12 of the World’s Best Wine Destinations
Wine is more than just a drink – it’s a reflection of the land, culture and history of the place where it’s made. The best wine tours give us the opportunity to slow down, take a sip and appreciate our surroundings in a whole new way.
Wine tours are a wonderful way to explore a new place, often including visits to vineyards and cellars, tastings and pairings with local cuisine, and the chance to learn about the production process straight from the winemakers themselves.
Dozens of our favourite destinations have a fascinating wine culture, from classic spots like Bordeaux and the Douro Valley to unexpected places like Santorini and Morocco. Whether you’re headed to Europe, Latin America, Africa or Australia, wine can be the starting point for a truly epic trip. To help you get inspired, here are 12 of the world’s best wine destinations.
1. Alentejo, Portugal
Alentejo might not be the first place that comes to mind when Portuguese wine is mentioned, but it certainly deserves a seat at the table. In fact, this unassuming region produces some of the country’s finest wines.
2. Douro Valley, Portugal
Portugal’s classic wine region, the Douro Valley is a treasure trove of traditional winemaking. This is where the famous fortified port wine originates, along with dry red wines made from the same native grapes.
Just inland from Porto, this region is defined by the mighty Douro River and the verdant hills, vineyards and villages on its shores. One of our favourite places to stay here is Six Senses Douro Valley where you can be fully immersed in the environment and enjoy nightly tastings in the Wine Library.
5. Barossa, Australia
Located in South Australia, the Barossa Valley is an idyllic destination for wine lovers. Its gorgeous green vineyards seem straight out of a postcard, and it boasts a warm climate that cools off in the surrounding hills.
6. Hunter Valley, Australia
Hunter Valley is an ideal place to dive into Australian wine culture. Located in New South Wales, it’s known for its breathtaking scenery, rolling farmland and stunning beaches – as well as world-renowned wineries producing semillon, shiraz and more.
Babylonstoren is a fantastic hotel for families; kids can bake bread or enjoy ice cream tastings while adults tour the cellars. Try biltong (dried meat), which pairs surprisingly well with wine.
9. Meknes, Morocco
There’s nothing new about Morocco’s viniculture; wine has been made here for millennia. Meknes is the obvious choice for wine-focussed travellers, as it’s home to many of the country’s best wineries.
Take advantage of your time in Meknes to explore its extensive olive groves and visit the nearby Roman ruins of Volubilis as well.
Located in the northwest, Salta is a gateway to the Andes and the dramatic surrounding landscapes. Its high altitudes and low latitudes balance out to create perfect conditions for producing high-quality wines.
Luxury wine region accommodation
BabylonstorenSet on one of the oldest Cape Dutch Farms in the wine region, Babylonstoren is a 200-hectare working fruit farm with an exclusive hotel and restaurant set amongst the vineyards orchards and beautiful kitchen gardens. This is a beautiful and relaxing sanctuary, effortlessly blending its colonial, pastoral past with modern contemporary design. There are 14 cottages spread out through the grounds, a spacious blend of restored Cape-Dutch architecture and sophisticated modern touches. This is modern design at its very best with a deft lightness of touch giving a feeling of space and modernity whilst remaining very true to the historic style of the buildings. It’s no surprise therefore that Karen Roos (former editor of Elle Decoration) is one of the owners. Guests can enjoy the outdoor pool area, restaurant, eight-acre kitchen garden, spa and gym. The farm is also to be explored, walking through the 200 hectares of land or perhaps taking a canoe out on the farm dam.
The Vines Resort & SpaA chic and highly anticipated addition to Mendoza’s collection of boutique properties. A contemporary, low-lying structure, the hotel seems to have been built so as not to disturb the uniform horizon of the Uco Valley’s perfectly combed vineyards. The smart collection of twenty-two villas echo this style and with their exposed interior stone facades, wall-to-ceiling windows, earthy tones and simple elegance combine for an aura of modernistic calm. There are one or two bedroom sizes available, and each comes with its own modern kitchen, sitting areas and private patio. And there’s more. The hotel has additionally modeled itself on being a culinary resort as well, managing to secure a restaurant designed by the internationally renowned chef, Francis Mallmann. There is a Winery on the estate for tastings, wine making tours and activities, not to mention a full spa for expert pampering. Try some horse riding in the morning through the vineyards and high blue skies, followed by breakfast and a swim in the infinity pool that drops off into the combed lines of twisted vines beyond. In the afternoon, maybe some wine tasting with lunch and a spoiling treatment at the spa.
