If there are two things a traveler should never go without, it’s a good hotel and great wine. Get the best of both worlds at a stunning property in a classic vinicultural destination, where you’ll be wined and dined by world-class chefs and get to tour impressive vineyards and sample incredible terroir. From Napa Valley to Mendoza, these wine country hot spots will make an oenophile out of any novice drinker.
Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal
Northern Portugal is famous for its Port wines, but in recent years, it’s the region's light clarets and rich, Burgundy-esque reds that have begun receiving the most recognition. Six Senses made its European debut here, transforming a 19th-century terracotta-colored quinta into a 57-room wellness retreat. Make the most of your time at Douro Valley by learning about local vintages in the wine library and sampling the terroir in nightly tastings, but make sure to leave time for some non-wine pursuits—namely, a hot-stone massage, a private forest circuit training class, and time in a meditation pod set high in the treetops above the snaking Duoro River.
Calistoga Ranch, an Auberge Resort, California
Napa Valley has no shortage of top-tier hotels, but when it comes to privacy, Calistoga Ranch—tucked into a secluded canyon on 157 acres overlooking the valley—is in a league of its own. Start your day with a yoga class on the outdoor deck, followed by tastings at nearby bucket-list vineyards including Caymus and Opus One, and a “land to table”-style dinner at the lakefront restaurant. (Order the standout beef filet with toasted barley, braised greens, mushrooms, and dates.) Afterwards, take a bottle of Cabernet out to the porch of your freestanding cottage and lounge by the fireplace as you drink in the sounds of birds chirping from ancient oaks.
The Vines of Mendoza, Mendoza, Argentina
Argentina’s Uco Valley is famed for its ability to produce quality wines at high altitudes. There’s nowhere better to taste the terroir than this 22-villa resort in the foothills of the Andes, two hours by car from the Mendoza airport. The Vines is part wine estate (it’s set on a 1,500 acre vineyard), part luxury resort (think floor-to-ceiling windows, fluffy duvets, electric fire pits, and spa-style bathrooms). The restaurant is headed up by none other than super-celebrity Argentine chef Francis Mallmann, whose pioneering open-flame cooking techniques lend hearty flavors to dishes like four-hours roasted lamb with Anna potatoes and watercress salad.
Jackalope, Mornington Peninsula, Australia
Head an hour outside Melbourne, Australia, during the weekend and you’ll rub shoulders with the city’s movers and shakers, who escape to the Mornington Peninsula for pastoral landscapes and world-famous vineyards. While most hotels in the region are done up in a traditional farmhouse style, Jackalope is a black-and-gold architectural marvel. Inside, the décor is mod and the palette a cool slate; outside, there are 360-degree views of the resort’s vineyard and a 60-foot-long heated infinity pool. Those with with a taste for simple palates should eat dinner at Red Hare, a small-plates restaurant that focuses on local produce. Doot Doot Doot, meanwhile, is the spot for food snobs, who will appreciate the eight-course tasting menu of unexpected pairings like veal sweetbreads and abalone.
Canaves Oia Sunday Suites, Santorini, Greece
Santorini may be known for its whitewashed scenery, endless blue waters, and open-air restaurants, but dive into its unique viticultural history and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Thanks to its volcanic aspa soil, the island is able to produce vintages with high minerality and light-flavored notes. Make the ultra-romantic Sunday Suites at Canaves Oia your home base, where, after a morning shopping for chic wares in Oia and an afternoon tasting (or two) at nearby wineries, you can retreat to your suite—just one of eight—carved into the cliffside overlooking the mind-bendingly blue Aegean Sea.
Allison Inn & Spa, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Set on 35 acres of rolling hills, this 85-room property has been a mainstay in Oregon’s top winemaking region since its opening in 2009. Each room has a fireplace and terrace or balcony—a perfect place to retreat after a day at a few of the 200 surrounding wineries. Don’t miss a visit to the spa, which uses all organic, locally sourced products. There’s even a “pinotherapy” treatment that incorporates wine and grape seed extracts derived from the resort’s own vineyard. If you prefer to drink your vino, make a dinner reservation at Jory, the property's signature restaurant, which features an 800-label wine list—all of which pair perfectly with the delicious locavore menu.
Babylonstoren, Simondium, South Africa
It’s hard to even call Babylonstoren a hotel, really. The property, in the heart of the Franschhoek Wine Valley outside Cape Town, is a world unto itself. Just 22 rooms and suites are housed in private whitewashed cottages that surround a Cape Dutch colonial farmhouse and modern, glass-enclosed tasting room and sit on some 500 acres, many of which are under vine or used for organic farming. All of the ingredients for the state-of-the-art restaurant Babel come from the resort gardens, from which you can also pluck ripe plums, tomatoes, grapes, and more to make your own farm-to-table meal in your cottage kitchen.
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