A Wine Lover's Paradise: International Wine Destionations
Who doesn't enjoy a good glass of wine after a day of exploring and taking in the sights of a new destination?! While international travel is still out of reach for a little while longer, wine-lovers can plan a future trip to these top spots for their unique offerings and experiences:
The first of its kind, the Ellerman House Wine Gallery marries the visual elements of a contemporary art gallery with the practical elements of a tasting room. The result is an immersive, interactive experience that lets guests engage with the hotel’s collection of 7,500 vintage and rare South African wines using all five of their senses. The gallery also includes a unique Champagne Cellar with special vintages of Dom Perignon, wine library, interactive iPad app, maturation cellar and brandy tasting lounge. To complete this one-of-a-kind project, Ellerman House owner Paul Harris commissioned a team of South African designers, artists, sculptors and architects to create what has become a living, breathing work of art.
Tschuggen Hotel Group
Tschuggen Hotel Group, an exclusive luxury hotel group with properties in Arosa, St. Moritz and Ascona, focuses on bringing excellent Swiss wines into the spotlight. Not only do each of the Tschuggen hotels highlight local producers on their wine lists, but they also work with Swiss winemakers to create their own unique blends. The Tschuggen Grand Hotel offers their “Tschuggen Edition,” a Riesling - Silvaner with vintners Francisca and Christian Obrecht, Hotel Eden Roc has its “Eden Edition” with Guido Brivio and the Carlton Hotel St. Moritz developed one with Peter Wegelin.
Additionally, the state-of-the-art Valsana Hotel, the first hotel in Switzerland to be powered by an ice battery, boasts a self-serve automated lobby bar featuring an extensive wine selection, with many hailing from Switzerland. By swiping a room key guests can enjoy a full glass or just a taste - three pour sizes are available - of some of the best wines Switzerland has to offer.
Instead of popular tourist spots such as Napa or Tuscany, wine lovers should check out Patagonia, home to a variety of impressive vineyards. The area, which includes both Chile and Argentina, is a cool, dry climate which is perfect for producing classic red wines such as Pinot Noir and Malbec, as well as white wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Chardonnay. With all of the wines being produced locally, the area has a plethora of wineries for guests to visit and do some taste testing with the Andes right in view.
Travelers to Patagonia can take advantage of Quasar Expeditions’ Wine Valley Tour, taking guests to some of the area’s finest wine regions, including the Casablanca Valley, Valparaiso and Maipo Valley. Adventurers can also enjoy Quasar's unforgettable Patagonia Jeep Safaris, providing access to the top highlights in both the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. Guests have the freedom to roam Patagonia at their own pace in their very own Jeep, and stay at some of the top hotels and lodges - with amazing food and wine! - in all of South America.
The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa
The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, located in the tranquil, tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst, within minutes of Johannesburg's world-class shopping and business hub, is an exclusive 5-star, all suite-hotel offering an award-winning wine list. The extensive wine portfolio offered at the Saxon makes the hotel a wine destination in itself. Travelers to South Africa don’t have to head to the winelands to explore the country’s wine and culture, Johannesburg is a perfect under the radar destination offering both. Johannesburg is also much easily accessible in terms of travel time and value. As one of the city’s top hotels, the Saxon offers a myriad of experiences on site for wine enthusiasts. From wine tastings upon check-in, educational wine opportunities with the sommeliers, and private event space use of the wine cellars, the Saxon presents guests with a wine experience to remember. The Saxon Wine List has been created by a team of dedicated Sommeliers, with an outstanding selection of the wines representing the best quality in South Africa and from around the world.
One of Africa’s most influential collectors of wine, Singita’s extensive cellar showcases a premium selection of wines, including some of South Africa’s most sought-after exclusive release, limited single vineyard, and rare auction wines overseen by award-winning sommelier, François Rautenbach. Personalized wine tastings within the unique ambience of each lodge’s own temperature-controlled cellar are a guest favorite for connoisseurs and casual tasters alike. Singita’s experienced sommeliers guide guests through a variety of wine styles, years and cultivars to find the wines most suited to guests individual tastes. Sensing a need to cultivate the next generation of sommeliers in Africa, Singita and Rautenbach have created a special training program for young, local wine lovers. The in-depth training provides educational assistance, personal mentoring, formal wine training and access to Africa’s finest wine program.
Hotel Crillon Le Brave
Provence, France is a destination renowned for their quality wines and warm, mild climate. While romantic rosés are the most popular of the region, Provence also produces elegant white and powerful red wines. Hotel Crillon Le Brave, a Maisons Pariente property, is the ultimate hideaway for travelers to stay with, offering experiences to discover Provence’s wine culture. From plate to glass, the gastronomy inspiration at the hotel remains local with a premium selection of wines from an exceptional terroir. A fine connoisseur of wines from Provence and elsewhere, the hotel sommelier organizes tastings on sitein the property’s private cellar, a unique opportunity to discover selected crus and learn and discuss with an enthusiast happy to share their expertise.
Crillon Le Brave is also able to arrange a wine discovery day at Château Pesquié to visit the cellar, wine tastings, a rural picnic in the gardens of the castle and walk in the vineyards. The hotel can also arrange wine experiences to close prestigious estates with well-known labels to meet with passionate wine-growers and learn about their exceptional and often organic wines. As if by magic, famed designations seem to converge around the hotel including du Rhône AOP Ventoux, Châteauneuf-du- Pape, Beaumes-de-Venise, Gigondas and Vacqueyras.
Hotel Arts Barcelona
Hotel Arts Barcelona is home to Enoteca, Paco Pérez’s two Michelin-starred restaurant. The menu at Enoteca carefully balances avant-garde and traditional culinary techniques to ensure plates are filled with new textures, flavors, colors and aromas. Every dining experience is defined by the three pillars of Mediterranean cuisine: Olive oil, Wheat and Wine. Enoteca’s carefully curated cellar features over 700 fine wines to pair with the cuisine. Essential classics combine with vintages by prestigious winemakers from around the world in celebration of contemporary wine. The cellar also features K22 Bonesvalls, a gourmet wine that was created by in part by Hotel Arts Barcelona’s director of food and beverage. K22’s flavors incorporate mellow green apple notes, as well as quince and pineapple hints, with a balanced honey finish of medium intensity. The fresh-to-mouth wine is intended to pair well with the seafood offerings of Enoteca Restaurant, and can be recommended with specific dishes thanks to Enoteca’s sommelier.
Located in the Kalahari, private game reserve Tswalu relaunched the Motse last year. Designed to create a home from home atmosphere, the Motse highlights the the Kalahari’s dramatic and expansive views while creating a cool, shaded oasis for guests to enjoy. The luxurious residences were constructed from all organic and are meant to blend in with the surrounding landscape around them. In the main building is a walk in wine cellar, stocked with South African wines for guests to enjoy with their meals or to sip on while the sun sets.