Spicers Vineyards EstateEscape the rush of city life and take some time to relax surrounded by acres of private vineyards and bushland at the luxurious Spicers Vineyards Estate in Hunter Valley. Ideal for intimate getaways, the estate boasts 12 exquisitely appointed rooms and suites. Ground floor rooms open out onto a spacious veranda, while first floor suites offer views of the vineyards and mountains. Enjoy the tranquility of the mornings in a private courtyard, and spend the evenings relaxing in front of an open fireplace in your room. Fresh and seasonal ingredients take centre stage at Restaurant Botanica, as does the award-winning wine list. Guest can also dine out on the terrace, in the private Harvest Room, or outdoors. The estate also offers access to private wine tours, beer and local produce tasting experiences and hot air ballooning. Active guests can explore the region on mountain bikes or horse back, while those looking to revitalize can book an indulgent treatment or two at Spa Anise.
Wharekauhau Country EstateImmerse yourself in the grandeur of a bygone era at the spectacular Wharekauhau Country Estate, an Edwardian lodge set on a hill with spectacular views of the thundering sea below and working sheep farm around. Breath-taking scenery and a welcoming, friendly atmosphere will make this a visit to remember. Take in the dramatic vistas of Palliser Bay from the 13 cottage suites, or find the utmost privacy at either luxurious Owners Cottage or home Wharepapa Cottage, each with three bedrooms. Natural materials are used throughout the suites – clay tiles, pebble mosaics and rich New Zealand wool carpeting add to the experience. Each room in the main lodge has its own distinct touch, complete with carefully-selected antique furniture and classic fireplaces. Unwind in airy open lounges flooded with natural light, or curl up with a book in a cosy corner. Whether relaxing in front of a crackling fire, or sharing a light-hearted moment in the sunny kitchen, at Wharekauhau you’re considered part of the family. An elegant formal dining room flows through into a country kitchen and conservatory, making mealtimes extra special. The kitchen’s ‘farm to table’ philosophy means fresh produce from the lodge gardens and surrounding areas – so look out for the chefs roaming the grounds collecting the freshest ingredients for the evening meal. With 5,500 acres of private land including ancient forests, peaceful lakes, rivers, and a wild and rugged coast to explore, guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to a route for walking, mountain biking, horse riding or ATV quad bike adventures.
Domaine de la TortinièreThe Chateau Hotel Domaine de la Tortinière is a peaceful and charming 19th century manor surrounded by a acres of parkland, overlooking the landscape where the Indre River flows. There are 30 rooms in total, 11 that are in the château itself with others in neighbouring outhouses including a charming 200 year old cottage with its own private, all decorated with antique furniture and warm fabrics. Domaine de la Tortinière is also home to a well known restaurant that offers refined cuisine served either in the old orangerie of the château or on the sunny terrace looking down to the pool.
Hotel ViuraIn the charming village of Villabuena de Álava, surrounded by the Basque mountains and celebrated vineyards of Rioja, the Viura’s stacked cubed form contains cool and bright interiors that amplify the surroundings. 29 rooms are unobtrusively luxurious, with floor to ceiling panoramic windows, some with views over the quant village streets, the neighbouring San Andrés Church and to the Cantabrian mountains on the horizon. Six suites feature a separate living room and private terraces. Gastronomy takes pride of place here, with an intimate restaurant offering exquisite tasting menus of creative Rioja and Basque cuisine, paired with an extensive wine list by the Viura’s sommelier. Guests can enjoy a wide range of wines from the region and fully immerse themselves in the local viticulture on tours to local vineyards, tasting sessions and tutorage in pairing. The surrounding area can be explored on borrowed bicycles and the village swimming pool, a great place to relax and mix with the local, is open to guests and sits next to the hotel.