Home to Bordeaux, Tuscany, Champagne and Porto, Europe is without a doubt the world’s mecca for all things wine. The continent’s long history with the grape is evident by its breathtaking wineries, colourful landscapes and rows upon rows of ripening vineyards. The endless selection of world-renowned wine regions provides winos the ultimate adult playground and serve as the perfect backdrop to sip back and enjoy that delicious glass of fermented grape juice.
But where to start? Our friends at Booking.com, the world’s largest online accommodation provider with over a million properties, used its reviews from their wine-obsessed travellers to uncover the best European stays for wine lovers.
So grab a glass, pour some “cab” and start packing.
The Lavaux wine region is celebrated not only for its grapes but also for its dramatic alpine landscape surrounding Lake Geneva. The sun bouncing off the bright indigo blue water and the stone walls that decorate the hillsides gives the area a distinctly Mediterranean character and provides some astounding views. The vine terraces date back to the 11th century when Benedictine and Cistercian monks were reaping the harvest, which today largely consists of the Chasselas grape variety.
From Domaine du Burignon, the panorama is magnificent and the perfect backdrop to enjoying some of the region’s fine light, crisp white wines on the accommodation’s terrace. A charming, renovated historic building right in the heart of the region’s steep vineyards, this property is not to be missed.
Yedi Bilgeler Vineyards is a charming winery hotel found in the Aegean wine region along the coast of Turkey, an area that accounts for nearly 20% of the country’s entire wine production. Surrounded by vineyards, olive groves and rolling Turkish hills, the unique stone building was constructed by an Austrian architect with state-of-the-art winemaking facilities and a wine cellar full of French oak barrels. Guests can enjoy wine-tastings of the accommodation’s own grapes on site and be guided through the wine-making process. Or sample the winery’s other produce at the on-site restaurant, with peaceful sunsets over the property’s lavender gardens in relaxed, rural Turkey.
With sunlight peeping through the wooden shutters and each room furnished in chateau style – think wood panelling, subdued colours and plenty of toile – Les Belles Perdrix de Troplong Mondot is not only wonderfully French but also great for wine. A blissful retreat encircled by its own vineyards, it lies in one of the principal red wine areas of Bordeaux so opportunities for wine-tastings are abundant. The hotel’s restaurant uses seasonal, local ingredients, many from its own henhouse, gardens and orchards. Expect the likes of blue lobster medallion with Aquitaine caviar, in recipes that perfectly showcase the area’s wines. Pass the horses ploughing the vineyards around the house on a short and scenic walk to the medieval wine town of Saint-Emilion.
The grand and historic Marchesi Alfieri Estate is a place of pilgrimage for wine lovers, standing tall and aloof high up in Italy’s famous Piedmont wine region. The winery sits on the grounds of the baroque Castle of San Martino Alfieri. At the foot of the castle is the 18th-century built Locanda Marchesi Alfieri, which has recently been restored to welcome enthusiastic wine tourists. The rooms here are elegantly decorated and guests can enjoy a tour of the castle, the Orangerie and the ancient wine cellars, concluding with a tasting of the estate’s own vintages. Since the estate oversees more than twenty hectares of vineyards in the hills between Asti and Alba, the range of its structured, complex and delicious wines is prodigious.
Quinta do Vallado’s modern design, slate exterior and views of the vineyards and Corgo River combine to visually dazzling effect. An extensive tour through the winery with a wine tasting is included in the price of a stay, while excursions to nearby vineyards are also available. But it’s fairly likely you’ll just want to relax in the hotel’s stunning garden or infinity pool overlooking the wine terraces, as you enjoy a glass of local Douro wine.
The volcanic soil of Santorini is perfect for grape-growing so the tradition of wine-making is several thousand years old here. In that time, Santorini has earned itself a reputation as one of the world’s leading wine regions. Coupled with the distinctive bright blue and white Greek Island colouring, it serves as a spectacular wine holiday destination. The island is best known for its indigenous white grape varieties, including Assyrtiko, a grape that produces full-bodied, citrus white wines that pair perfectly with Greece’s mouthwatering grilled fish and meats. Ampelonas Apartments is right in the heart of the action, with panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and nearby vineyards.