There are few things that bridge gaps between cultures more than a good glass of wine. And vineyards are a featured highlight in many countries – they’re always on my travel itineraries. Here are a few of the best choices for some of the world’s most beautiful vineyards.
Chateau Potelle, Napa Valley, California
Napa Valley isn’t my favourite wine region really, but the most beautiful vineyard in the world (in my opinion) can be found here. The vineyard, Chateau Potelle, is tucked away hidden on a hill away from the main road. The winery produces a number of different types of wines and in fact is probably the most delicious wine in Napa as well. This is a must-see in vineyard: friendly owners, a beautiful picnic spot, and amazing wine. What’s not to like?
Tallavera Grove, Hunter Valley, Australia
Hunter Valley has quite a few most beautiful vineyards, so it’s tough to pick just one, but if I had to, it would be Tallavera Grove. It’s so beautiful it is actually one of the featured images on our travel desktop wallpaper next month. They have some tasty wines and the lakes and rolling hills behind the winery seem to stretch on forever. So wonderful, just simply wonderful.
Rippon Vineyards, Central Otago, New Zealand
One of the most beautiful vineyards in New Zealand is near Lake Wanaka, probably one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen. It’s one of those postcard shots – lush green grass surrounding a rich blue lake with a set of perfectly jagged peaks, snow-capped, jutting between the background and the sky. So what better place to put a winery than here? That’s what Rippon Vineyards thought, and they chose wisely. The Otago region has some of the best Kiwi wines, in my opinion, so the combination of unbeatable views and amazing wines is nothing short of bliss.
O. Fournier, Mendoza, Argentina
The mix of the sharp modern architecture and the backdrop of the Andex Mountains puts the O. Fournier winery on the world’s most beautiful wineyards list. It’s an interesting winery as the facility uses gravity, not pumps, to help service the mountaintop facility. Syrah and Malbec never tasted so good.
Mission Hill, British Columbia, Canada
British Columbia is a beautiful part of the world, so its no doubt that one of our most beautiful vineyards is here. Top marks go to the Mission Hill Winery – no only the view fantastic, but the estate’s incredible architecture is gorgeous – from the heights of the bell tower to the cavernous barrel cellar. Oh, and did I mention the wine is fantastic? Yup.
Staffelter Hof, of the Moselle River, Germany
Cruisng down the Rhine and Moselle rivers in western Germany is simply a European must-do. It’s a charming part of the world, with the steep slopes covered with castles and vineyards. One of the most beautiful vineyards with a great view is the Staffelter Hof, one of the oldest wineries in Germany. Apart from their tasty Riesling, you can also visit their distillery for tasty spirits such as quince and peach.
Vergelegen, South Africa
With a name that means remotely situated in Dutch, you know you’re on to something good. And that’s exactly what you’ll find at Vergelegen, a near picture postcard perfect stretch of octagonal-shaped land on the Western Cape of South Africa. It was established in 1700 and is just as beautiful today as it was then. I can’t help but agree with this quote from their website: “I saw this place with exceptional pleasure, since everything there was laid out wonderfully finely” – Reverend Francois Valentijn, Nov 1700
McGregor Vineyard, Finger Lakes, New York
The Finger Lakes region of upstate New York is some of America’s most beautiful countryside, and home to a little-known but fantastic wine region. A favourite winery of one of our readers, offering with sweeping views of Keuka Lake, is the McGregor Winery. Its’s hard not to argue with views like that, but wait until you try the wines – and McGregor offers some of the more innovative and unique productions in this region.
Gaspereau Winery, Nova Scotia
Wine is one of the many charms of Nova Scotia, and the perfect place to soak up great views with a tasty glass is at the Gaspereau Winery. Why not try a Canada classic, the Maple Wine (obviouly a touch sweet) or any of the other wines, which have been described as “dangerously drinkable.” Not a surprise considering your attention will likely be diverted by the fresh air and gorgeous backdrop.
The Dézaley Vineyards, Switzerland
We all know of Europe’s ability to grow wine and grapes on seemingly inaccessible locations making for many of the world’s most beautiful vineyards. But none is more picturesque and beautiful than the Dézaley Vineyards in Switzerland, overlooking the blue waters of Lake Geneva. They say the grapes so lucky to be growing here are blessed by the sun from three angles: sun from heaven, sun off the stone walls and sun off the lake.
Cinque Terre, Italy
Wandering the seaside walkways between the villages of the Cinque Terre in Northwest Italy are some of my favourite Italian memories. But can you believe that on these cliffs there are tiny vineyards? Believe me, it’s worth feeling the burn to head up onto the top of the cliffs for better views: not only of the sea, but also a fresh perspective on the seaside views.
Scala Dei, Priorat, Spain
Scala Dei means God’s Staircase, and that’s how you’ll feel when visiting this winery just an hour southwest of Barcelona. Monks established their monastery here in the 12th century (so one of the oldest world’s most beautiful vineyards) and wine tourism is growing in popularity here, meaning you will find plenty of options for accommodation, exploring, and of course, time to taste those tasty wines.
The Banyuls vineyard is on Frances southern coast, near the Spanish border. Wine has been grown here since the time of the Greeks and Romans they say, and you’ll want to come for a visit to check out the coastal scenery and try out the tasty dessert wines (both red and white). Very yummy.
Quinta do Infantado, Portugal
We close out our list of the world’s most beautiful vineyards, the Quinta do Infantado, where you can find many an opportunity to get your Port on. They say this district has some of the best Ports, which might be because traditional, manual methods are still employed (due to the rugged terrain). Despite all our efforts to eradicate those great bastions of traditional winemaking, there’s nothing like uncorking a bottle fresh from the vineyard and soaking in the view of some of the world’s most beautiful vineyards.