5 international lakes perfect for wine lovers

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The only thing better than a lake vacation is a lake vacation in wine country. After a day out on the water you can settle down to a glass of local red or schedule a wine tour for the following day. Sound divine?

To help get you started planning your next escape, we’re introducing you to five stunning international lakes located in some of the world’s best wine-producing regions.

Cold glass of white wine with view of lake and sailboat
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Brombachsee, Germany

The largest lake in the man-made Franconian Lake District, Brombachsee (also known as Lake Brombach or Brombachvorsperre) covers more than 3,100 acres and is a popular vacation destination.

Bavaria, the largest state in Germany, is prized for the traditional aspects of its culture. From food to costume to dance, visitors here have no trouble identifying its deeply traditional roots.

Spalt, known as the “Hops and Beer Town,” sits lakeside on Brombachsee and is considered to be the heart of the Franconian Lake District. The Old Town boasts very old “hops houses” with roofs that were designed with gables used to dry and store the locally grown hops.

For those who prefer grapes to hops, the area is also known for its wine making, and its hearty foods are the perfect match for the local wines served with great respect and pride. The choices and novelty of the dishes are sure to delight even the most refined palate.

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Lake Balaton, Hungary

Vineyard on Lake Balaton, Hungary
Vineyard on Lake Balaton, Hungary. Patrick Reizinger via canva

Located less than two hours southwest of Budapest in Hungary’s trans-Danube region, Lake Balaton is Central Europe’s largest lake. Its 147 miles of shoreline are known as Hungary’s seacoast.

Nearly the entire south shore is a series of beaches, hotels, spas, villages, shops, parks and holiday villas. In contrast, the lake’s northern shore features high slopes and rolling hills, renowned for centuries as having excellent vineyards and wines.

The summer season is full of activities and festivals, winery tours and gourmet dining. Visitors with quieter tastes enjoy the northern shore of Lake Balaton: Szigliget offers a picturesque experience with its medieval castle ruins tucked among lush green forests. The northern slopes are an ideal place for hiking and trekking to the region’s many wine cellars that provide a great taste of the Uplands.

Vineyards above Keuka Lake, NY - Dustin Deal
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Lake Hayes, South Island, New Zealand

Picturesque when the poplars and willows adorning the lake are aglow with brilliant golds, Lake Hayes is a satisfying subject for photographers and nature enthusiasts.

The lake is located in Central Otago of New Zealand’s South Island, an area characterized by its high altitudes among the Southern Alps, as well as its vast and green sheep pastures.

In addition to its on-water recreational offerings, the area surrounding Lake Hayes, Central Otago, is wine country. Here, vineyard visitors will fine a handful of award-winning wineries, including one situated on the picturesque shores of Lake Hayes.

We recommend scheduling time to lounge by the lake, sipping some of New Zealand’s best wine and drinking in the intoxicating scenery surrounding you. To fully appreciate the lake’s views, finish the day with a leisurely stroll or invigorating hike on trails that meander around the lake.

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Lake Sanabria, Spain

Lake Sanabria, Spain’s largest lake, is home to crystal clear water, lush green mountains, and beautiful natural beaches. Swimming, fishing boating, and water skiing are popular, as are windsurfing, sailing, and kayaking.

The area around Lake Sanabria, the province of Zamora, is sometimes called the “land of bread and wine.” With a large agriculture area, local cuisine boasts of different varieties of bread, cheeses, and delicious wines that enhance the spicy local dishes.

Popular grape varieties include tempranillo, malvasía, garnacha, cabernet sauvignon, albillo, palomino and godello. Small and large wineries host enjoyable tastings, and tours of wine country are the ideal way to sample a bit of everything this great region has to offer.

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Montedoglio Lake, Italy

Lake Montedoglio is nestled in the Province of Arezzo, Tuscany, where recreational activities are abundant and include fishing, canoeing, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, and windsurfing.

Due to the lake’s enviable location in the heart of Tuscany, lake visitors can experience the countryside of Italy as they take guided tours or venture out on their own.

Popular among tours are visits to nearby cities and towns, where visitors are invited to relive medieval and renaissance eras as they tour museums, art galleries and famous battle grounds.

The towns and villages surrounding Montedoglio Lake host numerous festivals and historical presentations, including annual wine and food celebrations. Visitors are welcome to tour local wineries and to sample fine wine or cuisine offered at food and wine festivals.

Drone aerial view of the Lake Montedoglio an alpine artificial lake, one of the biggest in Europe. Tuscany. Italy
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