Austria Wineries: Friendly people, terroir-driven wines

We spent four amazing days visiting Austrian winemakers this October – two days in the steep slopes of the white winegrowing regions on the Danube River west of Vienna called the Wachau, Kamptal, and Kremstal, and two days in the flatter primarily red regions south of Vienna called Caruntum and Burgenland, with a special stop to taste the sweet, botrytis-influenced wines of the Neusiedlersee.

Wineries: Vancouver Island, Canada: Unusual Wines, Tough Growing Conditions

Jay and I were excited about visiting the wineries on Vancouver Island this fall because when we'd last gone there two years ago, we'd had some surprisingly good wines, most of which are very difficult to find outside of the area. The wineries on the Island are mainly small-production, family-run places where the owner or another family member is also likely to be pouring your wine, so they're good places to ask questions about the growing and production process.

Wineries: Bodegas Ysios: Calatrava’s Riojan castle is crumbling.

Bodegas Ysios was one of the first wineries to be completed in the Rioja region by the parade of starchitects - designed by Santiago Calatrava in 2000 and opened to the public (by appointment only) in 2003. Liz and I visited the winery grounds during our first trip to Spain in 2003 when the estate vines were just tiny clusters of leaves on the ground. We actually stumbled upon this stunning structure as we peered across the valley from the hill town of Laguardia and since we were rushing from one town to the next (as always) we didn't have time to inquire about a tour. We did drive up to the building - drawn in by the contrast of the glittering aluminum roof and the bleached cedar walls with the granite and green mountain range behind.