A Complete Guide To The World's 15 Best Wine-Producing Regions

Napa valley

Photo: Galileo55 via Flickr

More and more rich people are looking to buy vineyards, according to the latest Knight Frank Wealth Report.Investors range from the lifestyle buyer looking for a holiday house — which represent 70% of buyers in France — to industrialists who want to produce on a larger scale.

Commercial investors might consider places like Chile and Argentina, where land is cheap and the wine’s reputation is emerging.

Cost of vineyards are tied to prices of residential markets and land values. Property values in Bordeaux, Napa valley and Chianti all fell in 2010.

Costa Brava, Spain

Vineyard values: $27,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: -10%

Pedigree: Established

Empordà is one of Costa Brava's better known wine regions and mainly has Garnacha Blanca, Garnacha and Cariñena plantings though growers are now experimenting with more varieties. Costa Brava vineyards are ideal for hobby and boutique producers.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

Mendoza, Argentina

Vineyard values: $27,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: +13%

Pedigree: Excellent

Mendoza produces 90% of Argentina's wine and it was the Malbec grape that first brought Argentinian wines global attention. Producers in the region are now targeting the Chinese market because of economic growth and demand for wine in the country. Properties in Argentina's Mendoza region are recommended to commercial producers.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

South-East England

Vineyard values: $32,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: -3%

Pedigree: Emerging

Hampshire, Kent, Surrey, and Sussex are the best known wine counties in South East England. Vineyards here are recommended only to boutique producers.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

Washington, Oregon, Texas, US

Vineyard values: $37,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: -20%

Pedigree: Emerging

Washington and Oregon are the second and fourth largest wine producers in America. Pinoit Noir is the most dominant wine in Oregon which comparatively is a 'small-scale' producer. Vineyards in Washington, Texas and Oregon are recommended to boutique and commercial producers.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

West Algarve, Portugal

Vineyard values: $37,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: -13%

Pedigree: Emerging

Lagos, Portimão, Lagoa and Tavira are the best known wine regions in West Algarve. Portuguese vineyards are ideal for hobby and boutique producers.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

Mallorca, Spain

Vineyard values: $44,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: 0%

Pedigree: Emerging

Binissalem, Pla & LLevant and Serra de Tramuntana & Costa Nord are the most famous regions in Mallorca. Its vineyards are recommended to hobby and boutique producers.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

Colchagua Valley, Chile

Vineyard values: $49,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: +8%

Pedigree: Excellent

Often referred to as the next Napa, Chile's Colchagua valley is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Carmenère, Malbec, and Syrah wines. Vineyards here are primarily recommended to commercial producers.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

Australia

Vineyard values: $59,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: -11%

Pedigree: Excellent

Australia is the fourth largest exporter of wine. The country has 60 designated wine regions with about 160,000 hectares of land. Hunter valley, Clare valley, Barossa valley and Heathcoate are some of the best known wine regions in the country. Australian vineyards are primarily for boutique and commercial producers.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Vineyard values: $74,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: -23%

Pedigree: Excellent

The region has a relatively dry climate which is ideal for premium grape varieties. Chardonnay and the Cabernet Sauvignon blends from Hawkes Bay are reportedly the best New Zealand has to offer. Vineyards at Hawke's Bay are designed for boutique and commercial producers.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

Western Cape, South Africa

Vineyard values: $82,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: 0%

Pedigree: Excellent

The Western Cape is known for its varieties of Sauvignon Blancs. Properties here are perfect for boutique and commercial producers.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

Var, France

Vineyard values: $104,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: -15%

Pedigree: Established

Var is known for its rosé wines. Though the region isn't as well known as Bordeaux, properties here are excellent for hobby and boutique producers.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

Chianti, Italy

Vineyard values: $128,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: -16%

Pedigree: World-renowned

Sangiovese grapes dominate the wine from Chianti. Vineyards here are ideal for hobby and boutique producers.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

Montalcino, Italy

Vineyard values: $259,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: -18%

Pedigree: Excellent

Montalcino's properties here are perfect for boutique and hobby producers. The region is best known for its Brunello di Montalcino, made from Sangiovese Grosso grapes.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

Napa valley and Sonoma, US

Vineyard values: $296,000 per hectare

Property price change 2010: -25%

Pedigree: World-renowned

Napa Valley's wines are a global success but retail stores showed a drop in Napa wine prices in 2010. European grapevine moths (EGVM) capable of destroying vineyards were first detected in the region in September 2009 and destroyed a 10-acre Chardonnay crop in the region. Quarantine measures have since been enacted. Properties here are ideal for boutique and commercial producers.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

Bordeaux and the Dordogne, France

Vineyard values: $642,00 per hectare

Property price change 2010: -14%

Pedigree: World-renowned

Bordeaux properties are ideal for for hobby and boutique wine producers. China became Bordeaux's largest export market last year and Asia's wealthiest have increasingly been opting for vineyards in the region.

Data provided by The Knight Frank Vineyard Index via The Wealth Report

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