For oenophiles, there is nothing better than a weekend dedicated to wine. But these six food and wine hotels, in six distinct wine regions around the world, offer something for everyone, including true connoisseurs or those just beginning to refine their palates. From charming châteaux in France to country-clublike surroundings in Napa, these escapes offer much more than the requisite wine tasting: Guests can enjoy sommelier-led tours, grape-based spa treatments, master classes and seminars or even the odd pinot noir hamburger.
Take in the charm of a historic Bordeaux winery at Les Sources de Caudalie, exploring the beautiful grounds of Château Smith Haut Lafitte, including the 16th-century tower, through multiple themed and interactive tours. A horse-drawn carriage ride through the vineyards is also available. But the real gem is the Caudalie spa. The French cosmetic line began here when a visiting pharmacist alerted owner Mathilde Thomas of the potential anti-aging properties of the grapevine. The result was one of the world’s first products containing resveratrol. The discovery of an underground hot spring beneath the vineyard led to the development of the brand’s first vinothérapie spa, specializing in unique grape-based treatments.
Beyond the excellent limited vintages of Lost and Found, the estate-owned winery, Farmhouse Inn, supplies a team of dedicated wine concierges and an enviable list of Sonoma-area winery partners offering complimentary tastings and VIP benefits. Enhance your typical winery visit with a personal tour of the California wine country led by a certified sommelier.
Oregon’s Willamette Valley is renowned for its production of pinot noir, something that is enthusiastically evident at The Allison Inn. Walk past the on-site pinot vineyard and enter a world dedicated to the temperamental grape. At JORY (named for the local soil) the varietal turns up in unlikely places: a pinot burger, chocolate pinot noir cake, the “pinotini” and pinot sodas are a few of the interesting creations. The influence extends to the spa, where you can indulge in a variety of “pinotherapy” treatments.
From Argentina’s Cavas Wine Lodge, ride horseback through vineyards with incomparable views of the majestic Andes Mountains, stopping for a delicious chef-prepared picnic lunch before your personalized visit to one of the region's several prestigious wineries, such as Viña Cobos. The hotel spa’s wine therapy menu incorporates the latest scientific discoveries involving vine and grape-seed extracts into a selection of unique and restorative treatments.
If you can pull yourself away from Appellation’s award-winning wine list, The Louise offers a host of exclusive experiences in Australia’s famed Barossa Valley wine region. Enjoy a one-on-one master class with a sommelier, lunches and tastings in the home of a winemaker and tours of specialist wineries that are closed to the public. Experience the thrill of creating your own wine blend and having chefs prepare a special dish to pair it with at dinner. For a unique outing, tour the extensive archive of port and fortified wine at the nearby Seppeltsfield Estate, tasting samples from notable moments in history or your birth year.
Napa Valley is synonymous with wine, and Meadowood Napa Valley is dedicated to providing the authentic Napa Valley experience. Owned by vintners, the clublike estate has become something of a community hub, where you’re likely to be joined by local winemakers at dinner or during the daily wine tastings, and an annual symposium brings in professional wine writers from across the world. The familiarity with the wine community allows for excellent sommelier-led excursions, customized “wish-list” wine experiences and exclusive offers and events with area wineries.