Lots of us love visiting vineyards – when we’re able to travel and get out and about fully, of course – and it’s not just the wine that draws us in.
The settings can be spectacular too, with tours, workshops, spas and hotel experiences all featuring in the mix.
But it doesn’t end there – some of the world’s most gorgeous and unusual vineyards, as outlined in the list below, also come with a side of horse-riding, art, taking in volcanic landscapes, and meandering around castle grounds.
Seeking out sites bearing the best fruit can undoubtedly bring you one sip closer to some of the most compelling and diverse wines on the planet – and many are happy to give visitors a sneak peek behind the cellar doors.
So, on the off-chance you can’t make it to that exclusive tasting, here are some of the most memorable places to drink in the scenery…
1. Ca’ del Bosco, Franciacorta, Italy
As far as fizz is concerned, Franciacorta is Italy’s answer to champagne – and tucked away in the foothills of the Alps, Ca’ del Bosco produces some of the finest. While the vineyards themselves form a fantastic panorama, guarded by sculptures of blue wolves, with priceless art installations dotting the landscape, the winery has an equally impressive cellar tour. As for the wine, expect elegant, stylish and exceptionally good.
2. Château La Coste, Provence, France
If you’re dreaming of a Riviera lifestyle and want to see just what rosé is all about, Chateau La Coste is a must for pleasure-seekers. Offering experiences rather than tastings, and a celebration of wine, food, art and architecture, high-flyers will love the luxurious hotel and spa with sweeping views of the vines and valley – not to mention the cutting-edge winery. The grand cru of creativity, they also make wonderful whites and reds.
3. Bodega Colomé, Salta, Argentina
If you have a head for heights and a thirst for the mighty malbec, the highest vineyard in the world, Bodega Colomé, is also a sanctuary for contemporary art lovers. It also houses a museum (owned by the Hess Art Collection) dedicated to the works of James Turrell, best known for his light installations, which of course makes total sense in one of the most remotest regions in the world, where the sun is generous and the skies pure blue. As well as stunning vistas of Salta, you can explore the desert region on horseback, with rides through the vineyards.
4. Bodega La Geria, Lanzarote
Mineral-rich wines are a hot topic at the moment, and you won’t find a more lava rich style than in the volcanic hills of Lanzarote at Bodega La Geria. Admittedly, the arid, bleak, ashen soil, and scattered vines in circular craters, doesn’t look particularly appetising – more like a moon landing in search of malvasia (the local grape) – but be warned. With more than a dozen wines in the range, once you’ve got a taste for the striking mineral quality, you’ll be eager to explore the rest of the blackened landscape.
5. Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley, USA
Some places are good for the soul, and if you want to play at being King of the castle, this hillside hideaway in the beautiful Napa Valley has towers, great halls, gargoyles and cavernous cellars in spades. Truly authentic, Castello di Amorosa even has a moat. Styled as a 13th century Tuscan castle winery, with incredible attention to detail, cabernet sauvignon reigns, with chardonnay queen of the white grapes. Live opera performances and masquerade balls merit your best attire.
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