The 14 Most Gorgeous Wineries Everyone Should Visit at Least Once
At these vineyards, you go to sip the wine—but you stay for the glorious views, architecture, and ambiance.
Jordan Vineyard and Winery, California
You may think the world’s most idyllic wineries can only be found in Italy or France, but that’s because you haven’t yet visited Jordan Vineyard and Winery. Nestled in the Alexander Valley of Sonoma County, California, the iconic Jordan Winery Chateau overlooks nearly 1,200 acres of rolling hills and vineyards dedicated to agriculture, hospitality, and conservation. Unique amongst Healdsburg wineries, more than three-quarters of this scenic estate has been preserved as natural habitat—including 120 acres of grapevines as far as the eye can see, 18 acres of olive trees, a bountiful one-acre garden where the executive chef grows produce for his menus, two lakes, and several grazing pastures complete with donkeys and goats. This French-inspired producer of elegant Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon offers seated tastings in the cellar, a prix fixe dinner in its newly remodeled dining room, gourmet picnic lunches on the winery lawn and overnight stays in one of the Jordan Estate’s luxurious suites. A stroll around the perfectly manicured grounds surrounding the chateau—which is illustrated on every bottle of Jordan wine—will instantly transport you to France, without the need for a passport. These other charming small towns in America will also have you feeling like you’re in Europe.
Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards, Virginia
Courtesy Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards
It’s no wonder Martha Stewart Weddings named this six-acre boutique vineyard one of the ten destination wedding venues not to be missed in the United States—the region’s elevation, sunlight, soil, topography, and water is on a parallel similar to that of the Bordeaux region of France. Situated along the Monticello Wine Trail in Charlottesville, Virginia, this winery is known for its Sauvignon Blanc, Petit Verdot, and Viognier grapes. Enjoy tastings, flights, and food pairings on a stone terrace overlooking the tranquil vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains and live music to further enhance the atmosphere every Sunday. If you want to impress your friends, check out these 20 wine terms true wine lovers should know how to use.
Herdade dos Grous, Portugal
The largest province in Portugal, the Alentejo region, is home to Herdade dos Grous, a secluded country estate spread across over 1,700 acres. With a climate boasting both Continental and Mediterranean influences, this region grows the “Trincadeira” and “Arangonez” grape varieties, which produce award-winning, full-bodied wines. If you visit during springtime, you’ll be treated to an absolute feast for the eyes: a landscape covered with vibrant colors of green that turn into a glistening gold by summer. Of course, you can also observe the winemaking process, partake in tastings, go horseback riding to better explore the estate, and enjoy traditional Portuguese cooking. Be sure to bring your binoculars—there are dozens of species of birds at the estate—and a bathing suit to enjoy the swimming pool and lake. It’s no wonder Portugal made our list of the 14 places travel experts say you must visit in 2019.
Biltmore Winery, North Carolina
A trip to Asheville, North Carolina will send you back in time to the grand era of one of America’s most well-known families—the Vanderbilts. The Biltmore estate sits on 8,000 privately owned acres and features America’s largest home: The Biltmore House, a 250-room French Renaissance chateau that took six years to build in the late 1800s. For the best views of the estate’s historic winery, choose the exclusive Vine to Wine Vineyard Tour & Tasting, which combines an excursion over the French Broad River to its breathtaking vineyards on the west side of Biltmore—an area that most guests never see. Or take a stroll along the 2.5 miles of paths within the manicured gardens, including a Rose Garden that displays more than 250 varieties. Complete your visit with a stay in the family-friendly, onsite Village Hotel. The Biltmore is the most famous house in North Carolina. Find out the most famous house in your state.
Tenuta Luce, Italy
Courtesy Jill Schildhouse
If a list of the world’s most gorgeous wineries immediately conjures up thoughts of Tuscany, then this winery is for you. Tenuta Luce, in Tuscany’s west Montalcino region, offers supreme privacy thanks to the surrounding woods—this micro-climate is also the reason its signature grape, Sangiovese, flourishes. Book an overnight stay in the traditional Tuscan villa, complete with its medieval and Renaissance-style architecture—reservations must be made directly with the winery. Then, take a stroll around the 474 acres of land, which also houses a state-of-the-art winemaking facility built into the landscape under a hill. Want to bring the winery vibe back home with you after your vacation? Here are 13 rules for throwing a winning wine and cheese party.
Boschendal, South Africa
Set on a picturesque working farm and winery, Boschendal winery is the oldest in Cape Town, dating back to 1685. Enjoy a picnic served under the shade of an oak tree, go horseback riding or trout fishing, and sip Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz to your heart’s content. “Cottages of all sizes are scattered throughout the grounds, and have a rural yet contemporary character,” says Chris Wain, sales director at Africa Travel. “You can sit by an open fire and enjoy a beautiful starry night.” Need more activity? Try walking on the paths through the orchards, exploring caves, swimming in the dams, and mountain biking on world-class black routes.
