Staying in wine country is the ultimate holiday for wine aficionados. Your days can be spent immersing yourself in this gastronomical art touring surrounding vineyards or merely relaxing poolside with a glass of wine produced right at your holiday villa. We’ve hand-picked the best villas and cruises in Italy, France and New Zealand to blend together your perfect wine lovers vacation.
Villa San Giusto – Tuscany, Italy
With its hundreds of acres of rolling vineyards, Tuscany is a prime destination for oenophiles. Our experts at Trust&Travel and excellence.villas take us south of Florence to the Villa San Guisto, a highend villa nestled on an award-winning biodynamic wine estate.
This is a precious oasis has more than a thousand years of history. It acts as a conduit for Tuscany’s traditions and craftsmanship, while at the same time offering state of the art wellness, cuisine and active pursuits like golf and horseback riding. The fully staffed property features two pools, one outdoor and one indoor, a gym, a Finnish sauna and it accommodates up to 19 people.
Guests can enjoy detailed wine tasting experiences as well as visit the beautiful cellars. This can also include a viewing of the owner’s private collection of prints and artworks dedicated to the pleasure of wine with works from Hogarth to Warhol.
Start uncorking the fine biodynamic wines of Tuscany by staying with Trust&Travel and excellence.villas here.
Villa Ventoux – Provence, France
The region of Provence in southern France is best known for its cascading fields of lavender, however, these are also lined with an abundance of grape vines. Surround yourself by these at the gorgeous Villa Ventoux, represented by Carpe Diem Luxury Travel.
Located in northern Provence, the villa offers stunning views of Mont Ventoux and endless hills covered in vines, olive groves, apricot orchards and lavender fields. It is set on 30 hectares of private vineyards and a state-of-the-art premium boutique wine estate found within a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
At the heart of the estate lie a magnificent 9th-century priory and an 18th-century bastide, both of which have been lovingly restored in rustic luxury style. The main villa includes four luxurious bedrooms suites, a grand vaulted hall and other reception rooms. The bastide has three additional bedrooms. Each room is decorated to a different Provençal theme, blending contemporary furnishings, local antiques and family heirlooms. The house is fully staffed with a fabulous chef, heated pool, tennis-court and petanque court and a fabulous grand piano.
In addition to visiting the cellars, winemaking facilities and the vines of the villa, wine and cheese tastings can be organized with cheese coming from an award-winning local fromagerie. Wine fans can also tour the vineyards of nearby Vosne La Romaine, Orange and Carpentras.
Plan your perfect Provence wine-lovers vacation with Carpe Diem Travel at this link.
Mahana Villa – Nelson, New Zealand
New Zealand is an excellent destination for wine and nature lovers, but in the case of the fabulous Mahana Villa by Touch of Spice, you can also be enveloped in cutting edge art and architecture.
The villa sits at the apex of the 25-hectare Mahana vineyard, which produces dynamic Mahana wines in multiple varietals and styles. The Villa is a spectacular sight of glass, steel, and wood with views over the Mahana Vineyard, Tasman Bay and the Southern Alps.
Inside the Villa, guests will view one of New Zealand’s most extensive art collections in private hands and get the experience of sleeping overnight in an art gallery. A literary philanthropist, Schaeffer has filled the villa with books on the artworks, as well as economics, history, culture and architecture.
An all-inclusive concept, guests will be pampered with menus throughout the day designed to enhance the wines Mahana produces. With the arrival of new Executive Chef, Alistair Forster, guests will enjoy his approach to cuisine sourcing fresh, local and seasonal produce to deliver unique culinary experiences. Alistair trained at the highly disciplined AA rosette and Michelin-starred kitchens.
“Our Mahana Vineyard has become a destination, fusing the cultural themes of wine, cuisine, art, and architecture,” said owner Glenn Schaeffer. “We want to share the beauty of Mahana with culture lovers the world over. Staying overnight at Mahana Villa is an immersive vineyard experience.”
Combine wine and art to create your ideal New Zealand holiday with Touch of Spice here.
Capriolo Villa – Tuscany, Italy
Nestled in the heart of Tuscany’s wine country, the Capriolo villa, by Haven in Paris, grants wine aficionados easy access to some of the region’s best appellations. The renovated stone farmhouse, close to the village of Pievescola, brings together all the luxuries of modern living with the charm of old world Italy.
The spacious 17th-century five-bedroom villa exudes Tuscan character showcased in details like the carefully restored stone exterior, the traditional wooden-beam ceiling adorning the vast living room and the hand-carved fireplace with a chocolate travertine mantle. Light streams through large double-glazed Tuscan windows, offering panoramic views and vistas at every turn.
