At Vingården i Klagshamn, splendid wines growing up in the countryside of southern Sweden

Wind rustled through the garden. Soft from afar, then flapping quickly like a rain stick or a far off waterfall as it met the bowed green branches of the tree that hung over a path between bushes over which vines crawled up the arbor, the open door to the vineyard beyond. We're sitting in the garden of Vingården i Klagshamn, Skåne County, in the south of Sweden.

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Middleburg's Greenhill Winery & Vineyards is the next great Virginia winery

We're turning into Greenhill Winery & Vineyards in the town of Middleburg. You'd be forgiven thinking that it is larger than it is when driving up. They've done a splendid job of creating something that is both expansive and personal: farm houses spread across acres, stately and stone walled next to the pond yet intimate in their myriad little tasting rooms, open fields, open skies stretching out to the thick tree line along the opposite side of the vineyard.

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The wines of Bodegas Arrayán from Spain's Méntrida region continue to impress

In the usual immersive ambiance of candlelight refracting through wine glasses as if a thousand diamonds had been scattered on the table, our friends at Joselito -- a Washington, DC restaurant that I once described as being from "a bygone world both elegant and intimate" -- recently reconnected us with the delightful wines of Bodegas Arrayán from Spain's Méntrida region.

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In a volcano's shadow, Bodegas El Grifo's excellent wines are a profound expression of terroir

Eyes closed, this warm breeze is unlike any of you've ever experienced in lands where wine is made. Tropical, wrapping you up inside of that very distinct sense of what standing in the middle of the ocean feels like. It is, yet, not what truly thrills the senses here. Open your eyes to the horizon, where the bluest of skies meets the black, pockmarked, grey stoned earth as if we had colonized the moon, and this was our vineyard there.

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Revisiting Spain's excellent Elias Mora wines with our friends at Joselito in Washington, DC

Laughter and happy conversation fill this room of polished marbled tables and glasses, twinkling as the light of the long day's evening sun refracts through their sparkling contents. This is a party whose blend of elegance and warmly familiar charm could only have been the work of Javier and Christiana, proprietors at Washington, DC's Joselito - Casa de Comidas, our hosts for the evening. We've come to try a lineup of wine from Bodegas Elias Mora, a lovely winery that we visited in Spain's Toro region

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Virginia's Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery is made for celebration, summertime or any time

Twinkling filament lights hang on strands spanning the high-lofted ceiling, filling the arches and other last spaces not awash with sunlight from the glass wall of windows framing the sweeping vista of blue sky meeting grey mountain as if it were a painting hung to brighten the hall where we are sipping our wine. A din of revelry echoes through the bright and modern space, heralding what we suspect are at least three separate weddings-to-be, whose parties have come to celebrate today.

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In Spain's Méntrida region, idyllic Bodegas Arrayán is making fantastic wine, available worldwide

We drove about twenty minutes from the small Spanish town of La Torre de Esteban Hambrán, to vineyards in the media alta -- middle elevations -- on winding dirt roads surrounded by lush green countryside where we understand hunting deer and other game goes hand-in-hand with tending vineyards. It was winter then, when lonely rows of clipped vines stretch down the gently sloping hills on into the horizon. Here at Bodegas Arrayán winery in Spain's Méntrida wine region, we walk from barrel to barrel, tank to tank, stopping at each to sample the now-aging vintages.

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Delighted by Sweden's Vingården i Klagshamn wine found at Göteborg's Swedish Taste restaurant

Light shining through the windows from the long-setting sun twinkled upon a line of glasses through which the varied hues of white and rosé wine refracted, one glass after another in a row. Five wines from Vingården i Klagshamn, a winery in Sweden's southern Skåne region, awaited us at the splendid Swedish Taste restaurant in Göteborg, Sweden's second largest city.

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Becker Vineyards is making wine you should seek out, and go visit, in Texas Hill Country near Austin

The urban terrain of one of 21st century America's most vibrant cities melted into rolling hills, a curious mix of green and grey driving west from Austin into the wine country of the Texas hills. Rain poured sadly down, but the pastoral serenity of this place was as lovely as it was surprising to be found in a state conceptualized by most who are not from here as an endless prairie of scorched earth and heat. We had come looking for Becker Vineyards, the next chapter in our long standing fascination with wine from places you'd not expect, and surely but the first chapter in our flirtation with wine from Texas Hill Country.

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Big, lively, and high quality Stone Tower Winery is a great addition to Virginia winemaking

You'd not expect this at the end of a country road -- stones crackling, trees bending, and through the thicket, green rolling hills and mountains beyond, stretched beneath soft clouds patched across the cerulean sky -- but this is where you will find the immense (by Virginia standards) Stone Tower Winery, a rare feat of a winery that manages to perfectly blend its big, fun atmosphere with seriously well-made wine.

