There’s something special about drinking wine at its source. Maybe it’s the vine-covered landscape, the history, or the cultivation of the soil over thousands of years. Or perhaps the character and stories of the wineries themselves – particularly in France, where winemaking regions are famed for their monumental vineyard châteaux, many of which have been converted into extravagant hotels. Recent research from Booking.com found that 50% of travelers say that investing in a vacation remains a top priority for them. These enchanting vineyard hotels can be expected to be top of the list for 2023 experience seekers.
Château de Valmer – La Croix-Valmer, France
To picture the scene at Château de Valmer, imagine palm groves, the smell of the sea, and a chilled glass of Côtes de Provence rosé. This seaside castle has all the trappings you’d expect of a five-star resort; a spa, private beach and a Michelin-starred restaurant. Split your time between days spent by the sea and exploring the countryside, strolling through vineyards, vegetable gardens and ancient hilltop towns.
La Chartreuse du Bignac – Saint-Nexans, France
La Chartreuse du Bignac stands on a hill surrounded by a rolling landscape of plum trees and vines. It can be found in the heart of Bergerac, a region known for full-bodied reds and fruity whites. Head to the hotel’s on-site wine bar to sample some of the area’s finest vintages. A small library, stone fireplace and 12th-century vaulted cellars add to the countryside elegance.
Château du Tertre – Arsac, France
Red wine-lovers rejoice – the vineyards of Margaux produce some of the best reds in Bordeaux. Overlooking this landscape is the stately Château du Tertre. It was built in 1865 but is still architecturally commanding, with its exposed beams and French oak ceilings. You can tour the wine cave and wander the grounds, revelling in the beauty of the vines as you sample their local grape varieties.
Hostellerie du Château des Fines Roches – Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a famous red beloved for its ripe juiciness, and there’s no better place to try it than in its hometown. Opening onto the local vineyards is the Château des Fines Roches. This 19th-century castle was once inhabited by the Marquis de Baroncelli and visited by many Provençal poets. Nowadays it’s a place for a wine-fuelled relaxation; think sunbathing, terrace dining and swimming in a pool beneath turreted towers.
Château de Mercuès – Mercuès, France
The vineyard of Cahors is known for producing wines of a deep red hue and made from Malbec grapes. Such a rich wine also has a rich history – the bishops of Cahors used to reside in the Château de Mercuès in the 13th century, overseeing the vineyard. This same castle is now a four-star hotel, complete with a swimming pool bordered by cedar trees.
Domaine de Verchant Relais & Châteaux – Montpellier, France
The architecture of Domaine de Verchant Relais & Châteaux embodies the South of France’s grandeur; 200-year-old white stone walls, orange tiled roof and palm-tree-covered terraces. This impressive villa also houses a 10,000-bottle wine cellar. The region is known for crisp white wines, for which the hotel’s Mediterranean food menu is perfectly complementary.
Château de Berne – Lorgues, France
Head down to the end of a narrow lane, deep in the Provençal countryside and you’ll find this magnificent 18th-century château. More specifically, this palatial castle is located in Lorgues, the oldest wine-growing region of Provence, famous for pale, dry rosé and spicy, full-flavoured reds. In between wine tours and activities, you can relax in the massive spa and Michelin-starred restaurant, go on walks through the olive groves, or hire a car and discover even more of the local area.