All of its tastefully decorated bedrooms feature en-suite bathrooms (3 with showers, 2 with tub and hand held shower) and are spread out over three floors. Guests can dine in the formal dining room or on the covered outdoor patio. The large pool (5 x 14.5 meters) is beautifully set against the backdrop of forest and distant hills among lavender, rosemary and rose bushes.
The charming and accommodating bilingual owners are American expats, who have been living full time in Italy for the past 20 years. They are wonderful hosts and will happily help you organize many luxury services available at an extra fee including catering, market shopping, cooking lessons, bike rentals, hot air ballooning, olive picking and of course wine tasting and tours of nearby wineries.
Capriolo is in the Chianti DOCG region, and also very close to the Chianti Classico DOCG appellation. The owners have a relationship with a local vineyard and are can provide tastings, tours and wines to interested groups.
Discover more about this charming Tuscan holiday villa by reaching out to Haven in Paris here.
Prosperite Wine Cruise – Burgundy, France
Soak up all the delights of Burgundy, one of France most beautiful and coveted wine regions, by taking a private wine-focused cruise with Barge Lady Cruises. Their Barge Specialist Stephanie Sack tempts us onboard the Prosperite:
“When you think of barging in Burgundy cultural treasures, expansive vineyards, historic towns, divinely beautiful countryside will come to mind, but not before… wine, wine, wine. If you are drawn to history, culture and sophistication, this is your perfect canal cruising region. Everything seems perfect here – from the most gorgeous and typical rural scenery in all of France to the elegant cities with wonderfully preserved Medieval streets and buildings and to architectural attractions reflecting the power and prosperity of the Ducs of Burgundy.
“Found within the geographic heart of France, Southern Burgundy’s cruise routes offers unparalleled access to the wineries and vineyards of the iconic Cote d’Or. This is the unofficial home of France’s great tradition of cuisine and culture: the famed wine villages of Nuits St. Georges, Pommard, Puligny Montrachet, Volany – a roll call of world-famous wine towns, with local discoveries just waiting to be tasted. Beaune, with its immaculately maintained Medieval hospice and charming cobblestoned streets. Shop for the finest produce and cheese in Dijon’s vast and colorful covered market.
“Plying the canals of this extraordinary region is the 8-passenger Prosperite, an Ultra-Deluxe vessel akin to a 6-star hotel. Luxurious accommodations, top service oriented crew, and culturally-rich activities are the hallmarks of the Prosperite’s concept. Modern lifestyles inform the public areas, which reflect gracious living through fine dining, indulgent drinking, and festive entertaining. Onboard amenities such as the open kitchen encourage interaction with the Chef for informal cooking demonstrations; when not socializing on the large deck or lazing in the hot tub, guests can walk or cycle along the miles and miles of refurbished towpath!
“With an in-depth wine appreciation program that is vivid, relaxed, and memorable, the Prosperite offers its guests a guided immersion into Southern Burgundy’s many charms, among them vineyard visits, wine tastings, and curated pairings. An entire afternoon is devoted to the Cote d’Or wine region, with a drive among the vineyards and villages of the “Route des Grand Crus” on the way to Clos de Vougeot, a 12th-century chateau where Cistercian monks practiced the art of winemaking. Yet another guided excursion offers a tour and tasting deep within the cellars of Domaine Prieur-Brunet in Santenay, furthering the exploration into the wine making lifestyle, while the wines served aboard the Prosperite at lunch and dinner are chosen especially for their rich Burgundian flavors. An open bar and on board cellar completes the selection of wine-based pleasures perfect for both the casual sipper and the most sophisticated of oenophiles.”
The Prosperite is accepting bookings for cruises from April to October, 2017 and 2018. Don’t miss the boat – book before they fill up by contacting The Barge Lady at this link.
Isola Santa Cristina Private Island – Venetian Lagoon, Italy
The various islands of Venetian Lagoon were once thriving with horticulture, especially vineyards. This tradition lives on at Isola Santa Cristina, one of the best-preserved garden islands of the whole Venetian lagoon.
This private island, managed by Siglinde Fischer / Charming Places, is a haven of tranquility located only short 20-minute boat ride from busy Venice. With no other residence on the island, guests have the utmost privacy. The refined, historic Italian house was recently renovated to meet the standards of modern luxury all the while retaining its authenticity. Enjoy relaxed days lounging by the pool, wandering the orchid or discovering its small vineyard from which an exquisite, small batch Veneto wine is produced.
“We have been growing two varieties of grapes on the island for more than thirty years – Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot,” explains René Deutsch, owner of Isola Santa Cristina. “We produce our wine in the lagoon, which until recently was mainly for private use and guests of the island. Today, a very limited number of bottles are sold locally to a few leading restaurants within the lagoon. Our vineyard produces between 5,000 and 10,000 bottles annually.”
