There’s something magical about vineyards and wine farms. Perhaps it’s the rich sense of tradition and heritage, or maybe just the sense of calm that comes with a place that waits patiently for the vines to become ready, all while last year’s harvest matures leisurely in the cellar. One thing’s for sure, sipping your favorite vintage while the sun sets over a seemingly endless sea of grapevines is a beloved experience the world over – and here are some of the best places to do so!
Constantia Uitsig, Cape Town – South Africa
Its prime position just a 20 minute drive from the city center makes this one of the most easily accessible of the famous Cape Town Wine Route vineyards. With a long and rich history, and a passion for preserving the time honored wine making traditions of old, Constantia Uitsig is a must-see destination for travelers to Cape Town.
Part of the oldest wine region in the Southern Hemisphere, Uitsig is also home to the famous Open Door restaurant, the innovative and exciting Bike Park, a classic Wine Shop and the brand new Heritage Market. Here you will find such delights as homemade ice creams, craft beers, premium coffees, delicious cakes and chocolates, and of course, some of the freshest fresh produce under the sun!
Their 25 hectares of vineyards are lovingly managed, with an emphasis on continuous improvement of soil quality and helping to restore and preserve the local flora and fauna too.
Where to stay:
If you’re travelling as a group or family, then Constantia Villa is definitely the place to stay! This immaculate 3 bedroom house, complete with an additional garden cottage and sparkling swimming pool, is just a 5 minute walk from the Uitsig vineyards. Constantia Villa puts the wine route, superb golfing, hiking trails, shopping and award winning restaurants practically on your doorstep!
Valpolicella Wine Route, Verona – Italy
Italy’s Valpolicella wine region stretches out to east and west from Verona, the famous setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and produces red wines. And while it has struggled historically with a reputation for cheap, low quality reds, today it is producing some of Italy’s (and the world’s) very finest.
What really sets this area apart for wine lovers, however, is the amazing food that this region offers to go with them! The restaurateurs along the route have become real experts at pairing the traditional hearty Italian cuisine beloved the world over with the regions robust red wines – a combination that’s tough to beat anywhere. The stunning scenery and Italian sunshine certainly don’t hurt the experience either!
Where to stay:
Verona has an excellent variety of accommodation to choose from, from the romantic 5 star luxury of the Hotel Gabbia D’Oro, to the homely Anfiteatro B&B – making this a great destination no matter your budget.
While it’s certainly not the cheapest destination on this list, there’s a lot to be said for this stunningly beautiful location which gave one of the world’s favorite wines its name! It’s also enjoyed a thoughtful modernizing in recent years, with a high-tech public transport system complementing efforts to restore classical architecture and improve the experience of pedestrians. Fans of culture, history and architecture will delight in the city as much as those seeking out the world famous food and wines!
The Bordeaux Tourist Office is the place to start, where you can book half day bus tours out to the various vineyards, wine farms and famous chateaux of the region, as well as walking tours of the city.
Where to stay:
As France’s second busiest tourist destination after Paris, you’re really spoiled for choice when it comes to options for accommodation! Stay in opulent style at Le Grand Hotel de Bordeaux, or pick from a host of boutique hotels and guesthouses.
Sonoma County, California – USA
The Californian wine experience is unlike any other in the world, and Sonoma county is arguably one of California’s best, with some 425 wineries to choose from! In close proximity to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, it’s an ideal spot to use as your starting point for that quintessential American holiday.
With its towering redwood trees and miles of rugged Pacific coastline home to sea lions and otters, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. Whether you just want to wine and dine in style, enjoy a trip to the spa, or spend time in a few of the 50 state parks in the area, Sonoma county will deliver!
Where to stay:
If you’ve ever wanted to try your skills at “glamping”, then here’s your chance! Terra Glamping, along Pacific Coast Highway 1, is luxury camping with a difference. Each safari tent has its own full ocean view, a memory foam bed with down duvet, and hot showers available. When you’re not enjoying the wine route, you can get in some adventure with hiking, kayaking, whale watching, or just relaxing around the campfire!