The Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations for Wine Lovers

From the gorgeous scenery of South Africa’s Cape Winelands to France’s abundance of historic vineyards, the following prominent wine regions are among our favorite travel destinations for an unforgettable honeymoon getaway.

Cape Winelands, South Africa

Whether as a leisurely day trip from Cape Town, or a few days of solid R&R, the Cape Winelands are not to be missed. The Stellenbosch region was the first to create a formal route to access its now 200+ wine producers, and is dotted with boutique hotels, spa-like sanctuaries, fine-dining restaurants, and even informative museums which offer insight into the region’s deep history.

Nearby Franschhoek boasts beautiful landscapes, enriched with French Huguenot heritage, which is immediately evident in the region’s famed “Cap Classique” – the Cape’s take on Champagne. Its boho chic village is lined with bars and bistros, and a hop-on, hop-off wine tram makes traveling between estates a total joy.

Bordeaux, France

This world-renowned winemaking region is home to some of the most valuable and historic châteaux and vineyards (Château Latour, Château Margaux, Château Lafite Rotschild).

With the Atlantic coast to the west, Medoc to the north, and Saint-Émilion to the east, Bordeaux is a perfect place from which to day-trip your way around France. It’s also the perfect gateway to Dordogne, the modern-day home of the ancient country of Perigord — filled with honey-colored medieval villages like Sarlat, more than 1,500 ancient castles, and even truffle markets (check out the stalls in Périgueux).

Image courtesy of The Vines of Mendoza

Uno Valley, Argentina

Argentina’s Uco Valley is one of those rare places that is able to produce quality wines at high altitudes, making it a world-famous region for Malbecs and other red wines. It’s also totally remote and relaxing.

To taste the terroir, post up at The Vines of Mendoza, a 22-villa resort in the foothills of the Andes. It’s set on a 1,500 acre working vineyard, with spa-style bathrooms, en-suite fire pits, and an on-site restaurant imagined by Francis Mallmann. The Argentine super-chef applies his open-flame cooking techniques to regional dishes that showcase Argentina’s famous beef, like four-hours roasted lamb with Anna potatoes and watercress salad.

Napa Valley, California

Northern California’s grape-growing region is widely recognized as one of the premier places in the world for wine production. All the while, it has steadily become one of America’s top honeymoon destinations thanks to its beautiful landscape, diversity of activities offered, charming small towns, phenomenal dining choices, high-class wine making facilities, and elite resorts and inns.

For an incredible day, start with a tour of wine country from above via Napa Valley Balloons. Next, head to Schramsberg Winery outside of Calistoga, famous for its sparking wines, caves and majestic views.

In the afternoon, visit beautiful Hall Vineyards high atop the hills in Rutherford for a private tour before dinner at The Rutherford Grill.

Santorini, Greece

The island of Santorini is known for its Assyrtiko grapes, which produces some very distinct but excellent dry white wines. After checking in to your hotel at the elegant Perivolas Santorini, make your way to Santo Wines, an exceptional winery situated high atop the caldera cliffs just south of Fira.

Stop in for a wine and food tasting right before soaking in a brilliant Santorini sunset. The property also features a deli shop where couples can purchase an assortment of wines plus traditional food products like capers, sun-dried tomatoes, and fava beans.

 

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Image courtesy of Kym Ellis

A Honeymoon in Napa Valley: Top 5 Things to Do (Besides Wine Tasting)

With gorgeous scenery, beautiful small towns, top-notch accommodations, and an endless activities list, California’s Napa Valley makes for a terrific honeymoon destination.

Here are some of our favorite things to see and do (in between your wine tasting outings and vineyard visits, of course).

Hiking

Napa and Sonoma Counties offer more than just vineyards. Actually, they are both packed with wilderness as the unique topography gives way to foggy forests, petrified trees and crazy rock formations. Bothe-Napa Valley State Park and Sugarloaf State Park are both great places for exploring the backwoods.

Biking

The biking options in wine country are plentiful and highly recommended. Check out Napa Valley Bike Tours for rental information and suggested routes. No matter if you’re a biking enthusiast or just a casual biker, there’s an itinerary available for you. Blaze past vineyards on backcountry roads or take the main drag through some of the beautiful small towns dotted throughout Napa Valley.

Hot Air Ballooning

After a few days of wine tasting, there’s nothing better than a tour of wine country by balloon. From lift off and landing to the views of the region (and even San Francisco on clear days) and the bird’s eye view of the vineyards, a trip to wine country isn’t complete without a hot air balloon tour.

Small Town Discoveries

Take a few days to explore the beautiful Napa Valley towns of Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga. The relatively small size of these villages and proximity to each other make for a perfect day trip away from wine tasting. Each destination offers something a little bit different, but visitors can certainly still expect great dining, late night options, local shopping and boutiques, and unique galleries.

Spas

Northern California wine country is widely recognized as a top destination for spa treatments with sophisticated gems like Solage Calistoga and the Spa at Silverado. Experience invigorating massages, mineral baths, mud baths and a vast array of beauty and body treatments in a tranquil, one-of-a-kind setting.

 

In case you missed it:

Real Honeymoon Registries: Best of Europe

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Photo by Sebastien Gabriel