• Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France

Côtes du Rhône

The sunny Côtes du Rhône wine road — one of France's most engaging — starts at Avignon's doorstep and winds along a mountainous landscape carpeted with vines, studded with warm stone villages, and presided over by wind-scarred Mont Ventoux. The wines of the Côtes du Rhône (grown on the côtes, or hillsides, of the Rhône River Valley) are easy on the palate and on your budget. But this hospitable place offers more than wine — its hill-capping villages inspire travel posters, its Roman ruins add a historical perspective, and the locals seem as excited about their region as you are.