Visiting wine country—especially now, during harvest season—is great. Paying for that visit to wine country, not so much. Conveniently, the folks at travel-booking site Hipmunk just created a ranked list of the average costs involved in getting to and staying at some of the most popular wine regions in the world.
The takeaway? Save your spare dollars by heading to Washington State’s Columbia Valley. Hotels there are on average about $300 cheaper than hotels in Napa Valley, and flights are about the same. (Plus—not in the chart—the best Washington State Cabernets offer terrific quality for a good chunk less than top Napa reds, and tasting room fees are way lower.)
Want to go international? The Loire Valley in France. Hotels are mysteriously affordable—they average out at about $118 a night—and flights, at least in terms of international wine travel, really aren’t too bad. Plus, at F&W we just covered where to go while you're in the Loire, so you don't even need to do any research.
Rich as heck and don’t care what you spend on anything? New Zealand tops out the chart in terms of cost, largely because flights cost a fortune. On the other hand, where else can you taste great wine and also take a tour of a Hobbit hole?