Truly passionate wine lovers know that tasting wine involves all the senses. A beautiful glass of wine can pair well with innovative architecture, eye-catching vistas, relaxing accommodations, and of course, first class food, so we’re bringing you seven of our favorite wineries where tasting is an experience to behold. We know there are dozens of stunning wineries out there to see, so if we missed your personal favorite, give us your recommendation in the comments below!
Chateau Mouton-Rothschild (Pauillac, Bordeaux, France)
One of Bordeaux’s jewels, Chateau Mouton-Rothschild received “first growth” status in 1973. A tasting here is not simply a tasting – it’s an event. The tour begins with a short film on the history of the estate, and continues with a stroll through an elegantly designed, state-of-the-art vat room, Grand Chai (Great Barrel Hall – designed by architect Charles Siclis), and private museum of carefully curated wine artifacts, culminating in a tasting of several of their world-famous wines.
Opus One (Oakville, Napa Valley, USA)
A collaboration between the Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi, this winery was founded in 1980 and merges old and new world styles into a harmonious Magnum Opus. The iconic winery, designed by Scott Johnson, has beautifully sculptural archways, halls of classic French-style furniture mixed with more contemporary pieces, and a stunning semi-circular barrel room (if one can call a chai “stunning”, this one is!), not to mention the wonderful view of the vineyards from the terrace. The tasting room itself is quite intimate, but just the right atmosphere for enjoying a glass of their ultra-premium wines.
Bodegas Franco-Espanolas (Rioja, Spain)
Founded in 1890, Bodegas Franco-Espanolas is one of the largest wineries in La Rioja and has nearly 125 years of history behind it – including a visit by Ernest Hemingway in the 1950’s. In stark contrast to the two contemporary wineries we mention above, much of Bodegas Franco-Espanolas is “old school”, with stone walls, dusty cellars, and weathered tanks.
Dornier Wines (Stellenbosch, South Africa)
Not only is this winery situated at the base of a very picturesque mountain, the building itself is a sculpture of brick and reflective materials that houses the winery’s production facilities and tasting room. The estate also has their own restaurant as well as the Dornier Homestead, a private villa available to book for up to 12 guests.
Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant (Waiheke Island, New Zealand)
This estate, located on Waiheke Island, offers an ocean view from their terrace, which is open for outdoor seating during the summer months. With meticulously landscaped gardens, Mudbrick is a destination for events, fine dining, and even has two properties available for rental.
Ceretto Winery – Monsordo Bernardina (Alba, Italy)
This small Italian winery is fairly young, built in 1987, and serves as the main estate for the family’s four different wineries. Not to miss: The Acino – a large bubble made from state of the art EFTE, a soft and pliable material, frosted like the skin of a grape, set on a platform overlooking the vineyards and is said to be “an imagined representation of a single grape berry”. This structure is used for wine tasting and education, and is just, well, pretty darn cool.
Bodegas O Fournier (Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina)
A trip to Mendoza should be on any wine lover’s bucket list, and your tour wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Bodega O Fournier. The structure is completely modern and futuristic but set against a dramatic and ancient backdrop of the Andes mountain range. The tour includes a visit to their theatrically lit wine cellar, located 33 feet underground. Also on site, the estate’s restaurant Urbano, which serves a seasonal menu made with local ingredients, some of which come from the estate’s very own orchards.