Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Need a Grape Escape? The World’s 6 Best Wine Regions for the Ultimate Wine Lovers Holiday

Red, white, rosé or sparkling…a good glass of wine is a beverage to savour, but there’s something extra-special about sipping it in the sun against a backdrop of sweeping vineyards. With more than a quarter (30% to be precise) of Kiwi travellers saying they’d like to do a wine tour on their next holiday,* we’ve found the six BEST properties you can stay at for your wine lovers holiday that’ll let you fully immerse yourself in the experience – whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a complete novice.

Mendoza, Argentina

South America’s biggest wine producer, Argentina, knows how to do a good vintage – and the city of Mendoza, with its gorgeous valleys set in the Andean foothills, is known for its fruity Malbec grown at high, sunny altitudes. While Malbec originated in France, it thrives in Mendoza’s climate, which is home to more than 1500 wineries and is responsible for 60% of the country’s overall wine production. This cosmopolitan, leafy city is perfect for those seeking both indulgence and adventure with its array of bodegas (wineries), world-class restaurants and tours including mountain biking, rafting and horseback riding in the nearby Andes.

Villa Mansa

Where to stay: Surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, Villa Mansa is a unique, ranch-style property close to the many wineries in the area. Guests can opt for one of the quirky curved suites with architecture that emulates a wooden wine barrel and jacuzzi overlooking the impressive Andes mountain range. The hotel features a heated pool and luxury spa to unwind in, as well as an onsite restaurant where guests can also enjoy cooking lessons and a complimentary wine tasting with a selection of different regional wines from Mendoza.

Saint-Émilion, France

Set in southwest France, which provides the perfect microclimate for its world-renowned full-bodied reds, Saint-Émilion is synonymous with wine. And for views alone this charming medieval village, located in the heart of the Bordeaux wine area, steals the show with a fairytale landscape of turreted chateaus, exceptional vineyards and wildflower-filled gardens. Both the village and its vineyards are now listed as a heritage site by UNESCO thanks to its architecture and exceptional wines. Travellers can wander through the quaint, cobblestone streets on a Full-day Guided Wine Tour in Saint-Émilion and learn about the region’s history, as well as explore the vineyards and sample a variety of Grand Cru wines. Sounds like the perfect wine lovers holiday!

Château Hôtel Grand Barrail

Where to stay: The impressive 19th-century Château Hôtel Grand Barrail is set in an attractive three-acre park in the heart of the Saint-Émilion vineyards. Complete with original towers and turrets, high ceilings and four-poster beds, this grand hotel emulates the stunning architecture that this region is renowned for. Featuring an outdoor swimming pool with cabanas, a luxury spa and a Turkish hammam to chill out in, bike rental is also available for guests to explore the surrounding vineyards at their leisure for a picture perfect wine lovers holiday.

San Vicente de Tagua Tagua, Chile

San Vicente de Tagua Tagua (also known as San Vicente) is a Chilean commune and city in Cachapoal Province, Chile’s popular wine region. The breathtaking valley of Millahue lies in the heart of Chile’s wine producing region between the Andes and Coastal (Cordillera de la Costa) mountain ranges. Travellers can bask in the plethora of vineyards that lay beyond, with a range of wine tours on offer to taste the local wines, coupled with sumptuous feasts. 

Vik Chile

Where to stay: Nestled amongst Colchagua Valley’s mountains and surrounded by vineyards, boutique hotel Vik Chile offers impressive panoramic views. It boasts striking modern architecture with its wavy floating roof of titanium, and themed suites that have been individually designed by Chilean artists with floor-to-ceiling windows, ensuring guests don’t miss a second of the dramatic landscape. The hotel features an infinity pool, spa and wellness centre and two onsite restaurants, and has received a Booking.com Travel Sustainable badge thanks to its environmentally respectful practices. Guests will receive a complimentary private tour of Vik’s vineyard as well as a wine tasting session with an expert sommelier.

