Spa treatments based on your blind tasting. DIY wine making. Crushing grapes with your feet, old school style. These are just a few things you can do when staying in wine country. Although there’s roughly 6,000 wine regions in the world — yes, the Gobi Desert happens to be one of them — we mostly focused on hotels in the top ten wine producing countries.
And yeah, not all of us know a thing about wine, besides that we like to drink it. That doesn’t mean these hotels are off limits to wine novices, considering the amount of non-wine related activities they have that you can just enjoy under the influence.
From Sonoma to Spain, here are a few of our favorite getaways that the oenophile within you can geek out over.
SARDON DE DUERO, SPAIN
Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine
In a restored 12th century medieval abbey, Le Domaine is located in wine country located just outside of Madrid. The Duero River (the same river that runs through Portugal as well) Valley region is known for white Verdejo of Rueda and the red wines of Toro, Ribera del Duero and Leon. You’re in good hands at the hotel set on acres of vineyards—it received a Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice award this year.
Winery Tour: Basically roll out of bed and a wine tour is under your feet. Head to the attached winery for a tour and tasting of award-winning wines.
Michelin-star dining: Le Domaine’s restaurant, Refectorio, is one Michelin star ranked and has a wine menu to match its fine food.
Spa Sommeliers: At Santuario, the hotel’s sprawling spa, your treatment is ‘prescribed’ by spa somms (the first in Europe to have these) based on the results of your blind wine tasting.
Six Senses Douro Valley
If old world romanticism is what you seek, this 19th-century manor house is it. Perched on a hill with vineyard and riverviews, Six Senses Douro Valley specializes in incorporating the world’s oldest demarcated wine region into every aspect of the experience.
Stomp Session: Roll your pant legs up for the age-old tradition of stomping the grapes to commence the vintage.
Wine Library: An interactive wine library to learn about the region’s wine varieties.
Bordeaux, steeped in old world tradition, is not usually a town with a lot of hot new openings. But, recently it’s become one. There’s a new direct high speed train from Paris to Bordeaux opening in July, and an insanely epic museum dedicated to wines of the world, La Cité du Vin, opened last summer. For a hip spot to stay to experience Bordeaux’s buzz, Mama Shelter, designed by Philippe Starck, is where it’s at.
AM Bubbles: The hotel’s breakfast special comes with a bottle of champagne. Who doesn’t love a french breakfast?
Hook Ups: Want to score appointments with hard-to-access Grand Cru winemakers? Mama can help.
MILLAHUE VALLEY, CHILE
Fan of wine, art and architecture? All three aspects converge at Viña Vik. Set on a hilltop with 360-views, the 22-room Gehry-esque looking boutique hotel is surrounded by vineyards, growing varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Carménère. Each room is like a mini gallery—dedicated to a particular design theme, such as the Shogun Suite, a collaboration with Takeo Hanazawa, a Japanese artist.
Horseback / Mountain Bike Tours: Amble through the vineyard and surrounding mountain trails on two wheels or four hooves. Harvest: Roll up your sleeves and help with the plucking grapes. Bonus for all that work? A bottle of wine from the vintage year you helped to harvest will arrive at your doorstep four years later.
UCO VALLEY, ARGENTINA
Casa de Uco
Located in Mendoza, the Napa Valley of Argentina, Casa de Uco is as much for wine lovers as it is for minimalist architecture buffs. On a 790-acre estate, the boutique hotel has much to offer, from hanging out in the Hammam spa to horseback riding. Hot tip: To fully take advantage of sprawling vineyards and Andean mountain landscapes, request the Laguna Suite for the walk-in shower and bathtub with panoramic views. WINE PERKS:
Wine Barrel Program: Get hands-on and make your own wine. You’ll learn the whole process, from planting grapes to blending up your bespoke vino with expert oenologists as your guide.
Parcel Tasting: Hop on a tractor with the sommelier and chef for a vineyard tour. At each plot that represents a slightly different terroir, a glass of wine from each plot awaits paired with nosh.
Own a Vineyard: Feeling especially flush? Starting at $45,000 per half-acre, buy your own Argentine vineyard and hold the official title of “winemaker”. You’ll call all the shots—from how to cultivate to how long to age it for.
Tucked away near the coastline of Sonoma, this dreamy farm-turned-hotel has a fireplace in every room, fluffy feather beds and huge soaking tubs. In the lobby, there are different kinds of homemade bath salts and soaps to scoop up for your room. Plus, the owner will probably be there when you check in, offering you freshly baked cookies. Yes, it’s that romantic and homey.
On-site Wine Class: Not familiar with Russian wines? Take a class by the hotel’s on-site sommelier.
Dine Like Royalty: Don’t miss a stellar dining experience at the Farmhouse’s Michelin-starred restaurant.
The Allison Inn & Spa
Love Pinot Noirs? Oregon’s Willamette Valley is your ultimate playground. And there’s nowhere else to stay, if you’re serious about a vino vacay, than The Allison—located in the heart of Oregon’s wine country and less than an hour from Portland.
Huge wine list: JORY, the resort’s restaurant, has over 850+ wines on their menu. Ask the wine director to arrange a tasting, with a Oregon history lesson to boot.
Pino-Therapy: Head to Allison Spa for pinot-inspired treatments using wine and grape seed extracts.
BAROSSA VALLEY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Located in the wine region with the world’s oldest Shiraz vines, The Louise has 15 suites surrounded by acres of vineyards, olive groves and crazy, beautiful sunsets.
Land Rover Tour: Hit five single vineyard sites for tastings with a personal guide, plus venture off-road in Barossa backcountry in sweet 4WD.
Taste Your Birth Year: Located down the road from the hotel, stop in at Seppeltsfield to taste fortified wines from the year you were born.