As the grape growing season winds to an end, vineyards and wineries across Europe are moving into their busiest time of the year, the annual harvest. Visitors can get stuck in with traditional grape picking, wine trails, open cellars and harvest festivals during this period. Here are the best places to stay for a vacation tailor-made to the oenophile.
Visit Chic Champagne Houses In Reims, France
Known as the unofficial capital of France’s Champagne region, Reims is just a 45-minute train journey from Paris. The elegant city is the prime place to explore the decadent world of champagne. Reims brims with historic champagne houses and vineyards, including world-renowned producers Veuve-Clicquot and Tattinger, which open their doors to visitors for tours and tastings all year round. In some of the cellars, you can see the famous ‘crayères.’ These giant chalk pits excavated by the Romans to build the first city of Reims now provide ideal storage conditions for champagne, with a constant cool temperature and high humidity.
Stay the night in the La Caserne Chanzy Hotel & Spa, housed in a renovated fire station. The building is an Art Deco treasure located directly opposite the Notre Dame de Reims Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Aptly, the hotel’s spa uses cosmetics brand Vinésime, which harvests grapes from some of the most prestigious vineyards to create its products.
Hide Out In A Hilltop Town In Elciego, Spain
Deep in Spain’s Basque country is a famed area of hills producing La Rioja wine. Here, you’ll find the ancient town of Elciego, which dates back to 1067. Surrounded by a landscape of verdant vineyards, the pretty town is wound with cobbled streets and lined with medieval buildings.
But not everything in the area has such a long history. The town is also home to internationally renowned architect Frank Gehry’s Hotel Marques De Riscal, a stunning 21st-century chateau. The exterior is covered by giant undulating sheets of metal, while the interiors feature playful fabric cloud lamps and green and black Italian marble baths.
Laze In A Castle In Lieser, Germany
The picturesque town of Lieser lies in the heart of the world-renowned Moselle wine region, close to the borders of France and Luxembourg. With over 450 acres of vineyards, Lieser is one of the biggest winegrowing centers on the Moselle River, whose twists and turns are flanked by vineyards producing some of the finest Riesling in the world. Situated within a blue slate region, Lieser’s Riesling expresses a distinct delicate and floral profile.
To feel like nobility, stay in the Schloss Lieser, a fairy-tale castle of decadent stonework and turrets built in 1885. The property is located directly on the river bank and surrounded by vineyards. One of the more unique experiences offered to guests is the opportunity to adopt a grapevine from the hotel’s own vineyard, Schloßberg, and enjoy the wine it produces during their next stay.
Enjoy Rooftop Dining In Bordeaux, France
As one of the most famous wine regions, a visit to Bordeaux should be on every wine fanatic’s bucket list. Head to the medieval village of Saint-Emilion for a UNESCO-designated wine landscape. The area’s vineyards predominantly use Merlot grapes to produce some of the finest Bordeaux wines that are softer and more delicate than other varieties. In Bordeaux, visitors can also stop at the internationally acclaimed La Cité du Vin (The City of Wine), a vibrant cultural hub devoted to the global heritage of wine.
Situated on the Garonne River and just a few steps away from the Cite du Vin, visitors can stay at the Renaissance Bordeaux, with an Italian restaurant on the rooftop affording breathtaking views over the region.
Source : Forbes