There are several places in the world that produce amazing wines. There are four among them that stand out for turning out some of the best vintages. Tuscany, Napa Sonoma, the Loire Valley and Provence are the areas we are highlighting to give you an inkling on what’s available in these absolutely gorgeous destinations should you choose a holiday built around your love of the fruit of the vine.
Read on for a sojourn in words to help you make a decision on your next vacation with LVH:
The Charming Tuscan Countryside
Just the mention of Tuscany can spark that yearning for romance, sun, good food and fine wine.
Visit Castiglion del Bosco Winery
One of two Tuscan wineries owned by Massimo Ferragamo, Castiglion del Bosco can only be described as slick, fashionable and indulgent. The ancient hamlet of Montalcino is a designated Unesco World Heritage Site known for its awe-inspiring landscape. Ferragamo bought the estate in 2003 complete with a 13th century church. A wine tour here takes you out to the vineyards to see the Camp del Drago plot – one of the most picturesque in the country. You will also see the barrel cellar and sample vintages in a very avante-garde tasting room. You might also want to have a bite to eat in the elite restaurant. There are only Sangiovese grapes in Castiglion del Bosco’s vineyards, so the whole range is inspired by the two main denominations and the territory, from Rosso di Montalcino to three different interpretations of Brunello.
A must-try vintage: Brunello di Montalcino 2015. This vintage has an intense ruby red color with garnet inflections and wonderful aromas of flowers, plums, terracotta and white pepper. Intense, yet ever so subtle. Medium to full bodied, firm and silky tannins and a long and intense finish. Best from 2023 to 2039. Pairs well with pork; rich, red and spicy sauces; aged cheeses; and cured meats.
Wine and Dine at Enoteca Pinchiorri
The 2022 Michelin Guide includes 11 restaurants designated “worth the trip” and three-starred Enoteca Pinchiorri is one of them. It’s cliché to say dining at so-and-so restaurant is an “experience,” but at Enoteca Pinchiorri, it truly is. Inside you’ll find a mix of tourists and locals. The attentive staff ensures you’re well taken care of and your meal will be simply stupendous. If you can, take a peek at their jaw-dropping wine cellar.
Our suggestion: The “Evolution” menu where you will be treated to delicious Italian cuisine such as almond and celline olive soup, bergamot eggplant and juniper lobster; green vineyard snails, slightly spicy turkey and avocado salad and coconut sauce; Mora Romagnola suckling pig on a spit, eel cream in carpione and purple cabbage leaf with pepper.
This charming country manor will elevate your luxury Tuscan holiday by leaps and bounds. Just four miles from extraordinary gastronomic experiences and picture-perfect medieval villages, Villa Biondi offers the utmost immersion into Italian living. An original fireplace sets the scene for cozy nights in or downtime between activities, while ultra-plush neutral sofas and wingback chairs with playful patterning add a modern edge to the timeless space. The natural wood veranda is a lovely extension to the authentic stone facade. Enjoy a dip in the heated pool while marveling at the lovely mountain views.
Its mountains, fertile plains and rivers make Provence magnetically beautiful. The region is known for its production of rosé wines, accounting for about 75% of wines turned out in the area.
Visit Domaine De La Navicelle
This biodynamic winery is in the heart of the Provençal winemaking area on the northern slope of a hill called Colle Noire. Vine rows are terraced on heavy clay soils and a rocky subsoil of limestone, sandstone and schists. The north orientation and proximity of the sea protects the vineyards from heat and allows winemakers at Domaine de la Navicelle to produce, without needing irrigation systems, generous and complex wines, with a fine minerality and a real terroir identity. Grape varieties include Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Tibouren, Rolle, and Clairette.
A must-try vintage: Navicelle Rosé. Composed of Grenache, Cinsault and Tibouren, this cuvée is a perfect balance between delicacy and freshness. The nose, very fine, presents notes of fresh fruit such as peach and citrus as well as aromas of white flowers. On the palate, this cuvée subtly combines complexity, finesse and roundness. It is a perfect pairing for exotic, sweet-salty and spicy cuisine.
Wine and Dine at La Villa Madie
Nestled in l’Anse de Corton, a well-known bay to the people of Cassis, La Villa Madie – with three Michelin stars – faces the Mediterranean Sea with an overhanging terrace. There is a true marriage between land and sea. It is in Cassis, a true Mediterranean village that Marielle and Dimitri Droisneau decided to share their love for this wonderful terroir through their very diverse cooking.
Our suggestion: Sardines with lemon thyme, grilled almonds and Sologne caviar to start, followed by John Dory and cuttlefish immersed in a garlic broth and sage tortellini. Dessert is Madagascar vanilla with pralines and rum.
The Luscious Loire Valley
Known for its delicious wines and many beautiful chateaux, the Loire Valley is only a short train or car ride from Paris (110 miles/175 kilometers). Known as “the garden of France,” it is teeming with vineyards and lush vegetation. It is also home to 22 divine castles.
