If you love luxury and are always looking for new experiences, then wineries and vineyards should be a must on your list. Learn more about some of world’s top wineries.
By Taniya Talukdar
Wineries and vineyards have come a long way from what it used to be in ancient times. Over the years, the trade has evolved from being a simple farmer’s affair to a luxury statement. Exotic locales teamed with high-end wine tasting and food pairing affairs, not to mention the experiential tours of an estate – each vineyard and winery is trying to stay one step ahead of the other in this competitive atmosphere. No longer limited to the vineyard and location, wineries are putting much emphasis on the architecture that has led to the creation of some great masterpieces. Many of the high end wineries have great architecture along with world class facilities.
Oakville, CA, USA
Baron Philippe de Rothschild of Château Mouton Rothschild and Robert Mondavi started the winery in 1978 and it remained the most expensive Californian wine for a while. Located in Oakville, California, this winery is open everyday for visits by appointment only between 10 am and 4 pm with exceptions on certain holidays. This world class winery was known to produce America’s first ultra-premium wine that was the first to be sold in France, United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland.
Located in La Rioja region of Spain, this vineyard and winery is a must-see for wine enthusiasts. Designed by Santiago Calatrava, the building here is a masterpiece enhanced by the location. Located to the north of Laguardia, the winery is easily accessible. The winery opened doors in 2001, and the structure has a wavy roof made of gigantic aluminium bars. Copper stained cedar forms the body of the building nestled comfortably in the mountains. Make a prior reservation if you’re looking to take a tour of this property.
|Marques De Riscal
Established in 1858 in Rioja Alavesa, this winery is one of the oldest in the region with a modern and innovative approach. It was the first to introduce the Bordeaux style vinification system. Their original bodega, built in cut stone resembles a Medoc Chateau. Don Camilo Hurtado de Amezaga began this winery to retain the Bordeaux vineyard spirit. It won the Diploma of Honour of the Bordeaux Exhibition in 1895. In 2006, this winery launched a luxury hotel and spa that draws visitors from across the globe.
|Mission Hill Winery
West Kelowna, Canada
Established in 1981, this winery located in British Columbia, Canada, is set in a spectacular location with mountains and lakes for a spectacular view. An architectural landmark that attracts visitors from all around the world with the focus being the 12-story bell tower that is used to welcome guest to the vineyard and awaken their senses with the ringing bells. You get to sample luxury amidst nature in this winery and is great when one wants to take a break from regular hectic life. Experience the art of winemaking by taking an on-site vineyard tour and visiting the underground cellars. The estate also boasts a 60-seat restaurant that opened in 2002.
|Napa, CA, USA
The owner, Darioush Khaledi pays homage to Persian architecture through the building and grounds of this winery. Darioush along with his wife, Shahpar, founded this winery in 1997 to realize a lifelong aspiration to share the art, architecture, wine, craftsmanship and culture that inspired their journey. The craft of winemaking was instilled in him by his father quite early in life, and he migrated to America from Iran to fulfil his dreams. Specializing in premium wines, Darioush is one of a few exclusive destination wineries in the world. Make advance reservations to experience a 90-minutes tour and tasting. It has an amphitheatre too that can seat 180 people.
One of the most photographed wineries across the world, this estate is owned by the Rouzaud family, which also owns the Champagne house Louis Roederer. The brand made a tremendous advance when May-Eliane de Lencquesaing took over in 1978. This 75-hectare property produces 36,000 cases per year on an average. The property even boasts gravel beds underpinned by clay.
While these are the top wineries in the world, we would be remiss to gloss over interest shown by Indian Americans in this industry. One such example is that of Sudha and Pandit Patil, endodontist and mechanical engineer respectively, by profession. The couple opened Narmada Winery in 2009 post retirement to realize their long standing dream. They have inspired many Asian Americans with their decision of building a winery who have also been supportive. Located in Rappahannock County, VA, Narmada Winery, named after Pandit’s mother, offers tours and wine tasting sessions. Taking a cue from their success, many Indian Americans are folding up their sleeves up to get down and dirty in the wine business.
So, if you’re someone who has been thinking of taking that wine vacation for a while now, it’s time you made the booking! Take a break from your busy schedule and enjoy some time out in the lap of nature and luxury.