560 Water Street, Kelowna; 250/868-8805;

Bruce Schoenfeld

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