15 beautiful vineyard stays
Buying your wine in a supermarket is like studying history by going to a museum. It works, it's fine, but for the best results, you need context, and there's no context better than the place where it all happened.
Don't forget your corkscrew.
1. Marques de Riscal, Alava, Spain
Love it or hate it, Frank Gehry’s contemporary makeover of the age-old Spanish Marques de Riscal winery has catapulted the tiny village of El Ciego into the 21st century.
Slightly surreal, and sublime, Gehry’s distinctive titanium wave-roof stands out proudly amidst the Riojan vineyards. The bedrooms are a snapshot of the future; in fact you’ll need a Ph.D in electronics to work out the lights and sleek Bang & Olufsen flat-screen TV.
To sample the wine with a view, head to the hotel’s spectacular rooftop lounge, the perfect spot overlooking Elciego’s medieval cathedral to try one of the 1,000 bottles from the Vinoteca bar.
Rates: From €250 (US$334) a night per room.
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2. Cavas Wine Lodge, Mendoza, Argentina
At Cavas Wine Lodge, a stunning winery in the heart of Argentina’s wine country, local bon viveurs believe that wine not only has a place on the dinner table, but also as part of a treatment at the in-house spa.
Cavas was the first winery in Argentina to introduce the concept of the wine-bath as a spa treatment. But a visit to Cavas is not just about taking a dip in their trademark full-bodied red.
Set in a 14-hectare vineyard, the winery offers apartment-style rooms tucked among the vines, while the roof terrace is a great place for some quality quaffing at sunset with a view across some of the best vineyards in the Andes.
Rates: €560 (US$748) a night
3. Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux, France
To spend a night at Les Sources de Caudalie is not only to treat yourself to one of Bordeaux’s most luxurious hotels and spas, but to immerse yourself in the traditions of French viticulture in a wine-growing community that can trace its beginnings to the 14th century.
The 56-hectare vineyard of Les Sources de Caudalie has been voted the best hotel in Europe by Condé Nast Traveller magazine.
The phrase “vinotherapie spa” was invented here after a hot spring with unusually high concentrations of minerals was found running 500 meters below the chateau’s foundations.
Rates: From €200 (US$267) a night per room
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4. Ken Forrester, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Stellenbosch is considered one of the most beautiful wine areas in the world, with a Mediterranean climate and scenery reminiscent of the Napa Valley, without the crowds.
Here you’ll find the renowned Ken Forrester winery, situated on the slopes of the Helderberg Mountain, where there are two cottages which you can call home for the duration of your stay.
Goose (sleeps two) and Victorian (sleeps six) make for a great romantic weekend. Built in the Cape Dutch style, the cottages have rustic mahogany beams and fully furnished interiors.
Rates: From RA 750 (US$90) per night
5. Casa Antucura, Mendoza, Argentina
All eight rooms in this lodge in the heart of Mendoza wine country offer jaw-dropping views over the vineyards to the snow-capped Andes beyond.
There’s a swimming pool to practice your lazy breaststoke, but the heart of the lodge is the grand library, stocked with more than 8,000 books to keep you entertained, with a glass of Antucura’s finest vintage to hand.
Rates: From US$225
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6. L’And Vineyards, Alentejo, Portugal
Lie in bed and watch the stars in this modern vineyard in Portgual’s Alentejo region.
The Sky suites at L’And enable you, at the switch of a button, to lie in bed and retract the roof of your bedroom, allowing you an uninterrupted view of the night skies.
Like a latter day James Bond baddie’s lair, L’And vineyard is sleek, minimalist and very stylish with 22 suites, as well as a restaurant where you can sample the local cuisine, as well as the house wines.
Rates: From €200 (US$267)
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7. Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, Alentejo, Portugal
This family-run, working winery with a 10-bedroomed boutique hotel offers peace in a bucolic setting for anyone looking for a tranquil escape.
The hotel is a low, whitewashed building with blue doors and window frames; the rooms are simple but stylish, all crisp white linens and terracotta stone floors.
With an infinity pool overlooking the vast Alentejo plain, spa and sublime restaurant with a Michelin-starred chef rustling up some of the region’s finest specialities, Herdade da Malhadinha Nova is a very special place indeed.
Rates: From €250 (US$334) a night
8. Franschhoek Pass Villa, South Africa
Franschhoek Pass Winery is a family-owned boutique vineyard situated on the cool slopes of the Franschhoek Pass.
