A Honeymooner's Guide to the World's Best Wine Regions
Wine lovers can embrace their passion for vino in a number of wedding-related ways. Brides- and grooms-to-be can have a wine-tasting bachelor or bachelorette party, for example. Couples can also skip the typical shower and register for wines and wine supplies instead of home goods. When it comes to the rehearsal dinner, they can share their interest with friends and family by hosting the event at a restaurant with a great wine list. Then, on the big day, they can serve their favorites at the reception, or give them as favors to members of their wedding party. But the fun doesn't have to stop once the reception ends. If you aren't ready to quit popping bottles, embrace your inner oenophile with a honeymoon to one of the world's best wine regions.
If you're worried that planning a wine-focused trip confines you to Europe or Napa Valley, California, it's time to think again. There are tons of other great locations to choose from. Click through this curated list, and prepare to have the honeymoon of your dreams. We've included destinations on four different continents: North America, South America, Africa, and Australia. That means that whether you're looking for history, picturesque views, or great food, there's something in this roundup for you. Plus, not only have we highlighted our favorite regions, but we've also provided recommendations for where to drink and lodge, what to do, and which bottles to buy. Browse, book, and prepare to sip your trip away in married splendor.
Franschhoek Wine Valley, South Africa
This mountain-fringed valley an hour outside Cape Town was settled by French Huguenots more than 300 years ago, and their gastronomic culture lives on today.
Where to Stay: Nearly 200 acres of grapes and gardens surround Leeu Estates (from $702 per night), a bright 17-room manor that recently opened near the picturesque, tree-lined village of Franschhoek.
Bottle to Buy: La Motte Syrah 2013, a medium-bodied red with notes of clove, pepper, and plum.
This rugged, windswept island off Australia's southern coast is known for cool-climate grapes that thrive in the maritime air.
Where to Stay: The MACq 01 Hotel (from $287 per night) debuted last June on Hobart's bustling waterfront. Its 114 swanky rooms pay homage to unique characters from Tasmanian history, from freedom fighters to felons.
What to Do: At Freycinet National Park, scale pink-granite peaks and glimpse the white-sand semicircle of Wineglass Bay.
Bottle to Buy: House of Arras E. J. Carr Late Disgorged Sparkling 2002, named for decorated winemaker Ed Carr.
Vinho Verde, Portugal
Sandwiched between lush mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, this beloved wine region is home to beautiful emerald-hued vistas, haunting medieval castles, and hip boutique hotels.
Where to Sip: Head to Quinta da Aveleda, a fifth-generation family estate, to taste fruit-forward whites in a romantic garden filled with whimsical stone structures and fairy-tale fountains.
Where to Stay: The 30-room Monverde Wine Experience Hotel (from $140 per night) at Quinta de Sanguinhedo combines mod accommodations with an immersive wine experience—think vineyard views, expert-led lessons, and grape-skin spa treatments.
What to Do: Get lost roaming the labyrinthine streets and ancient castle of Guimarães. In Amarante, about 40 minutes southeast, you'll find the Michelin-starred Largo do Paço, which serves up contemporary Portuguese cuisine.
Bottle to Buy: Alvarinho Soalheiro 2015, a well-balanced white with citrus and mineral notes.
Paso Robles, California
Move over, Napa: In the past decade, this hilly, oak-dotted oasis halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco has nearly tripled its winery tally.
Where to Sip: A former warehouse enclave has been transformed into Tin City, home to about two dozen tasting rooms; don't miss Field Recordings and Sans Liege. For something more atmospheric, Justin serves Bordeaux-style reds in an airy space overlooking rolling vineyards.
Where to Stay: Fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the Pacific in one of 27 vintage-motel-style rooms at Cambria Beach Lodge (from $179 per night). Or you could wake up amid grapes and olive groves at Allegretto Vineyard Resort (from $399 per night).
What to Do: Browse locally crafted candles, soaps, honey, snacks, and other provisions at General Store Paso Robles in the charming downtown.
Bottle to Buy: L'Aventure Estate Cuvée 2014, a full-bodied blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Petit Verdot.
Windswept landscapes, 19th-century villages, and an ambitious upstart esate populate this burgeoning wine country an hour from the splashy seaside resort of Punta del Este.
Where to Sip: Bodega Garzón, a hilltop retreat with 500 acres of grapes, produces a complex rendition of Uruguay's signature red, Tannat.
Where to Stay: Famed Argentinean chef Francis Mallmann put tiny Garzón (population: circa 200) on the map with the Hotel & Restaurante Garzón (from $780 per night, all-inclusive), which has five king rooms in a gorgeously renovated brick-walled general store.
What to Do: Savor grilled seafood at Parador La Huella (paradorlahuella.com), an un-assuming yet highly lauded beachfront shack located in trendy José Ignacio.
Bottle to Buy: Alto de la Ballena Reserva Tannat-Viognier 2011, a vibrant and delicious oak-aged blend.