The 10 Best Wineries To Visit This Autumn
From Napa Valley to Portugal via England’s East Sussex, our founder Sebastian Schoellgen handpicks the vineyards to bookmark as harvest season begins. All Vivino-approved, this is the Who’s Who of biodynamic and organic wines…
L’AND, Alentejo, Portugal
L’AND Portugal’s Alentejo is one of the best wine regions in the world, surrounded by wild beaches and an amazing landscape of oak trees, vineyards, olive groves and orange orchards. With a history shaped by the Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs, it’s a fascinating culture to explore. Forty-five minutes from Lisbon, you will find L’AND Vineyards, six hectares of vines with both red and white grapes, including Touriga Nacional and Gouveio varieties. There are 30 suites and villas to stay in, designed by Márcio Kogan, as well as a gastronomic restaurant and Vinotherapie spa. The team at L’AND can also curate plenty of wine-focused experiences, such as visiting local vineyards, learning about biodynamic winemaking and tasting regional wines.
Quinta da Corte, Douro Valley, Portugal
Quinta da Corte Located in the Douro Valley’s Golden Triangle, Quinta da Côrte is unique in the very traditional way it approaches its viticulture: much of the work is still done with pickaxes, men and mules. One of the oldest quintas in the region, guests can stay at Pierre Yovanovitch-designed Casa, which dates from the 19th century and is full of layers of character from its previous owners. There are just eight rooms, where luxuriously simple rooms meet bathrooms entirely decorated with traditional Portuguese tiles — and all have views of the beautiful countryside. It’s a brilliant base for tasting your way through the Douro Valley.
Can Axartell, Mallorca, Spain
Can Axartell A finca set in the Tramuntana mountains near Pollença in the very northern tip of Mallorca, Can Axartell seamlessly blends the traditional and the innovative when it comes to winemaking. Surrounded by vineyards, the estate had fallen into disrepair until the 90s, when its new owners set about recultivating its first vineyards. The new organic winery has installed impressive infrastructure to allow only the “Mètode Gravetat” — where grapes and wine can be moved using gravity only — to produce its wines. Today, it bottles one rosé, two whites and three reds, alongside special editions. Visit the finca to stroll among its vineyards, learn about gravity winemaking and taste the fruits of its labour, alongside traditional Mallorcan dishes.
Il Borro, Tuscany, Italy
Il Borro In the heartland of Tuscany, Il Borro is a centuries-old hamlet in the Valdarno valley, surrounded by more than 1000 hectares of land. Restored to its former glory in 1993, it also eliminated all chemical products in 2012 and is now a shining example of organic winemaking in Italy. Guests can stay in an elegant selection of suites, farmhouses or on Viesca, a nearby estate. Make sure to book in at Osteria del Borro, the winery’s gourmet restaurant as well as an expertly-guided tour of the winery. You’ll want to make good use of the infinity pool and spa,too.
Castello di Ama, Tuscany, Italy
Castello di Ama A small village in central Tuscany, set between Florence and Siena, Ama is in the heart of Chianti Classico. Castello di Ama has 75 hectares under vine, spread across four beautiful vineyards named after their valleys: Bellavista, San Lorenzo, La Cassucia and Montebuoni, and produces 320,000 bottles a year. Wine lovers can bed down in one of Villa Ricucci’s five suites, surrounded by antique furnishings, cosy corners and views of the Chianti countryside. As part of your stay, guests are invited for a complimentary tour and tasting at Ama. Time should also be set aside for the oil mill, ancient village and contemporary art collection.
Château La Coste, Provence, France
Château La Coste The Château La Coste wine estate is found in Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, 20 minutes from beautiful Aix-en-Provence. Covering 200 hectares and a winemaking tradition dating back to Roman times, its wines boast the ‘Organic Farming’ label, which acknowledges methods in perfect harmony with nature. This is one for design, art and architecture lovers, too: Château La Coste is part open-air museum and sculpture park and part minimalist hotel via Villa La Coste. It’s imperative to make a booking at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Louison, which is lorded over by three Michelin-starred chef, Gérald Passedat. The estate is so extensive and impressive, you’ll want to hole up for a few days here, to explore it fully.
Château Lanessan, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Lanessan A star of the Haut-Médoc wine region, the beautiful Château Lanessan is known for producing Cru Classé- standard wines at Cru Bourgeois prices on its 85 hectares of vineyards. The oldest wine estate in Bordeaux, run by the Bouteiller family for eight generations, you can visit for tours and tastings by reservation. It also has a cosy cottage that sleeps up to six guests, if you want to settle in for a more serious tour.
Meinklang, East Austria
Meinklang A self-sufficient Pannonian farm near the border of Hungary in East Austria, Meinklang is a family-run operation, with three brothers each specialised in an aspect of farming, from the animals to the vines. They also produce ancient grain beer at the farm, as well as organic wines using a “graupert” technique. Meinklang is near Vienna, so if you’re planning to visit, it’s best to book into a hotel in the city. We love Alstadt, which is located in Vienna’s fashionable Boboville district.
Tillingham, East Sussex, UK
Tillingham Tillingham, a biodynamic vineyard in East Sussex, has been making waves in the UK ever since it opened, thanks to progressive and accessible approach. It’s set in 70 acres of rolling green countryside, near the ancient hilltop town of Rye. You can take relaxed tours of the vineyard, book in for lunch or dinner at the excellent restaurant, enjoy pizza nights and then bed down in one of its design-led rooms in the pretty farmhouse for the night. And, of course, take a few bottles from its beautiful shop — which also sells chic candles and sheepskins — home with you.
AdamVS, Napa Valley, US
ADAMVS Run by husband and wife duo, Stephen and Denise Adams, Adamvs is a diminutive winery of just 10 vineyard blocks, in California’s Napa Valley. Sitting on an 80-acre Howell Mountain property, they use biodynamic, organic farming methods to produce their small-batch wines. Tastings and tours are by appointment only (contact well ahead), and include a tour of the vineyard, meeting the farm animals and a locally-sourced cheese and charcuterie board.
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