No tour of wine country is a bad time, but luxury wine-focused resorts provide a completely different experience from your usual Airbnb-hopping excursions.
Some wineries have opened high-end resorts on their grounds, while other independent hotels sit snugly alongside lush vineyards. Either way, these resorts offer deluxe accommodations, exclusive tastings and tours of remarkable wineries, world-class eats, and unforgettable adventures arranged by expert concierges. Here are a few of our favorite luxury wine resorts around the world.
Babylonstoren, Simondium, South Africa
In 1692, Pieter van der Byl established a farm at Babylonstoren, planting a vineyard in what would later become the famed Cape Winelands. Today, the farmhouse is a pristine example of the historic Cape Dutch colonial style, but the property got a major upgrade in 2007 when Karen Roos, then editor of South Africa’s Elle Decoration, took over operations. Roos restored the estate with a modern eye and eventually opened Babylonstoren to the public as an intimate, immersive South African wine farm. Today, 22 rooms and cottage suites host guests who enjoy the fruits of the working farm, and can even pick produce to cook in their in-room kitchens or to savor at the excellent on-site restaurant Babel. When they’re not busy enjoying the 13 wine varieties from Babylonstoren’s own vineyard in a tasting or cellar tour, hotel guests can relax with a tea ceremony in the gardens or learn more about the agricultural bounty through workshops with staff farmers.
The Vines Resort & Spa, Mendoza, Argentina
If you ever plan to take up winemaking as a side hobby, The Vines Resort is the place to start. After a comfy good night’s rest in one of the resort’s 22 villas—and a filling meal at the world-class Siete Fuegos restaurant by Francis Mallmann—visitors to this gem in Mendoza’s Uco Valley can learn the ins and outs of the wine biz, from grape picking to fermentation to aging. When it’s all over, guests can even buy their own 3- to 10-acre plot of land that’s managed by local professionals to create the wine of their dreams.
The Louise, Marananga, Australia
For a true taste of vino Down Under, head to The Louise, where you’ll sample not only the wines of the Barossa Valley, but the food, culture, and nature, too. Dine with kangaroos at a sunrise picnic, receive exclusive tours and tastings at neighboring vineyards, and get your hands dirty with local ingredients during a cooking class. Plus, The Louise’s spacious suites have all of the modern luxuries to come back to after a hard day of drinking vino.
Auberge du Soleil, Rutherford, California
Auberge du Soleil brings a dose of chic Provençal luxury to the Napa countryside. Every room boasts enviable amenities, from the most basic Classic (which sports a stunning view from the balcony, fireplace, and soaking tub) to the opulent, 1800-square-foot Private Maison, with a rain shower, a complimentary wet bar, and an expansive living area. Once you’re settled, ask the concierge to arrange a few top-tier winery tours. Then peel away a few years of stress at the spa, dine at the Michelin star restaurant, tour the area in a complimentary Mercedes-Benz, and stroll through the idyllic sculpture garden featuring works by California artists.
The Yeatman, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
If you prefer your wine fortified and Portuguese, a visit to The Yeatman is definitely in order. The hotel is the best place to sample the area’s most delicious fortified export, especially if you book a stay in the Presidential Suite or Taylor’s Suite, where the beds sit inside massive port barrels. Don’t worry if fortified isn’t your speed; you’ll get the chance to sample all sorts of Portuguese vino during tastings, master classes, weekly winemaker dinners, and sunset wine parties. And you could spend days working your way through the hotel’s epic wine list as you dine on high-end fare from The Yeatman’s Restaurant, which picked up two Michelin stars in 2017. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit to take a dip in the decanter-shaped infinity pool.