A romantic half-timbered house in the Palatinate, an estate in Tuscany, or a state-of-the-art design hotel in California’s Wine Country: vineyard hotels combine picturesque landscapes with delicious cuisine and top wines. On your wine-holiday, spend full days picking grapes and being spoiled by the brilliant sun. Allow your eyes to wander over long rows of vines while you take a break from your break for a magical spread of local delicacies on the hotel terrace.
When one thinks of vineyards, the first thing that comes to mind is probably long stretches of picturesque countryside speckled with craggy trunks, brilliant colors, and estates that boast an old-fashioned kind of relaxation. Vineyard hotels pride themselves on cultivating traditional luxury—from every wine tasting paired with local cheese, every extensive winery tour led by the passionate owner, to every long dinner, cherished in the gardens over sunset. For a taste of the rural idyll, head to Portugal’s Douro Valley or Spain’s Rioja. The Douro Valley stretches inward from the northwestern city of Porto and is criss-crossed by the winding and breathtaking Douro River. Rustic quintas estates line the rolling landscapes, primed for whiling away days sipping port and other favorites varieties. At the foot of the Cantabrian Mountains in northern Spain, which loom over the vine-filled Ebro Valley, Rioja is the least populated region in the country; this makes for the perfect romantic getaway, spent in the tranquility of an old, historical building, stately in the center of a Spanish vineyard. Germany might not be the first place you think of when you think of wine countries, but you may want to reconsider—Trier, Mittelhaardt, and the Mosel Valley are the proud producers of the world’s favorite Riesling. Germany’s wine country is sprawling and magnificent; each region different than the last and bursting at the seams with rustic, old-German charm.
Sipping in the mountains
Those seeking special, sun-toasted grapes and sprawling vistas over staggering natural landscapes, should head straight for the mountains. In the mountains, vineyard hotels have located true bliss where picturesque scenery and first-rate service and amenities meet. Piedmont is spread out at the foot of the Alps in Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Within the famous wine region, the town of Alba boasts world-famous cuisine and fairytale-esque scenery. In any of Piedmont’s towns, cities, or countryside, make sure to sample some fare of the “Slow Food Movement”, an idea of which was conceived in the area. Head south in Italy to arrive in Umbria, where you’ll find lovely vineyard hotels tucked in mountains, valleys, and historical towns. Sharing a border and a mountain range, Austria and the Italian region of Trentino-South Tyrol are littered with old castles, sawtooth limestone peaks, and some real-good wine. Tour the onsite vineyard in the company of passionate vintners, tasting wine directly from the barrel and hearing about the rich history of the region. The cool climate and the sophisticated tastes of Austria and the Austrians are responsible for a wine country with a focus on the innovative and the high-quality. Vineyard hotels in the mountains are well-equipped with modern amenities in royal exteriors, setting you up with spa facilities and perks like bike rentals, in addition to the given in-house sommeliers and wine-cellar tours.
Wine on islands and coasts
For a perfectly-balanced holiday, a sprawling vineyard on an island or sunny coast is always a good bet—this way, you’ll have all the perks of the rural, of fine wine, and of a romantic setting, while just a stone’s throw from some of the most beautiful shorelines in the world. Majorca has an up-and-coming wine culture; the gorgeous inland slowly filling up with long rows of vines swaying in the warm, Balearic Sea air. Make a whole wine-themed trip of your holiday in Majorca by taking the Wine Express Train from vineyard hotel to vineyard hotel. Straddling the northeastern coast of Spain, in Basque Country, find a totally different culture from the rest of Spain, which includes a language unique to the region and a diverse, ambling coastline. A vineyard hotel in Basque Country will have you perched on hill- and mountaintops with views over grand countrysides that spill out into the Bay of Biscay and eventually the Atlantic. Spend an afternoon traversing lavish wineries with the locals and the owners after waking up well-rested in a particularly well-equipped room. On the Western Cape in South Africa, the Cape Winelands are filled with lovely, luxurious hotels on large amounts of grape-filled land. The grounds exude an energy of relaxation and rejuvenation, perfect for those looking for a true escape, spent just a hop, a skip, and a jump from the Atlantic Coast and bustling Cape Town.
Most famous wine countries: between mountain and sea
If you’re having trouble deciding between mountain and sea in your hunt for the perfect vineyard hotel, there’s options for you: try the wonderful California Wine Country, situated in the northern Bay Area between the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and that famous Cali coast. World-renowned for its vast and varied wine production, delicious cuisine including a long list of Michelin-star restaurants, and luxurious vineyard hotels, California’s Wine Country is a haven for lovers of luxury and the rural sublime. In Sonoma or Palm Springs, find vineyard hotels in classic buildings that cater to every one of your wine-loving needs and desires. Another confluence of mountain and sea can be found in Veneto of Italy. This region, along with its near-neighbors, Tuscany and Lombardy, are responsible for some of the world’s favorite wines, among them Prosecco, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Perched in the mountains near Verona, on a unique lagoon-vineyard in Venice, or deep in the rolling countryside of Tuscany, this winery-holiday promises to be one you’ll never forget. Vineyard hotels in Italy are something special; perfect even for a honeymoon spent nestled between the Piedmont hills and the coast. The grounds are filled with rows of olive trees, the organic breakfast is served on the terrace, and the rooms are often soundproofed and air-conditioned, ensuring ultimate privacy and luxury.