5 Wine Curiosities To Visit Around The World


Are you a seasoned wine traveller or just looking for somewhere a bit out of the ordinary to visit? These 5 wine curiosities from around the world are sure to pique your interest.

The Wine Fountain at Ronda Wine Museum

Ronda, in Spain’s Andalusia region, is a scenic mountaintop town with a history stretching back at least as far as the Phoenicians. The Wine Museum here houses several curiosities, not the least of which is a wine fountain. Wine fountains, although uncommon nowadays, are a bit of a European tradition. You will find this example in the courtyard of a former Roman villa whose wine cellar, at around 2,000 years old, must qualify as one of the oldest in the world.

The wine flows from bronze taps set into the courtyard wall; sampling a few of the locally produced wines is a great excuse to take a break!

The Wine Windows of Tuscany

A law passed in the 1500s in Tuscany, Italy, allowed wealthy families to sell their wines directly to customers, bypassing the wine guilds. As a result, tiny bucchettas, or “wine windows”, were created in the walls of estate houses all over Tuscany, including those of the Antinori family. These bucchettas allowed servants to pass flasks of wine out and accept payment without customers entering the gates. The practice may have even helped curb the spread of plague when it struck Europe in the 1600s.

Most of the bucchettas were sealed up when wine selling law changed again at the beginning of the 1900s; then a devastating flood in 1966 damaged many of those in Florence, Tuscany’s historic and commercial centre. However, some of Florence’s few remaining wine windows are now open again as a low-risk, physically-distanced way of conducting business in the COVID-19 pandemic; after more than a century of disuse the historic bucchettas now serve coffees, ice creams and cocktails!

The Wine Cellars of Hercegkút

Reminiscent of triangular hobbit houses, the wine cellars of Hercegkút in Hungary are a unique architectural curiosity; a must-see when you visit the Tokaj wine region. Along with the wider viticultural landscape of the area, the cellars are designated part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Each door in its triangular facade leads to a separate stone passage and individual cellar system. The average temperature of 10-12°C is perfect for storing the excellent local wines.

The Wine Cellars of Mileştii Mici and Cricova

In contrast, the largest wine collection in the world is located underneath Mileştii Mici in Moldova. Over 2 million bottles nestle in stable 12-14°C, 85-95% humidity conditions in an impressive network of tunnels. Originally a limestone mine, the tunnels extend for some 200km, with approximately 55km in current use. Thankfully, weary travellers can take guided tours by vehicle.

At nearby Cricova, a smaller network of cellars – only 120km long! – houses another extensive collection. Currently numbering 1.3 million bottles, and lining approximately 60km of tunnel walls, Cricova’s wine collection boasts some unique specimens including bottles that once belonged to Hermann Göring.

The Spa Resort at Yunessun

Last on our list of wine curiosities is the Yunessun Spa Resort in Japan. This is a genuine health resort with the usual array of spa treatments such as saunas, an aromatherapy pool and a Turkish hammam. What makes it a curiosity is the eccentric nature of some of the spa pools; there are coffee, tea and sake spas, and – you guessed it – a wine spa! So next time you feel like relaxing in a warm bath of red wine, head over to Yunessun for a truly unique experience!

If you’re interested in the unusual, check out our post Interesting Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Wine. Among other curious facts, this post highlights the oldest unopened bottle of wine in the world, which you can see on display in Germany. And do let us know of any more wine curiosities you come across – we’d love to hear about them!