Oenophiles and wanderlust seem to go hand-in-hand. As we are writing, the harvest season is at its peak at the moment. September is the month for the “vendanges” in France, “vendemma” in Italy and “vendimia” in Spain, but also many other countries in Europe. Therefore, we couldn’t resist at the idea of writing about wine, or, to be more precise, about exploring Europe through wine.
There are thousands of great wines to drink and picturesque vineyards to visit and we’re here to help steer wine enthusiasts in the right direction.
Here are four European wine regions with world-renowned vineyards and wine tours that’ll ensure a vacation resonates for a lifetime.
A trip to Tuscany isn’t complete without taking in the splendor of Castello di Ama. The guided winery tour introduces visitors to the inner life of a leading Chianti estate. The tour takes in the vinification plant, the ageing cellars, the medieval village of Ama with its ancient chapels, the 18th-century Pianigiani and Ricucci villas and their historic gardens. It not only illuminates the winemaking process but spotlights the 14 site-specific works that constitute the Castello di Ama per l’Arte Contemporanea contemporary art collection. Among the many internationally renowned artists who have responded to the genius loci of Ama are Anish Kapoor, Daniel Buren and Louise Bourgeois.
Tuscany also plays host to Ornellaia, one of the region’s most exclusive wineries. Ornellaia is well-known for producing awe-inspiring Super Tuscans—which excite the palate of even the most discerning oenophiles. Best of all, winemaker Axel Heinz is more than happy to offer engaging lessons on his signature Super Tuscans. What’s more, is the magnificent landscape. Located along the coastline between Livorno and Grosseto, the Castles and towers of Ornellaia are dispersed intricately across landscaped hills.
Where to stay: Luxury Villas in Tuscany
Those going on the Loire Valley Castles Tour from Paris will have a smile permanently etched on their face after the 12-hour excursion.
First and foremost, there’s Loire Valley’s lavish Châteaux de Chenonceau. The architecture is sure to please the eyes with its stone walls, impressive tapestries, and intimate chapel. Then, there’s the perfectly pleasing local wine.
Next, is a traditional French lunch at Nitray Vineyards, where Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc tastings act as the ideal exclamation point to an amazing day.
In Provence, the opportunities for wine tasting and winery tours are endless. But if you are staying in the Alpilles region, make sure to organize a visit to the Château Estoublon, located in the heart of the Baux-de-Provence valley. Discover the history and the know-how of Estoublon through a visit of the Domain followed by a tasting of its exceptional products worked in organic farming. The visit begins with a 45-minute guided tour of the vineyard and olive grove. Then continues with a tasting of the great wines and olive oils produced at Château d’Estoublon.
If you want to take in all the region has to offer, Hosted Villas can also organize a wine tour of the most exclusive vineyards as well as private tastings in the comfort of your own villas.
The Montserrat & Wine private tour will send a getaway entirely over the top. It’s a day trip comprised of touring the magnificent Montserrat mountain, a traditional lunch, and wine tasting.
After a morning in the mountain, guests will visit a 10th-century castle where they’ll enjoy exclusive roaming rights on the grounds and vineyard. From there, it’s off to the historical medieval cellars to partake in refined vintages and cheese tapas.
Another great option is the 4×4 Winery Tour in Penedes—an intimate group activity and a retreat from central Barcelona. Guests are chauffeured in a luxury Mercedes and taken to 2 wonderful wineries.
During the visit to the first winery, guests will enjoy a life-changing ride on a 4×4 throughout a vineyard belonging to a manor house. The tour then continues to another winery for more delicious wine-tasting and pampering.
Where to stay: Luxury Residences in Barcelona
At HostedVillas, we take it one step further, delivering personalized luxury experiences and elevating wine tours and tastings to a whole new level. Clients enjoy private tastings, exclusive tours throughout specific regions, and a fully customized getaway. Contact an Experience Manager today to start planning your next European escape.