Chateau Magnol, France
As one of the most famous wine regions of France, a visit to Bordeaux is on most any wine lover’s travel bucket list. Barton & Guestier’s Château Magnol is a bucolic 18th century estate that’s home to this nearly 300-year-old wine brand. It also houses B&G’s Food and Wine Academy, where guests learn the ins and outs of wine over three days and experience sumptuous cuisine expertly paired with the winery’s productions. Once guests complete the program, they “graduate” in a charming cellar graduation ceremony. The chateau’s stunning guesthouse includes 12 rooms outfitted in luxe interiors where visitors can experience the ideal French wine country lifestyle. Other onsite activities include basketball, pool, lawn games, relaxed barbecues and more. The chateau even boasts its own vintages. Before you fly off to France, be sure to learn how to say “cheers” in French (and in other languages around the world).
Castello di Amorosa, California
francesco de marco/Shutterstock
Want to experience Tuscan charm without leaving the country? Then Castello di Amorosa in Napa Valley should be your next destination. “The winery has a gorgeous 13th-century Tuscan-style castle built with over one million antique bricks imported from Europe,” says Adrienne Clement, a bucket list blogger at Bucket Half Full. “Highlights of the castle include five watch towers to enjoy a picturesque view of the vineyard, a vaulted wine cellar where you can taste some of their fabulous wines, and even a dungeon and torture chamber.” The winery is located in Calistoga, which is famous for its hot springs—in case you’d like to relax after a strenuous day of wine tasting.
Château de Chenonceau, France
The Loire Valley region in France is known far and wide for its many micro-climates, which allows for the growing of myriad grape varietals. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its rich cultural heritage along the River Loire, the majestic views at nearly any winery in the region are second to none. Château de Chenonceau, an iconic castle complete with fairytale-like turrets. Roam the gardens, marvel at the chateau’s reflection in the moat that surrounds it, or take a boat ride for even better views. Make sure to go inside as well, as the furniture, tapestries, and paintings are all period-perfect. The château vineyards are centuries old, having first flourished in the Renaissance and still produce well-reputed wines—the historic wine cellar welcomes guests for tastings under its superb 16th-century vaulted ceiling. Find out 10 more UNESCO World Heritage sites that should be on your bucket list.
Mission Estate Winery, New Zealand
Known for its beaches and wineries, Hawke’s Bay is a stunning region on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. “New Zealand has some great wines and wineries, but for me, the pick of the bunch is Mission Estate Winery, in Napier,” says Matt Boyd, founder of Moving.co.nz. “Established in 1851 by pioneering French Missionaries, it is the oldest winery in the country and is housed in a beautifully restored historic seminary building. You can shop at the Cellar Door nestled in the Taradale hills, dine at their superb restaurant, or stay at The Farmhouse, an elegant three-bedroom house impeccably refurbished in contemporary French country style.”
Viña San Pedro, Chile
In the foothills of the Andes mountain range, in the Requinoa province of Chile (1.5 hours from Santiago), stands Winery San Pedro. Guests can explore the gravity-flow winery while soaking in the spectacular panoramic view of the Cachapoal Andes Valley. The winery offers pairing lunches with Chilean cuisine, picnics in the vineyards, wine tasting, and vineyard and cellar tours. For those looking to get married on the vineyard, the guest house becomes available for stays.
Adobe Guadeloupe Vineyards & Inn, Mexico
Inland of Ensenada, the burgeoning wine region of Valle de Guadalupe in Baja Norte, Mexico, is now home to over 100 wineries attracting regional travelers and seasoned wine connoisseurs alike. Built in the classic hacienda style, with rooms opening onto shaded porticos surrounding an impressive entry courtyard, the architecture of Adobe Guadeloupe Vineyards & Inn incorporates unexpected Persian-inspired elements. Aside from wine and olive oil tastings, one of the most popular activities offered to the guests is a horseback ride through the vineyards. For more beautiful scenery, visit the meditation garden—full of cacti from Mexico and stones from the ocean found on the coast of Baja California—and the Moroccan garden—a quiet place with olive trees where one can enjoy the view of the vineyards and the mountains. Like its wines, the six guest rooms are named after archangels.
Castello di Albola, Italy
Would you like some fava beans and a nice Chianti? Castello di Albola is situated in Radda at the heart of the Chianti region in Tuscany, where grape cultivation has a legacy dating back to the time of the Etruscans. Castello di Albola, known for its Sangiovese vines and tasty olive oil, offers two types of accommodations: Villa le Marangole is a charming 18th-century country house that can accommodate up to 12 people in seven comfortable bedrooms. Villa Crognole, which was built in the 15th century and sensitively restored, can accommodate up to six and has its own private swimming pool and terrace with views of the Chianti countryside. And speaking of red wines, here’s what happens if you drink a glass every night.
Sterling Vineyards, California
Napa Valley, California’s Sterling Vineyards understands that the journey is just as important as the final destination—as such, the only way to reach this winery perched on a hill is via an aerial tram that provides 360-degree views of the surrounding Napa landscapes. Like the winery itself, Sterling’s aerial tram was conceived with both functionality and aesthetics in mind: The planners needed a way to transport visitors and staff to the hilltop winery with minimal impact on the hill. On top of the hill sits a beautiful white stucco building, modeled after the architecture found on the Greek island of Mykonos. The visitor fee for the signature winery tour includes the aerial tram; once atop the hill, enjoy a self-guided tour of the lower portion of the winery, take in the scenic views of the Mayacamas and Vaca mountain ranges that flank each side of Napa Valley from the terraces, and a indulge in a tasting of current release wines. If you decide to pack a picnic lunch, be sure not to bring along these 10 foods.
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