..... Cheers to our Favorite Wineries Around the World
For wine connoisseurs, October means harvest and the best time of year to visit most wine regions in the Northern Hemisphere. Throughout the season, wineries bustle with activity, the weather cools down, and the promise of savory new vintages fills the air.
In honor of this year’s harvest, we’ve picked seven of our favorite wineries, each an embodiment of the modern good life. The list includes Old and New Word, Northern and Southern Hemisphere, from Provence to Napa, Argentina to South Africa.
Pack your favorite SWIMS loafers, your best relaxed-casual wine-tasting attire and head to one of these amazing wineries for an unforgettable adventure.
1. Château Roubine in Provence, France
No trip to the south of France is complete without a day spent touring a winery. One of the 23 wine estates recognized by decree as "Cru Classé" of Côtes de Provence, Château Roubine has a storied history dating back to the 1400s. During a tour of the vineyard, you’ll learn the story behind Château Roubine, plunge into the world of production by passing through the private doors of the cellar to discover the secrets of manufacturing the Crus Classés, and explore how the natural environment plays a role in creating its Bordeaux, rosé, blanc and more while tasting them all.
2. Château Mouton-Rothschild in Pauillac, France
While you’re still in France, make your way to Château Mouton-Rothschild northwest of Bordeaux to taste some of the best varietals in the region. The soil is unsuitable for growing anything other than vines, and this single-minded soil produces some of the finest wines in the world. Enjoy the epitome of the modern-good life at the Grand Mouton Château, built to embody the art of living, and designed to receive guests. The winery dubbed it, “An unforgettable experience, it is a magical place where so many artists and art forms, cultures and religions bear resounding witness to the eternal and fruitful dialogue between art and wine.”
3. Hess Collection, Napa Valley, California, United States
Tucked away in the lush hills above the city of Napa, the Hess Collection was founded by Swiss entrepreneur Donald Hess. The winery has gained international recognition for its exceptional wines, including mouth-watering mountain Cabs and a sumptuous Chardonnay, but what keeps us coming back is the winery’s prolific private art collection. The museum, which is open to the public, features works by Robert Motherwell, Francis Bacon, Franz Gertsch. Cheers to the good life!
4. Antinori Chianti Classico in Tuscany, Italy
One of the most recognized names in Tuscan wine, the Antinori family has dedicated itself to winery production since in 1385 when Giovanni di Piero Antinori became part of the Florentine Art of Vinattier. In 2012, Antinori Chianti Classico added a dramatic modern cellar that offers myriad wine-tasting experiences to complement the history of the 26 generations of the Antinori family, the natural environment that produces the grapes, and personal tastings tailored to your specific desires. Enjoy your Chianto Classico while strolling through “Futuro Antico,” a space in the cellar that details the family’s more than 600 years as premier winemakers in Tuscany.
5. Bodega Catena Zapata in Mendoza, Argentina
A trip through the foothills of Argentina could lead you to a tasting adventure at a winery resembling an ancient Mayan temple abutting the majestic Andes Mountains. Founded in 1902, Argentina’s Bodega Catena Zapata is known for resurrecting Malbec, and discovering extreme high-altitude terroirs in the Andean foothills of Mendoza. The family’s Adrianna Vineyard sits almost 5,000 feet above sea level, and is often referred to as South America’s Gran Cru. The winery has five other vineyards divided into parcels based on soil composition to encourage each grapes’ most authentic fruit expression. Bodega Catena Zapata offers a variety of tasting tours, but we recommend the Art of Malbec Tasting because the Zapata family produces an award-winning Malbec where it was once thought no grapes could grow.
6. Huia Vineyards in Marlborough, New Zealand
Huia Vineyards epitomizes the modern-good life. A certified organic winery that plants its vines in biodynamic soil, Huia was awarded “Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc of The Year” in 2017 by the New York International Wine Competition. Handcrafted by Claire and Michael Allan, Huia wines are not vintage specific but rather describe how they approach crafting each wine variety. As a boutique, hands-on producer, they adhere to minimal intervention where possible allowing the earth and the elements to be expressed in the final wine. Hui Vineyards offers tastings of it’s Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay and sparkling white wine during the New Zealand summer season, beginning in December.
7. Rust en Vrede in Stellenbosch, South Africa
For more than 300 years, Rust en Vrede has produced wines in the Cape Town wine region Stellenbosch, focusing specifically Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot since 1977. Visit this winery and walk in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela who chose the vineyard for his Nobel Peace Prize dinner. Enjoy dinner in Rust en Vrede’s restaurant, which is houses in the vineyard’s original wine cellar and serves French-inspired cuisine paired with wine selections from grapes grown right outside the door.