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In The Heart Of Wine With Relais & Châteaux

In The Heart Of Wine With Relais & Châteaux

From Napa Valley to the legendary cellars of St. Emilion in France, South Africa and Argentina, discover some of the world's finest wine routes

By FDL on

Whether you are already a wine aficionado or simply want to explore a region through its major vintages, following a wine route is an unusual and personal experience which brings you into close contact with the local terroir. When the finest of wines are paired with superb cuisine, it is a spectacular combination. Relais & Châteaux boasts properties in the finest vineyards in the world and offers memorable wine stays in charming hotels. Each place has its own history and secrets, each wine offers its own unique opportunity to travel...

Stop off at one of the many Relais & Châteaux’ gourmet restaurants and ask the sommelier to select the best wines especially for you.

1. WINE TASTING IN A WARM AND SUNNY NAPA VALLEY
The Napa Valley in the United States is known for its quintessential art de vivre and is one of the most important culinary and wine-growing areas of the United States. If you want to get to know the best varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay in the region, there is only one place to go… Auberge du Soleil, overlooking the valley, with its host of charming little sun-kissed earth tracks.

A unique experience
The 15,000 bottles in the cellar at Auberge du Soleil promise memorable tastings. Sip your wine and contemplate the sunset from an elegant spot nestled in the middle of olive groves. The contemporary ‘Bistro & Bar’ is the ideal spot to order wine by the glass from a selection of more than 40 wines.

Wine special
If you are a fine wine enthusiast you can join the very select ‘Club Vin du Soleil’ and receive advice and tastings of exceptional wines. The sommelier is recommending now the NEYERS 2006 ‘Thieriot’ Chardonnay-Sonoma Coast ($103).

Gourmet cuisine
French restaurateur Claude Rouas pays tribute to his native Provence with sophisticated dishes with Mediterranean flavours.

2. DISCOVERING GRANDS CRUS IN SAINT-EMILION
The commune of Saint-Emilion was founded in the eighth century by a monk who gave it its name and is home to the most prestigious vineyards in French Bordeaux. Saint-Emilion is known by wine lovers throughout the world. However, the place has other attractions too: the village of Saint-Emilion is also one of the most attractive in France and is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you want a truly peaceful stay, try Hostellerie de Plaisance, a charming property where Chantal and Gérard Perse offer you a warm welcome to one of its two buildings which are linked by hanging gardens.

A unique experience
Discover amazing wines with 700 different labels, and stunning views over the mediaeval village of St-Émilion. Le Château Pavie, 1er Grand cru classé, belongs to Mr. and Mrs. Perse.

Wine special
The hotel offers a wine-tasting package in the prestigious vineyard of Saint Emilion which includes: one night in a superior room, a gourmet breakfast, a private tasting at the Wine School and a visit to a Château in Saint Émilion (transport not included). From € 640 for one night for 2 persons.

Gourmet cuisine
Philippe Etchebest, who is recognized as a Grand Chef Relais & Châteaux and Best Worker of France, creates a cuisine which is a perfect match for the fine wines selected by the restaurant’s sommelier. Special mention must go to the pan-fried foie gras lasagne with wild mushrooms and a black truffle emulsion.

3. A RELAXING BREAK ON THE CONSTANTIA WINE ROUTE
South Africa is a member of the club of great wine-growing countries, and this is largely thanks to the Constantia vineyard which produces some of the best Sauvignon and Sémillon white wines in the country. The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel, situated in the heart of the vineyard, is 20 minutes from the centre of Cape Town and offers an exceptional wine list in a superbly calm and luxuriant setting.

A unique experience
The hotel is just a few minutes from the Constantia wine route, and is the ideal place from which to start your wine tasting.

Wine special
Be tempted by the ‘Chef’s Tasting Menu’ and leave it up to the sommelier to find the perfect match between the seasonal dishes and the wines of the region.

Gourmet cuisine
The Greenhouse restaurant is amongst the 10 best restaurants in South Africa, while The Conservatory takes a more simple approach, based on produce from the award-winning 3.6 hectares of gardens.

4. PLEASURES OF BACCHUS AND OTHER GOURMET DELIGHTS IN MENDOZA
The wine route that makes its way through Mendoza in Argentina is one of the most astounding wine routes in the world for the beauty of the landscape and also for the quality and variety of its vineyards. Wine routes, cellar visits, wine tastings and wine festivals… You will have a packed programme, so to take a break, head off to Cavas Wine Lodge, a superb Spanish colonial-style mansion devoted to the pleasures of Bacchus. Cecilia Díaz Chuit and Martín Rigal invite you to their 14-hectare domain at the foot of the Andes to take a break and enjoy the pleasures of life.

A unique experience
Savour a glass of wine on your own terrace while watching the sun go down behind the peaks of the Andes.

Wine special
The hotel will organise a visit for you to one of the 25 nearby wine cellars by bike or private car (with or without a driver). There is also the opportunity to plan a private dinner in the wine cellar at the hotel and choose your wines from 250 selected labels.

Gourmet cuisine
The restaurant, with its stunning views over the vineyards, offers sophisticated cuisine which is in perfect harmony with the regional wines. The menu changes every three months to offer delightfully-conceived seasonal dishes.

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