There is nothing better than enjoying a great glass of wine while you relax on holiday somewhere luxurious. So why not plan your next trip to one of the world’s top wineries and wine-making regions? We’ve put together a wishlist of the places every wine-lover needs to visit. Each location is rich in flavour and beauty and perfect for your next getaway.
Of course, great wine is produced all across Italy, but the real magic happens in the middle of the country. Tuscany and Abruzzi are home to the Montepulciano and Sangiovese grapes, which have given us some of the most popular red wines in the world. Meanwhile in Umbria, the Trebbiano and Grechetto grapes produce a uniquely floral yet earthy white.
Choose accommodation which has its own vineyard or Enoteca for the ultimate Italian wine vacation. Castello Banfi or Castello di Velono for a bit of old Tuscan glamour within arm’s reach of a glass of local Chianti.
If you are in need of some instant R ‘n’ R, look no further than our very own Newbury, just an hour outside of London. The Vineyard Spa combines fine wines and Michelin-starred dining with an award-wining spa experience. The resort features an extensive private art collection, a staff of sommeliers and more than 30,000 bottles of wine.
At the spa, guests can take part in a number of ‘grapetherapy’ rituals, including red grape body wraps and grape-infused massages. Darphin and VitaMan products are also available, for those who prefer more traditional spa treatments.
Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley has only been producing wine since the 1960s, but it already has a reputation as one of the finest wine-making regions in the world. Unlike many of the Old World vineyards, Napa Valley’s winemakers use many modern and innovative techniques, and are very tourist-friendly. For wine enthusiasts, a visit to the Napa Valley vineyards offers an uncensored peek into the future of winemaking as well as offering a great opportunity to sample some of the newest wines on the market.
Stay in one of San Francisco’s stunning Bay Area hotels and make the one-hour trip up to Napa. Or base yourself in the middle of the action at a luxury hotel such as Bardessono or Auberge de Soleil in the Valley itself.
Bordeaux wine is among the most popular and prestigious in the world. Rich, full and surprising, wine lovers can spot a decent Bordeaux from a mile away. The vineyards of Bordeaux haven’t changed much over the past few centuries – they are still arranged around the local chateaux which are in turn protected by stringent French preservation laws. For history buffs, art lovers and wine fans, the Bordeaux countryside is the stuff of dreams.
The city of Bordeaux itself is not without its charm, but if you are visiting for the wine, you may be better off basing yourself at one of the nearby villages. Saint-Emilion is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home of some of the best wine in the world – spend a few days here and soak up the ‘olde worlde’ atmosphere while sampling some of the best wine you’ve ever tasted.
If you only visit Argentina once, visit Mendoza. Not only is it one of the global Great Capitals of Wine, it boasts some of the most amazing scenery in the world. Set in the foothills of the Andes, it is the perfect place to practice your skiing before relaxing with a large glass of Malbec.
Wear yourself out by white-water rafting, hiking, hiking or taking part in the many Andean winter sports, then relax at a haven such as the celebrated Cavas Wine Lodge, where your every need will be catered to and you will never be without a glass of wine in your hand.
Daniel Abrahams is Co-founder and CEO of MyTravelMoney.co.uk.