Visit Cave des Producteurs Montlouis
Discover crisp white wines and a maze of aging bottles at Cave des Producteurs Montlouis. The winery and its vineyards are based on the territory of three communes throughout Montlouis-sur-Loire, Saint Martin le Beau, and Lussault-sur-Loire covering 175 hectares. The winemaking process here is supervised by the cellar master and an oenologist. The vineyards are based on a limestone plateau consisting of sand, clay, and flint soil. Cave des Producteurs Montlouis uses a single grape variety, Chenin Blanc, to produce their crisp white wines. The grape variety benefits from the local fertile soils and climate.
A must-try vintage: 'Montlouis' Cuvee des Anges Brut. Pale yellow with refined bubbles. Floral nose with a fresh, clean palate and elegant substance. Well-balanced and is equally delicious as an appetizer or with fish in a light sauce.
Wine and Dine at Les Hautes Roches
This renowned gourmet restaurant is manned by Chef Didier Edon whose talents earned Les Hautes Roches a Michelin star. Be prepared for fresh, delicate and delicious fare. Daily arrivals from the ocean, vegetables, cold cuts and quality meats are used to create dishes paired with amazing wines of the region. Enjoy your meal on a large, sunny terrace overlooking the river or in the shade of lime trees.
Our suggestion: Begin with le foie gras canard with soft Vouvray and smoked eel. Move on to Le Pigeonneau du Pays de Racan, with grilled buckwheat, nem des "béatilles" spice sauce. For dessert, warm soufflé with Grand Marnier.
Live Like Royalty in Chateau Ophelia
When you are in France to experience fine wines, it just makes sense to spend part of your luxury holiday in a castle and Chateau Ophelia is one of the most magnificent. Complete with a moat, this amazing castle is considered one of the most beautiful moated chateaux in all of France, Ophelia brims with historical intrigue transporting guests to a time of feudal royalty. A magnificent Ode to Gallic royal tradition, palatial common rooms witness some of the world's most exceptional examples of handiwork, with endless walls of hand-painted frescoes and arched ceilings. Chateau Ophelia has 22 bedrooms with room for 44 guests. There is an indoor pool, hammam, massage room, sauna, wine cellar, cinema room, tennis court and more.
Four words to sum up the Napa Valley are: Elegance, opulence, sunshine and warmth. Many consider the valley to be one of the world’s greatest wine-producing regions. In fact, there are more than 500 wineries from which to choose. Oenophiles scouring the world for superb vintages must make a stop in the Napa Valley.
Ride the Napa Valley Wine Train
Travel back to an elegant age on the Napa Valley Wine Train in gorgeous 100-year-old railcars in a 150-year-old rail corridor. The railroad that once transported visitors to a spa resort in Calistoga now brings guests from around the world on a 36-mile round-trip discovery to St. Helena and back, stopping at celebrated Napa Valley wineries along the way. Have a meal prepared right on the train by a talented executive chef. After dinner, meet local vintners, partake in murder mysteries and enjoy wine tasting on board. You can shop and taste prior to boarding in the McKinstry Street Station. The wine shop features more than 200 kinds of boutique wines, while the gift shop offers an elegant variety of jewelry and other luxurious gifts.
Wine and Dine at The French Laundry
Tables are dressed with floor-length linens upon which sit fine Limoges china and crystal stemware. This is what you can expect at The French Laundry which gets its name from the building that used to be a French steam laundry in the 1800s. The nine-course French or vegetarian menus change daily. The ambiance is comfortable, yet refined. Dishes guests will find on the tasting menu are black truffle and ricotta Agnolotti and Monterey Bay abalone gratin. The French Laundry has a most impressive three Michelin stars.
Our suggestion: The Chef’s Tasting Menu. Nova Scotia lobster galette with wilted arrowleaf spinach, whole grain brioche dumpling, chanterelle mushrooms and vin jaune mousseline. Charcoal grilled Japanese wagyu with smoked tomato stuffed tomato, cured garden cucumbers, brokaw avocado mousse and béarnaise gastrique. Finish with a dessert of a K+M chocolate malt “brownie” sacher biscuit and marquise mousse.
New Tree Ranch
New Tree Ranch is an exquisite pastoral estate set in Sonoma County's stunning Dry Creek Valley. With room for eight guests, this residence comprises an exceptional ranch home, expansive self-sustainable farm, and a romantic outdoor glamping setup. Oversized windows embrace an alluring seating area smattered with an oversized leather sofa and lounger convened around a grand wood-burning stone fireplace. Outside is a solar-heated swimming pool. Lush pastoral scenes invite al fresco dining, a bocce court, and a nearby lake, providing a world of adventure and water recreation. Far more than a luxury getaway, this home offers an onsite animal farm, completing a lovely ranching experience.
LVH guests know they can rely on us to provide them with first-class, full service luxury accommodations as well as amazing experiences tailored to their unique desires. We invite you to reach out to one of our client relations team members who will begin planning your wonderful vacation to those destinations that have some of the best wines and wineries in the world.