In 2015 I was gifted Lonely Planet's "Wine Trails" book, providing inspiration for future trips to 52 wine regions across the globe. In 2023, the second edition drops through my door, so what do I think?
My first instinct was to presume this book would cover 52 NEW wine trails rather than simply updating the first. On reflection, however, printed information goes out of date (sometimes from the moment it is printed!) so it makes sense to check details and publish an up-to-date edition, especially eight years after the first. There are also separate "wine trails" books that focus on Australia and New Zealand, the United States and Canada as well as Europe, so this book provides a global overview rather than a deep dive.
For those that haven't come across the book before, it's a dip into 52 different wine regions across the globe, focusing on around half a dozen wineries to visit as part of an itinerary through the area. Each section is supplemented with other useful travel information, such as how to get there, where to stay and the recommended places to eat.
The obvious wine havens are covered, including Burgundy, Tuscany and Marlborough. However, it's great that the team has ventured to less well-renowned wine regions such as Slovenia, Georgia and England.
The book is the perfect inspiration for planning a break. The trails could form a dedicated wine trip in itself, but equally be part of a wider holiday where you can dip into a highlighted winery or two. Either way, the landscapes come to life through vibrant photography. Bright images of vines, mountains, rivers and people sell the tranquillity of wine country and I for one am itching to get travelling!
Apart from updating the details, there are some differences that I found between the first and second editions;
In the France section, Bordeaux and The Jura have been added (How was Bordeaux missed the first time?)
The Australia section sees Rutherglen replaced by Mudgee (yes, a new one for me, too!)
Niagara has gone from the Canada section, and Okanagan Valley is added instead
Hungary and Slovakia are no longer featured, but Romania has been added
Quite a lot of change to the Italy section, with Sicily replacing Sardinia and Liguria in the place of Veneto
Central Otago has been added to the New Zealand section, and Empordà is a new addition to Spain
A revamp of the USA section; Sonoma is the only survivor of both editions
The front cover has changed and I find it less inspiring than the previous edition. The image that adorns the 2015 edition makes you sigh at its perfection as sunlit vines stretch down the verdant valley to the misty mountains beyond. This has been replaced with larger text areas and a montage of smaller images.
Don't judge a book by its cover though. It's a lovely gift for a wine-loving friend or a treat for yourself. It's the perfect inspiration for planning your next adventure in wine country.
The book is available at all major bookshops, Amazon and the Lonely Planet website shop.