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Revisiting Arrington Vineyards and their "Premier Experience" tasting great Tennessee wine

We decided to revisit Arrington Vineyards for what turned out to be their excellent Premier Tasting experience. We are very glad we did – it turned out to be a very enjoyable day, well spent with some of our most favorite people! Located about 35 minutes outside of downtown Nashville, the winery is co-owned by Kix Brooks, of country music’s Brooks & Dunn fame, but it offers more than a famous owner to its visitors.

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Inside the exquisite cellar of Bodegas Alonso Cuesta in Spain's Méntrida wine region

There's magic in the peace and quiet of a small town where wine is made. Midday sun warms you standing next to an unassuming bodega, smiling mindfully because you know there's a barrel cellar beneath your feet. A puppy leaps merrily out the door to great you. Children play in the otherwise quiet streets. Here we stand in the Spanish town La Torre de Esteban Hambrán, a town of less than 2,000 in the Province of Toledo, walking through the door of Bodegas Alonso Cuesta, one of the DO Méntrida region's finest wineries.

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Port wine at river's end: Tasting Quinta do Noval in Portugal and beyond

Port wine is one of our favorite evening drinks in autumn, winter, and spring. We recently stepped off the busy street on Avenido de Diogo Leite -- in the city of Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal, across the Douro River from the city of Porto -- into the tasting room of the Quinta do Noval winery. Widely available in the United States and around the world, I'd recommend Quinta do Noval as a Port to serve at home, and as a place to top into if you ever find yourself in Gaia.

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Rioja and beyond: Exploring the elegant Old World wines of Spain's Bodegas Marqués de Tomares

We found Bodegas Marqués de Tomares up from quiet narrow streets lined with trees, under the bluest of skies just outside the town of Fuemayor in La Rioja, Spain. Wine is in the air here, one of those places where the bodegas seem more numerous than houses, whose road to town was painted with the fall oranges and reds of grapevines of a harvest just concluded. We've come to the epicenter of Rioja, one of the world's most famed and storied wine regions -- one of Spain's only two regions to share the Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOC) -- whose 600 wineries produce some of the finest Tempranillo on the planet alongside smaller varieties such as Graciano, Mazuelo, Garnacha.

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Six winery recommendations for your next journey through stunning Virginia Wine Country

We're often asked to recommend wineries in Virginia wine country, a place that I wrote last year "is one of the world's most under appreciated yet truly delightful wine regions". Virginia wine country is our home turf, so to speak. The closest of its delightful wineries are about thirty minutes from our front door. In fact, there are few cities from which hundreds of thriving wineries are as accessible as Virginia wine is from Washington, DC and Arlington, VA just across the river. These are our recommendations for the wine excursion you should be planning as the weather warms into spring this year.

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Re-visiting Zephaniah Farm Vineyard, lighting the fire with two new vintages in Virginia Wine Country

Zephaniah has begun pouring two new vintages -- 2015 Steamship White and 2013 Three Captains Red -- since we last covered them. With Valentine's Day fast approaching, and cold weather decidedly upon us at least for a bit longer, we wanted to encourage your visit to this most special of Virginia wineries. 

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Bodegas Arrocal in Spain's Ribera del Duero produces richly textured Tempranillo wines

The sun had begun its long fall across the western sky, destined to cross that stark threshold of color where sapphire blue meets the autumnal yellow tree tops that rise out of rough hewn grass and brown clay upon which is built the worn red tiled roofs of Gumiel de Mercado. Here we found Bodegas Arrocal, a winery where several generations work side by side embracing modern technique to produce beautiful Old World wine.

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Lovely wine, gorgeous country, and barrels of living history at Portugal's Quevedo Port Winery

It was quite easily one of the most stunningly beautiful vineyards we'd ever seen. Vines covered in autumn's reds, yellows, and oranges stretched in neat rows towards green fields beyond, a country road turning around the next vineyard where houses dot the hillside, river and mountains beyond, white clouds streaking across the crystal blue sky above, all seen through the floor to ceiling window in the tasting room at Quevedo, one of the Douro's finest port wineries.

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Meet the stunning San Román wines of Toro, Spain

You will find Bodegas San Román, of Bodegas y Viñedos Maurodos, here in Toro amongst country that would have been wasted on anything less than the vineyards where stunning wine gets its start. San Román and its cousin, Prima, are remarkable characteristic examples of what makes wine from this region so unique: Delightful fusions of Old World grapes and technique with the big and bold qualities so loved by many wine drinkers.

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Stunning wine, breathtaking view, attention to detail at Quinta do Pôpa on Portugal's Douro River

Perched high on a strikingly steep mountain rising above the winding Douro River in northern Portugal -- one of the most stunning sites I've ever seen -- terraced rows of vines etched into the hillside lead up a winding road to the Quinta do Pôpa winery. They could trade on the scenery alone, but offer guests to the visitor-friendly tasting room excellent wine and an inspiring family story. This is mustn't-miss wine in the countryside east of the city of Porto.

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