Photograph courtesy Steven Krause, Brooklyn Studio West
Sonoma Valley, California—Glen Ellen is the idyllic setting for this historic Victorian-style ranch house with wraparound porches and views of the gardens, orchards, and vineyards. Inside, five sizable rooms come with antique cast-iron beds, intricately carved dressers, and local artwork. Each room features a private door to the front porch, where guests can enjoy locavore breakfasts of frittatas prepared with veggies grown in the garden, eggs laid by the ranch’s hens, and fresh jams from fruit picked on-site. The fourth-generation owners, Alexa Wood and her family, loan out rackets and tennis balls for those who want to volley on the property’s court and offer tips on visiting nearby wineries. Take home a bottle of the ranch’s own 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, a lively, fruity wine.
Les Sources de Caudalie
Photograph courtesy Les Sources de Caudalie
Bordeaux, France—Inspired by France’s Aquitaine region and bearing names like Vent du Large (“sea breeze”) and Claret, the 49 rooms and suites at this charming Bordeaux property overlook a vineyard on one side and pond on the other. Black-and-white sailboat photographs and other maritime objets d’art hang on the walls, while weathered wooden chests sit at the foot of downy beds. Chef Nicholas Masse presides over Michelin-starred La Grand’Vigne, where he transforms the freshest local fish and produce into tantalizing traditional dishes. Time your visit around his cooking classes, held twice a month. Wine classes take place in the hotel’s tasting tower, where the sommelier pours smooth white and red wines from the renowned Graves region of Bordeaux. End your visit with a red vine leaf bath (considered to improve circulation) at Spa Vinotherapie.
Photograph courtesy Moorooroo Park
Barossa Valley, Australia—Three-hundred-year-old red gum trees, Shiraz vines, intimate rose-scented courtyards, and tiered gurgling fountains set the scene at this South Australia property, where historic stone buildings from the 1840s have been transformed into Jacobs Creek Retreat with seven handsome guest suites. A few of the rooms are decorated in silk, velvet, and dark wood, and others have separate sitting rooms or loft bedrooms. The studio suites include bathrooms outfitted with sunken bathtubs. Visit the on-site stone Cellar Door tasting house to sample sparkling Shiraz, Moscato, and other artisan wine blends from the Barossa Valley, or learn the process of traditional sausage-making in the cooking school.
La Posada de Bodega Vistalba
Photograph by Yadid Levy
Mendoza, Argentina—Snuggled in the foothills of the Andes, the Carlos Pulenta winery, known for its delicious Malbecs, runs an inn of just two rooms with private balconies overlooking the vineyard or the majestic mountain range. Days begin with a breakfast of homemade marmalade, medialunas (flaky croissants), and fresh juices served in a guest room designed with exposed beams and leather and wood furnishings in earthy Andean hues. Guests can stroll among the 60-year-old vines solo or with a guide and then attend a wine tasting in the bodega. Come lunchtime, four-course meals pair with Pulenta wines at La Bourgogne, arguably Mendoza’s best restaurant. The amiable staff can arrange horseback rides, hikes, and visits to neighboring wineries.
Photograph courtesy Greg Cox
Stellenbosch, South Africa—Situated among vineyards with views of Table Mountain, this carefully restored Cape Dutch estate features 14 unique rooms outfitted with delicate silks, mahogany dressers, four-poster beds, and vintage chandeliers. After tasting the region’s structured Shiraz and Pinots on-site or in nearby Stellenbosch, a dip in the estate’s swimming pool is practically mandatory. You might come across a peacock or tortoise as you walk through the vineyards to the nearby dam, where a flock of 80 pelicans live. Upon your return, you’ll enjoy afternoon tea served by the fireplace in the inviting drawing room while the friendly resident German pointers nap at your feet.
Quinta do Vallado
Photograph courtesy Quinta Do Vallado
Douro Valley, Portugal—Perched on a hill surrounded by vines in every direction and overlooking the Corgo River, the 18th-century Quinta do Vallado has been converted from a family home into a comfy inn complete with swimming pool and tasting room. Five guest rooms are furnished in an unfussy country style with vintage headboards, crisp white bed linens, and colorful hand-woven rugs. Sixth-generation owner and winemaker João Ferreira Álvares Ribeiro will arrange a sunset picnic, paired with a bottle of his estate’s young reds, on the property’s highest point. He can also organize a boat trip on the Douro or loan a bike to explore the region.
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
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