4 of the World’s Best Luxury Wine Travel Experiences
How does the other half travel? Luxury wine experiences aren’t limited to great amenities and Michelin-starred restaurants. Big spenders want to be part of something exclusive that offers behind-the-scenes opportunities for exploration or learning not available to the general public. Whether it’s events with renowned winemakers and sommeliers, private tours of walk-in wineries, natural treasures that seem secret, or even opportunities to blend your own wines, the best trips luxury wineries offer a little something extra.
For travelers who don’t mind spending a little more, these destinations eliminate the choice paralysis of planning a wine lover‘s itinerary. Customers can offload and leave the planning to the experts. From France to Arizona, here are four luxury wine travel experiences that are a caliber above the rest.
The Allison Inn & Spa, Newberg, Oregon.
Oregon’s wine country is one of America’s most beautiful landscapes, with rolling hills, pastoral farms, and pristine vineyards covering the area. The Allison Inn and Spa puts you in the heart of the action, surrounding you with vineyards and wineries to explore.
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August’s annual Wine Indulgence event guides guests through the history and present of Oregon wine, with presentations by renowned wine writer Karen MacNeil, author of “The Wine Bible.” You’ll be guided through wine tastings with esteemed local winemakers to get a true sense of Oregon. great wines. While you’re in town, book a private tour of a winery in the Willamette Valley with Chevonne Ball of Dirty Radish, wine country tour guide, sommelier, and maker of delicious Oregon Gamay.
Before a day of drinking and exploring, indulge in a Divine Wine facial at the spa, which includes a honey and wine mask and grapeseed moisturizer. A mimosa massage starts with (you guessed it) a mimosa and incorporates champagne oil into the treatment. For dinner, the Allison’s JORY restaurant offers a wine list full of local nuggets, including many organic and biodynamic options from the region.
Castle Hot Springs, Arizona.
Getting to Castle Hot Springs is part of the adventure. Driving enthusiasts will love the 45-minute hike up the windy, unpaved road to the resort, where you’re likely to encounter a local burro right next to your car. If you feel like you’re driving through a mysterious oasis in the desert, that’s because you are. Castle Hot Springs, in the middle of the Sonoran Desert surrounded by centuries-old Saguaro cacti, is a little piece of magic.
Begin your tour by riding via golf cart to your personal cabin, complete with a private outdoor tub, locally sourced snacks, a luxurious bed you’ll never want to leave, and an outdoor deck overlooking the cactus-studded mountains. Grab your bathing suit and take the path to the natural hot springs, past the hammocks, paddleboard yoga class, and outdoor massage cabins. Signs line the path encouraging calm, meditation and tranquility.
For dinner, book a sunset-view wine tasting with sommelier Sarah Foote, formerly of the French Laundry, whose wine selection ranges from European classics like Domaine de la Romanée Conti, to classic American stunners like Corison, as well as a couple of local Arizonans. standout. Back at your cabin, open any bottle from the list on your outdoor deck while watching hummingbirds fly past the flowers below. It is an oenological experience centered on self-care.
Four Seasons in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii
Hawaii might not be the first state you think of when considering a wine destination, but the islands have a dedicated sommelier community. The Four Seasons at Wailea sponsors events, classes, and tasting groups for aspiring wine professionals, creating a hub of wine knowledge for its staff. Two on-site restaurants offer excellent global wine lists that offer classic and biodynamic options.
The room you’ll want is the Four Seasons Elite Suite, which (for $16,500 per night) comes with a wine fridge stocked with bottles chosen by Christian Navarro, president of Wally’s Wines and Spirits of Beverly Hills. Your room comes with a dedicated personal assistant who can organize your getaway and recommend beaches, activities, and even volunteer opportunities during your stay. The Four Seasons also works with the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, which helps preserve Maui’s historic artifacts.
Splurge on the Fire and Wine Experience — priced at $28,500 — with sommelier and advanced chef Yeshua Goodman for a private Maui party for up to six people. To prepare, you’ll share your wine preferences and curiosities with Goodman himself, who will then curate a wine list designed specifically to match your palate. Don’t worry about driving afterwards – you’ll travel by helicopter to the north coast of the island for a local meal with wine pairings, cooked over an open fire.
If you’re planning a Labor Day trip, the Four Seasons Maui Wine and Food Classic brings together winemakers from renowned producers like Opus One and Laurent Perrier along with beloved chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Rashida Holmes.
The Vines Global Explorers Club, destinations vary
The Explorers Club is a luxury wine trip for the avid adventurer. If you like extravagant and practical trips, you will be stunned by the multiple destinations on offer. The Vines is a membership group – $100,000 initiation fee and $6,000 annual membership fee gives you access to multiple wine travel opportunities per year in places like Champagne, Argentina, Portugal , Italy, Spain and Germany, as well as in the United States. It also gives you the opportunity to meet respected local winemakers and assemble a custom wine barrel to your liking, which you can have bottled and shipped to your home.
For guests who have decision-making fatigue, The Vines offers a curated experience infused with luxury via three- to four-day trips. Members stay in breathtaking hotels, such as Domaine Les Crayeres in Reims, travel in Mercedes coaches and eat in Michelin-starred restaurants, with excellent bottles of local wine constantly on offer. There are daily wine tastings with expert sommeliers, vineyard and cellar tours, and even dinners with winemakers like Michel Drappier of Champagne Drappier and Antoine Billecart of Champagne Billecart-Salmon. Blending experiences allow members to sit down with winemakers, taste their still wines, and create their own blends.
“A lot of what’s interesting about The Vines is the people who are here. We have a mix of people who love wine a lot, but maybe aren’t collectors. They’re more focused on experience and learning,” says Michael Evans, founder of The Vines. “We have eight winery partners around the world and we’re always keeping our eyes peeled for new places.”
The average group size is 14, with members ranging in age from their mid-30s to mid-80s. “Getting to know wine, interacting with wine, blending and harvesting – wine is a mainstay of our programs,” says Evans. “Unique experiences are also a mainstay, whether it’s cooking classes, photo workshops, visits to sites like Reims Cathedral, for example. The final pillar is community and making sure members have time to be together and get to know each other.