Overlooking the vineyards is the Franschhoek Pass Villa, a luxurious house sleeping up to four people in two separate rooms with stunning views over one of Africa’s most spectacular valleys.
Stroll or cycle through vineyards and nature reserves, experience African sunsets from the pool deck while sipping a glass of bubbly, or spend time exploring the restaurants and wineries of Franschhoek, the gourmet capital of South Africa.
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9. Estancia Colome, Argentina
At 8,200 meters above sea level, Estancia Colome sits amidst the highest altitude vineyards in the world, overlooking the lush Calchaqui Valley.
This luxurious hotel, set in the remote and spectacular Andean landscape, is situated in Argentina’s oldest working winery which produces some award-winning Malbecs.
The nine enormous rooms, all meticulously designed and decorated in deep earth tones, are set off a central open courtyard where a Zen-like fountain trickles. The entire estate is organic and biodynamic as the vines and kitchen gardens are fertilized naturally, so all produce is pure and utterly delicious.
Rates: From US$101-500
10. Clos Apalta winery and lodge, Santa Cruz, Chile
Clos Apalta is an oenophile’s paradise, a retreat where visitors can live and breathe wine for the duration of their stay. The winery has been hailed as one of the most beautiful in the world, with its striking modern architecture.
Of its five stories, three are dug into the granite-rich hillside, providing a cool environment for the wine to age. At the heart of the building is a dramatic spiral staircase that resembles wine being poured in a glass.
Four luxury casitas are within staggering distance of the winery, each with its own hot tub, fireplace, king-size bed, antique furnishings and terrace which offers fabulous views of the 182-hectare vineyard and the mountainous backdrop.
Rates: Double casitas start at US$400, including breakfast, winery visit and tasting.
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11. Cordeillan-Bages, Médoc, France
If you’re looking for outstanding food, service and location then look no further than Cordeillan-Bages, a beautiful 18th-century mansion set in its own two-hectare vineyard just south of Paullac.
Michelin-starred chef Jean-Luc Rocha's inventive cuisine makes every meal at Cordeillan-Bages a novel experience.
Dishes such as blue lobster with baby vegetable risotto, and suckling lamb Viennese in a citrus crumb are typical. Wash it all down with some of Bordeaux's finest from the hotel’s exceptionally well-stocked cellar.
Rates: From €199 (US$266) a night per room
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12. Castello Banfi, Tuscany, Italy
Set amid 2,800 hectares of lush olive groves and vineyards near Montalcino, Castello Banfi, producer of some of Tuscany’s best known wines, has opened its doors to overnight guests, since converting former workers’ housing into luxurious accommodation.
The 14 individually designed rooms have wooden beams, terracotta stone floors, and are decorated in bright sunny hues. There’s a small pool that enjoys an enviable vantage point for dramatic Tuscan sunsets as well as a formally planted garden in a sun-drenched courtyard, with panoramic views of the river valley.
Rates: From €320 (US$427) a night per room
13. Burrowing Owl, British Columbia, Canada
The guesthouse at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery nestles amid the 56-hectare vineyard, where some of the region’s award-winning wines are produced.
This is a place to come and relax in nature. There’s a massive deck where you can soak up the sun, an outdoor pool to cool off, and only steps away is the Sonora Room Restaurant and a wine shop.
There are 10 rooms at the guesthouse, all with private decks and wide ranging views.
Rates: From US$175 a night
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14. Craggy Range, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
There are two properties available to rent in the grounds of Craggy Range vineyard; the Cellar Master’s Cottage and the Vineyard Cottage.
Both these luxury self-contained properties offer fantastic views of Te Mata Peak, and the Tuki Tuki river valley.
You can enjoy breakfast in the comfort of your cottage, then meander to Terroir restaurant for lunch or dinner, or relax on your own terrace with room service.
Rates: From $NZ350 (US$269) per cottage -- sleeps two
15. Louise Hotel, Barossa Valley, Australia
Situated on top of a hill, with sweeping vistas of thousands of hectares of lush shiraz vineyards, the Louise Hotel is at the heart of the Barossa wine country.
Designed in a chic, contemporary style, the hotel provides a luxurious home from home, while the hotel restaurant is widely considered to be one of Australia’s best, where fresh local ingredients and an award-winning selection of wines ensure a memorable gastronomic experience.
Rates: From AU$445 (US$431) per room
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