From the warm, sun-drenched vineyards of the Mediterranean to the cooler climes of the Continent, Europe’s spectacular wine regions are waiting to be explored. Come with us on a journey of the senses through seven distinctive wine regions, where the aromas and flavours of Europe truly come to life. The art of wine tasting goes beyond simply filling your glass; it’s an immersion into the cultural heritage and traditions of Europe, encapsulated in every sip. From Sicily to Poland, traditional to modern, you’ll experience a captivating world of wine on your “Grape Getaway”.
An Alpine adventure
The vineyards of Saint-Jean-de-la-Porte in southeastern France are set amongst breathtaking landscapes, the bracing Alpine air and mineral-rich soils lending a distinct personality to the region’s wines. The cool climate and high altitude are ideal for grape varieties like Jacquère, Altesse, and Mondeuse, yielding refreshing, crisp wines with a mountainous terroir. You’ll taste white wines with lively acidity and notes of green apple and citrus, while red wines show red fruit flavours and subtle spices. Explore Saint-Jean-de-la-Porte’s picturesque local wineries to meet passionate winemakers who take pride in celebrating ancient winemaking traditions.
Where to stay: Hotel l’Helios & Spa is just over one hour away by car from Saint-Jean-de-la-Porte and boasts panoramic views across the awe-inspiring peaks and valleys of Méribel. Roaring fires welcome you into this traditional chalet-style wood-clad building – especially charming in the winter but beautiful all year long.
Venture to the volcano
Nestled on the slopes of Mount Etna (Europe’s most active volcano), Sicily’s volcanic wine region is currently one of the most exciting wine-producing areas in the world. The volcanic soils impart a fascinating mineral character to the grapes that grow here, primarily Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. Expect complex aromas of red fruits, dried herbs, and subtle smokiness, reflecting Sicily’s volcanic nature. Many local wineries embrace traditional winemaking techniques with minimal intervention; visiting these charming family-run estates will provide a deeper appreciation for the passion and dedication behind the crafting of Etna’s exceptional wines.
Where to stay: The four-star Hotel Villa Schuler is superbly situated high above the Ionian Sea, its unique position offering breathtaking views of Mount Etna and the Bay of Naxos. Surrounded by lush greenery, this historic villa, converted into a hotel in 1905, is the ultimate base for visitors exploring Sicily’s extraordinary vineyards.
The wonders of Württemberg
Embarking on a wine tour in Württemberg, Germany’s fourth-largest wine region, offers a delightful glimpse into the centuries-old world of German viticulture. A unique terroir gives Württemberg wines a distinct character; visit the charming town of Niedernhall to stroll its picturesque streets and squares and take in the abundance of surrounding vineyards. A tour provides the opportunity to discover the region’s prominent grape varieties — like Trollinger and Lemberger, known for their exquisite flavours and finesse. Drop into one of the region’s many seasonal wine taverns (usually known as “Besenwirtschaften” in Württemberg) to taste local wines accompanied by regional specialities like tarte flambée, Bibbeliskäs, Schäufele, Maultaschen or Vesperplatte.
Where to stay: One hour from Niedernhall by car, the Hotel & Restaurant Schwarzer Bock is a family-run boutique hotel in the charming city of Ansbach. Enjoy sumptuous food and beautiful rooms at this historic hotel, while a short stroll away, a wealth of experiences wait to be savoured in boundless Bavaria.
Taste the bounty of Burgenland
Whether you’re a wine novice or connoisseur, Austria’s Burgenland region is guaranteed to delight your palate. Famous varietals like Grüner Veltliner and Welschriesling give rise to aromatic and refreshing wines, but there’s more to Austria’s wine culture than white grapes — the food-friendly Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt grapes, known for producing complex red wines with deep flavours, are increasingly popular. Burgenland’s microclimate, influenced by the nearby Lake Neusiedl, also aids the production of some exceptional sweet wines, including the world-renowned Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein. From earthy reds to elegant whites and indulgent dessert wines, Burgenland promises authentic and unforgettable wine-tasting opportunities amidst stunning natural landscapes.
Where to stay: One hour by car from Lake Neusiedl is Hotel Stefanie, one of the oldest hotels in the city of Vienna. Decorated with antique furnishings, Hotel Stefanie has also been renovated to provide modern amenities and technology — meaning today’s visitors experience both historic charm and contemporary comfort.
The centuries-old Assyrtiko vineyards of Santorini, birthplace of Greece’s signature white grape, are legendary the world over. Known for its strikingly vibrant acidity and crisp minerality, Assyrtiko, influenced by the island’s volcanic ash-rich soil, has a distinct saline character that’s reminiscent of the sea. With fascinating vineyards, charming wineries and warm hospitality, Santorini is truly a wine lover’s paradise and there’s plenty to explore aside from the famous Assyrtiko; join a wine tour to taste other indigenous grape varieties like Aidani and Athiri and enjoy mouthwatering food pairings, from fresh seafood to delectable Grecian olives and cheese.
Where to stay: Esperas Santorini Hotel is perched high on the cliffs of Oia, comprising a series of traditional island houses carved into the rock. Providing jaw-dropping views of the volcanic seas from a number of private terraces, Esperas Santorini Hotel is the perfect base for visitors eager to explore the unforgettable flavours of this Greek island.
A warm welcome in West Pomerania
Rolling hills, epic landscapes and fertile soil: West Pomerania, south of the Baltic Coast, is one of the country’s most interesting wine regions. Characterised by crisp acidity and vibrant fruitiness, the wines of West Pomerania truly showcase the power of cool-climate viticulture. A visit to the local wineries will illustrate the craftsmanship and passion of skilled producers and introduce you to lesser-known varieties like Johanniter, Solaris and Rondo. New wine estates are following in the footsteps of Winnice Turnau and Winnice Kojder, two of Poland’s leading wineries; most winery tours will offer regional delicacies like herring or salmon to try with your glass.
Where to stay: Less than 1.5 hours by car from Winnice Turnau is Manowce Palace, a five-star mansion overlooking the Szczecin Lagoon in northwestern Poland. Nestled within dense forest, this neoclassical paradise is just 2.5 hours from Berlin and features opulent suites and apartments, welcoming gardens and a modern sauna.
The captivating wines of Chianti Classico
Imagine a picturesque landscape of vine-covered hills, with grapes slowly growing warm under the Tuscan sun. This is Italy’s famous Chianti Classico wine region, responsible for producing delicious red wines that are celebrated the world over. Located between the historic cities of Florence and Siena, the area is renowned for exceptional vineyards, rich winemaking traditions and the Sangiovese grape variety, known for vibrant acidity and cherry-like flavours. Chianti Classico truly captures the essence of Italy’s wine-making philosophy, while the warm hospitality of local winemakers will make your wine-tasting experience simply unforgettable. As they guide you through the history and craftsmanship behind each bottle, you’ll discover a fresh perspective on Italy’s illustrious wine-making heritage.
Where to stay: Located in the heart of the Chianti Classico region, Villa Le Barone is a one-of-a-kind Renaissance property, with luscious gardens and deliciously prepared food. It’s just a short stroll away from Molino di Grace, a beautiful Tuscan winery founded by Frank Grace in the 1990s. Here you’ll taste elegant Classico and Super Tuscan flavours, against a backdrop of the charming Chianti hills.