While surfing and wine tasting might seem like very different experiences, in fact they have a lot in common. Think about it – understanding the ocean’s unique nuances while you surf is very similar to understanding the aromas and individual flavors that can be detected in a fine wine. Focus and attention are key in both cases. Marlene from Cooling Wine is one such enthusiast who loves nothing more than sipping a quality glass of red after a session in the water. If you’re looking for some advice about which places offer the very best surfing and sipping experiences, she brings you some expert tips here.
South Africa’s Western Cape
Cape Town is a popular choice with surfers thanks to its kelp-laden reefs, wedging beachies, point breaks and secret slabs. If you’re heading here you’re sure to be amazed by the surf, especially if you come during the winter months. South Africa is also famous for its fine wines, and you’ll never regret visiting a South African winery. One of the best places to visit is Hermanus on the southern coastline. Not only does it offer outstanding surfing opportunities, it’s also close to Walker Bay and Hemel-en-Aarde – famous for their Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
A top spot for both surfers and wine tasters alike, California is famous for its surf and wine trips. Whether you’re in the north or the south of the Golden State, you’ll find wonderful waves and delicious wines. The Mendocino and Sonoma regions are especially good for both thanks to the rugged coastline and quality wines. If you’re feeling brave, Santa Cruz is a good choice for its huge swells and it’s also within easy reach of the Santa Cruz Mountains wineries where you can sample some of the very best Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs anywhere in the state.
Australia is a vast continent with incredible surfing and wine tasting opportunities from coast to coast. Australian wine is famous for its quality and whichever part of the country you visit, you’ll enjoy fabulous tipples. Western Australia boasts amazing wines in its Margaret River region and Perth’s coastline offers fantastic waves. Meanwhile, if your going to Victoria the Yarra Valley Chardonnays are the perfect way to round off a day enjoying amazing point breaks.
Portugal is a wonderful destination for a vacation for anyone, but if you’re a surfing and wine drinking fan you’ll love it even more. This European peninsular is famous for its Lisbon wedge and the Lisboa region is well known for its fantastic wineries. Actually, no matter where you choose in this laidback country, you’ll find wine and waves within easy driving distance. Head a little further afield to Madeira, an island off the African coastline, and you’ll find some of the world’s top surfing and wine tasting experiences.
Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced surfer, Chile has something for everyone. It stretches for over 2,500 miles along the Pacific coastline so your biggest problem will be planning a wine tasting and surfing itinerary that you can cope with! If you also happen to love hiking and mountaineering you’re onto a winner with Chile since the Andes mountain range is home to some of the best wineries the country has to offer. However, if you’re more into cities, you’ll find that Santiago is well located for the top wine lands and it’s close to the coastline too.
South West France And North Spain
Bordeaux in France’s south western region is well known for its world-class wines. It also just happens to be close to some of the best surfing beaches in Europe. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little more unusual but no less delicious, head to Jurancon, close to the Pyrenees mountains where you can find some dry whites that will truly impress.
While you’re exploring this corner of Europe, cross the border into North Spain. The Bay of Biscay boasts an amazing swell and you’ll also have the chance to discover the third biggest wine-producing nation worldwide. Mundaka is a great surf spot within 50 miles of La Rioja – home of the famous Temprenillo grape. Bilbao is another northern Spanish destination which boasts plenty of surf along with Txakoli, a unique white wine with a low alcohol content and plenty of acidity.