Vilafranca del Penedès, Spain

Located inland from Barcelona, Vilafranca del Penedès is a charming Catalan town best known as the epicentre of Cava production, Spain’s famous sparkling wine. With a quaint old town and medieval architecture, it’s surrounded by some of the largest Cava wineries in Spain and offers plenty of opportunities for wine tasting and gastronomic experiences. Visitors can discover more about the wine history of the Penedès region at the VINSEUM wine museum which covers the introduction of vinification methods dating back to the Ancient Romans. A Wine Tasting with a Sommelier will allow travellers to immerse themselves in Spanish culture tasting a variety of wines paired with delicious local meats and cheeses procured from family-run producers. 

Where to stay: Discover the architectural masterpiece and Travel Sustainable property, Mastinell Cava & Boutique Hotel by Olivia Hotels Collection and the literal perfect place for a wine lovers holiday. The hotel’s uber cool design resembles a collection of stacked cava bottles with a mosaic-tiled roof; inside, its contemporary rooms reflect the inside of a wine bottle and feature circular windows overlooking the vineyards and Sant Pau mountains. This luxurious yet sustainably designed property features solar panels, LED lighting as well as low environmental impact furniture. Guests can enjoy wine tastings at the onsite winery and sumptuous Catalan cuisine made from fresh and organic local ingredients at the restaurant.

McLaren Vale, Australia

Situated between the rolling Mount Lofty Ranges and sprawling sandy Gulf St Vincent beaches (and a short trip south of Adelaide) McLaren Vale is a sustainable wine-growing region boasting more than 80 vineyards. One of Australia’s oldest and most acclaimed wine regions, it’s best known for its Shiraz but offers a variety of quality wines that will satisfy all palates and budgets. Travellers can cycle along the 9km-long Shiraz Trail and soak up spectacular views of the ocean, mountains and wineries; the region is also a foodie’s paradise and home to a great variety of restaurants serving local wines and seasonal, gourmet food. The must-try McLaren Vale Wineries and The Cube Experience tour includes a wine tasting and lunch at the iconic d’Arenberg Cube, an avant-garde five-storey winery designed to resemble a Rubik’s Cube. A perfect wine lovers holiday, a little closer to home!

Where to stay: The spectacular boutique Hotel California Road at Inkwell Wines is the perfect adults-only escape. Situated in a working vineyard and winery estate, guests won’t have to venture far to taste the beauty of the region’s wine selection. This contemporary stay, made from 20 repurposed shipping containers, features three luxury private suites all boasting panoramic views through floor-to-ceiling windows, a minibar stocked with Inkwell wine, a luxurious floating king-sized bed and a private deck to watch the sunset. One of the suites is wheelchair-friendly with a fully equipped accessible bathroom.

Bento Gonçalves, Brazil

A town situated in a pocket-sized corner of southern Brazil, Bento Gonçalves is hailed as the wine capital of the country. Earning this title through more than 150 years of wine tradition, this region has the most concentrated number of wine producers in the whole of South America. Here, travellers will step into a world strongly influenced by Italian immigration, where delicious cuisine and some of the best sparkling wines in the world are never far away. With its emerald vineyards, small farms, countryside houses and clay oven-baked pizzas, this wine hotspot is often compared to Italian regions like Tuscany. Visitors can wind through the scenic valleys of Vale dos Vinhedos with its endless vineyards and family-run businesses and meet the friendly locals behind the award-winning wines.

Where to stay: Hotel & Spa do Vinho, Autograph Collection is situated in the heart of the wine-producing region of Vale dos Vinhedos. A classic Tuscan-style building bursting with history and culture, this hotel features a well-stocked wine cellar with over 600 international and national labels to experience, is surrounded by spectacular scenery and boasts a range of activities including a wine library, outdoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and two tennis courts.

And just a little heads up from our pals at booking.com: For travellers looking forward to their next grape escape, Booking.com is sharing Getaway Deals for travellers to use when booking their next trip. Discounts start at 15 percent at participating properties indicated by the “Getaway 2022” badge, and are valid for stays with check-out on or before 30 September 2022. In addition, Booking.com is giving travellers around the world the keys to unlock a new level of additional perks with the introduction of a third tier to its Genius loyalty program.

* Research commissioned by Booking.com and conducted among a sample of adults who plan to travel for business or leisure in the next 12-24 months. In total 24,055 respondents across 31 countries and territories were polled.

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