René also shared his favorite secret places in the Venetian Lagoon in this article.
You can learn more about Isola Santa Cristina and taste this fine wine by contacting Siglinde Fischer / Charming Places here.
Cairanne Villa – Provence, France
Sample some of the best wines of the South of France while staying at Haven in’s charming Cairanne villa, a typical “Provencal Mas” located on a working vineyard in the heart of world renowned Côtes-du-Rhône on the famous “Route des Vins.”
The lovely five-bedroom villa (which can also be rented as separate 3-bedroom and 2-bedroom units) is found just outside of the village of Cairanne. This picturesque 125 acre (50 hectare) property has been family-owned for over 150 years. Converted stables dating back to the mid-19th century make up the main house, which is surrounded by the working winery and ancillary buildings, all lying in the midst of luscious vineyards, fruit orchards and olive-groves.
The owners have carefully and sustainably restored the historic property striving to keep a balance of authenticity, comfort and simplicity. Traditional touches meet contemporary architecture to provide a fresh take on chateau living. Large bay windows throughout the villa contribute to the luminous atmosphere and generous sense of perspective. The configuration of the bedrooms, three in the main house and two in another section (three of which have king-sized beds which can be split into twins) offers potential guests a great deal of flexibility depending on the size of your party.
This is the perfect base for serious wine connoisseurs as it’s just a short drive to the world-renowned regions of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Beaumes de Venise, Gigondas and Vacqueyras. Wine tasting tours can be arranged, though guests can do a tasting of the villa’s own wines at their leisure during their stay, annotated by the villa’s English speaking owners.
Enjoy the best of Provence by staying with Haven In at this link.
The Landing Residence, The Vineyard Villa – Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Wine fans traveling to New Zealand can have a fabulous oenological experience staying at the Vineyard Villa by Touch of Spice. Located in the beautiful Bay of Islands, this gorgeous contemporary villa is set amongst The Landing’s established vines, home to award-winning Chardonnay, Syrah and Rosé wines.
An entertainer’s haven or a romantic’s escape, the house features three bedrooms and three separate entertaining areas. Designed by award-winning architect, Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects, the Vineyard Villa is a sanctuary you can make your own. Designed with a flowing openness to the stunning surroundings, the Vineyard Villa offers magnificent views across The Landing Residences, the vineyard and out to sea.
Understated modern furnishings have been carefully selected to match the villa’s calm aesthetic and work alongside the dark wood and stone materials that run throughout the house.
The villa also offers personalized food and wine experiences, tailored to your preferences and mood by your personal chef. There are no set menus, fixed meal times or designated dining areas. A highlight of your stay will be taking a guided visit to their wine cellar during which you can taste wines from the The Landing’s vineyard, meet their winemaker and tour the winery where the wines are made. Tours to other wineries in the region can also be arranged.
Delve into the Bay of Island’s wine heritage by holidaying with Touch of Spice here
Podere Jessica – Tuscany, Italy
We can’t get enough of Tuscany and Podere Jessica, by Papavero Villa Rentals is what most people think of when dreaming of a country farmhouse in Chianti. Beautifully restored it has all the characteristics of a Tuscan farmhouse but with the modern conveniences we come to expect.
Podere Jessica consists of the main house on three floors and a cottage apartment in a converted barn. It sleeps 10 in five bedrooms with five full bathrooms. The main house has a country style kitchen that leads into the spacious living/dining room. Several of the bedrooms have lovely wooden-beamed ceilings and sweeping views of the beautiful countryside. The home is surrounded with lovely outdoor living spaces, including two covered loggias, one with wood burning oven and barbecue, is perfect for dining alfresco or just sitting with a good book and a glass of wine after a morning of shopping at the local markets. The fenced-in swimming pool is set in the garden and surrounded by flower-filled terracotta urns.
“It is situated on 30 acres which features a vineyard of Sangiovese grapes and the owners produce the wine right on the farm, from harvesting to bottling,” says Patrice Salezze, director of Papavero. “The wine is available for purchase while staying at Podere Jessica. Not only do you have your own vineyard to walk about, there is also an olive grove and paths through your own private woods. So peaceful and tranquil you are in the heart of Chianti and have access to main roads for day tours.
“Nearby, a 7-minute drive or 40-minute walk south and you arrive at a boutique winery that you can see from the farmhouse, another 6-minute drive north and can enjoy a tasting from a second small winery, then the famous Cantina Antiniori is just a 13-minute drive. Here you can experience a large producer of wine and have a five course wine flight lunch after your tour.”
Taste your way around Tuscany by staying with Papavero Villa Rentals, learn more about vacationing at the Podere Jessica at this link.