Ready to go to the moon? Or rather, on your honeymoon, we should say. This month we’re celebrating out-of-this-world trips with Moon Mondays: weekly features on post-nuptial travel. Read on for our second edition…
If you love a glass of vino nearly as much as you adore your betrothed, why not coast into wedded bliss with a glass in hand? From the Luberon to Mendoza, we take a look at the hottest hotels with a vineyard in view. Here’s how to ensure your honeymoon (and therefore your marriage) will be filled with good times and good wine.
Casa de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina
For absolute seclusion amid the vine-clad fields of Mendoza, look no further than Casa de Uco. This vanguard concrete and steel wine resort sits on a vast estate in the remote Uco Valley – home to some of the best Malbec vineyards in the world. Feast on local farm-to-table delicacies from the estate’s own garden and enjoy a glass of red against the backdrop of snowy Andean Peaks. For total wine immersion, take to the Uco Spa for some indulgent vinotherapy treatments.
Château de Bagnols, Beaujolais, France
Straight out of a fairy tale, this grandiose French castle in the heart of the Beaujolais wine region is steeped in history. It has 17th-century frescoes, gilded four-poster beds and period antiques throughout. The old château’s wine cellar has been transformed into contemporary suites with clever design touches that resemble ancient wine barrels. Tour the Beaujolais wine route by day, and by night dine at the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, 1217.
Herdade da Malhadinha Nova, Alentejo, Portugal
The spotlight is finally shining on Alentejo; Portugal’s beautiful, sleepy countryside which is being lured as the new Tuscany and fast becoming one of the top wine destinations in the world. For a slice of the action, stay at Malhadinha Nova – a working winery and rustic-chic hotel with just 10 stylishly appointed guestrooms. Learn all about traditional winemaking with a local wine-tasting and guided tour of the on-site cellars. There’s also a superb restaurant offering typical Alentejo fare with a modern twist.
Farmhouse Inn, Sonoma, California
This boutique property is the ideal retreat for oenophiles in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. The 25 guest rooms are utterly romantic with fresh, whitewashed country-style interiors. There’s also a ‘farm-to-table spa’ using herbs from the property’s own garden and a Michelin-starred restaurant. For exploring the wine country, guests are provided with a dedicated wine passport to access free tastings and special offers at nearby wineries.
La Residence, Franschhoek, South Africa
In a nod to Franschhoek’s colonial French past, La Residence brings the flamboyance of Versailles to this culinary hub in the Cape Winelands. On a private 30-acre estate fringed by mountains and vineyards, the property feels more like your own palace with its opulent suites featuring crystal chandeliers, rich colourful silks and oriental antiques. Wine lovers can check out the wineries in quaint Franschhoek but also don’t need to go far to try some of the best local wines as the estate itself produces delicious Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
Castello di Casole, Tuscany, Italy
On a sprawling Tuscan estate, a cypress-lined lane leads to a beautifully renovated castle. With a wealth of history, it dates back to the 10th century and once served as the home to the some of the most powerful aristocratic families of Sienna. Today, the estate is home to luxury hotel guestrooms as well as stand-alone villas and farmhouses to rent for extra privacy. The style is classically traditional and it’s the perfect retreat for Italian oenophiles. It has more than 100 acres of vineyards and the estate’s signature blend – Dodici – is made completely organically. What’s more, this special blend is only available to guests of the Castello.
Hacienda de San Rafael, Seville, Spain
Halfway between Seville and Jerez, you’ll find this meticulously restored Andalucian finca. On a former thriving olive estate, this grand property is set amongst manicured gardens, olive groves and vineyards. Guests dine alfresco in a romantic bougainvillea-filled courtyard and for an extra idyllic stay, choose to bed down in one of the hacienda’s rustic casitas – charming hideaways with private gardens and special ‘siesta zones’. Aside from being in a prime spot from where to discover Andalucia’s historic towns, the hacienda also arranges tours of local sherry bodegas and brandy tastings.
Kingsford Homestead, Barossa Valley, Australia
Time slows down at this intimate retreat with sweeping vistas over the famous Barossa wine valley in South Australia. Originally a 19th-century sheep station, the 225-acre property has a farm-to-table restaurant and only seven suites including the detached Stonemason’s Cottage – ideal for honeymooners. This is the perfect spot to get away from it all and take in the views from a veranda, or better yet, try its signature experience of the ‘outdoor bush bath’ where guests can enjoy a relaxing alfresco soak with a glass of Barossa shiraz in hand.
Domaine les Roullets, Vaucluse, France
Discover the ‘art de vivre’ from this bucolic B&B surrounded by lavender gardens, olive groves and cypress trees in the heart of The Luberon region in Provence. Just a short hop from the hilltop villages of Gordes, Bonnieux, Ménerbes and Roussillon, it is the perfect base for exploring the region’s most beautiful towns which have inspired artists throughout the ages. On-site, the Domaine arranges tours and tastings in its own vineyard, where they produce organic red and rosé wines, ideal for pairing with a local cheese and charcuterie board served in the blissful gardens.
The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
On the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, Hawke’s Bay is hailed for its award-winning wines and unspoilt natural landscape. At its heart, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is the place to stay for a stylish back-to-nature getaway and where high quality dining takes centre-stage. On 6,000 acres of working farmland and with dramatic views of the Pacific, the property is made up of a cluster of luxe lodges and has a spa, a wine cellar and a gourmet restaurant serving seasonal New Zealand food. The Farm also hosts wine appreciation dinners and tastings with visiting chefs and wine experts. Beyond the bottle, guests can tour nearby nature trails, go river kayaking, air ballooning… or simply stay put and retreat to the serene spa.
Featured image is Casa de Uco, Mendoza, Argentina