Hotels with Wineries in Surprising Destinations Around The World
Owning, operating and executing a top-level hospitality experience is difficult enough. But together with vision and dedication, hotels around the world can elevate themselves into new heights and enter a sphere of excellence that establish themselves as reasons to visit untapped destinations alone. It is relatively uncommon for a hotel to host a winery, or a winery to host a hotel, but in today’s travel landscape anything goes. Wine itself has become a reason enough to travel to any destination, inspiring oenophiles to appease their palette and trek the terroir that births unique blends and grape cultivation due to a specific locavore soil.
And in many cases, hotels are striving to garner new attention and bookings, and promote themselves as an anchor bolthole for regions less explored, untapped, and certainly not known for winemaking. From Mexico and Chile to Gavi (a small town marked by its lush landscape of rolling hills and vineyards in northern Italy), Poland and Georgia, hotels are sprouting wineries that have made a name for themselves. With some hotel wineries flourishing in arid, desert landscapes and others in lush, mountainous terrains, here is a list of five hotels with innovative wineries in destinations around the world that are not well known to global travelers.
Locanda La Raia, Gavi, Italy
Locanda La Raia is a 12-room luxury boutique hotel, spa, biodynamic farm & winery and contemporary arts destination, perfectly situated in Gavi in the countryside between Milan and Genoa (just one hour from each of their respective international airports). Gavi is a small town marked by its lush landscape of rolling hills and vineyards, known for its Barolo wine (one of Italy’s top white wine appellations), and during the autumn season, as a mecca for truffle foraging. The grapes of Gavi grow alongside Roman ruins, historic sites, world class galleries and stunning hospitality hideaways, characterized by their Ligurian-Piemontese classical architecture.
Locanda La Raia is a labor of love of the Milanese Rossi Cairo family, who transformed the 180-hectare estate and mansion into a “slow hospitality” ecosystem where sustainability, biodiversity, contemporary art, locavore cuisine and heartfelt hospitality meet. As part of its commitment to the surrounding environment, the biodynamic La Raia Winery produces three kinds of multi-awarded Gavi D.O.C.G. – Gavi, Gavi Riserva Vigna della Madonnina and Gavi Pisé – and two kinds of Piemonte D.O.C. Barbera.
In March 2021, La Raia acquired 136 kWp of photovoltaic panels (equal to an area of about 700 sqm), for annual production of approximately 160,000 kWh. The installation is on two of the three roofs of the winery, while the third has been insulated with raw earth since 2003, the year of the renovation of the building and the construction of the wall with the ancient pisé technique by the Austrian architect Martin Rauch. This choice has made it possible to avoid intervention on the surrounding landscape, and it is in line with the initiatives of conservative and eco-compatible regeneration of the old farmhouses located on the property.
The investment in solar energy ensures semi-independence in terms of power consumption for the activities of the winery (covering 90% of requirements) and improves the present carbon footprint of La Raia thanks to reduction of CO2 emissions equaling 85 tons per year. The results are comparable to the effects of planting 1900 trees!
The choice of biodynamic cultivation was the first, fundamental step taken twenty years ago by the Rossi Cairo family. This decision has determined the quality, character and recognizability of the wines, certified by Demeter since 2007. The work in a harmonious, balanced setting has contributed to the conservation of this portion of the Gavi landscape. At La Raia, the woods, meadows and cultivated fields surround the vineyards, fostering a variety of flora and fauna and safeguarding biodiversity. The hedgerows that offer small birds and mammals shelter and enrich the habitat as a whole have been maintained, as narrated in the book Alla scoperta della biodiversità by Renato Cottalasso.
Chateau Buera at Lopota Lake Resort & Spa, Kakheti, Georgia
Known as the birthplace of winemaking, Georgia’s oenophilic history dates back more than 8,000 years, all the way back to the Stone Age. Kakheti has emerged as one of the most exciting and surprising wine destinations in the world with more than 200 indigenous wine varieties are described in this region, which is hometown locavore Georgian grape types, including Rkatsiteli, Kakhetian Mtsvane, Khikhvi, Kisi, and Saperavi.
The most enticing property for guests to stay while exploring Kakheti and the Rtveli grape harvest is the newly revamped Lopota Lake Resort & Spa, featuring 232 rooms and suites, an indoor spa and wellness center, as well as an on-property wine chateau, multiple restaurants, a horse stable and vineyards, that is home to the Châteu Buera, the property’s onsite winery and event space.
Château Buera at Lopota Lake Resort & Spa, a hub for wine-lovers, preserving the ancient traditions of Georgian wine production. Guests can enjoy breathtaking views of the Caucasus Mountains while sipping authentic Georgian wine, tour the wine cellar where the wine is produced according to traditional Georgian methods, and taste the delicious Georgian-European fusion cuisine in the restaurant and terrace. In addition to its on-site winery, Lopota Lake Resort & Spa offers wine tours throughout the region in local wineries, family wine cellars and chateaus where centuries-old unique Georgian traditions of wine-making are being prolonged in modern times.
Lopota is a labor of love and family-owned resort with three spas, several restaurants and eight outdoor pools, as well as new business-level suites suitable for the most discerning and stylish travelers. Lopota even offers a special “Elixir of Youth Treatment”, which starts with a vinotherapy wine bath in a terrace overlooking the stunning Lopota Lake, and continues with a deep tissue massage, hydration facial and hot stone therapy.
Clos Apalta Residence, Santa Cruz, Chile
Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle, great-granddaughter of the creator of Grand Marnier, is the force behind Viña Lapostolle, with a winery and hotel nestled in the hills overlooking Chile’s spectacular Apalta Vineyards in the Colchagua Valley. This unique setting, combining a respect for nature with cutting-edge design, invites you to experience Lapostolle. A team of chefs prepares a special menu for each wine, using organic vegetables from the garden and top-quality seasonal products. Biking through the vineyards and trekking the trails of the native forests are a good complement to the activities linked to wine, beginning with a tour and private tasting in the winery.
A Relais & Châteaux property, Lapostolle Residence hotel welcomes you to Apalta, in the heart of the Chilean vineyards, in the famous Colchagua Valley. Four little homes surrounded by hills and untouched forest, each of which contains a suite with private terraces offering an uninterrupted view of the vines and mountains. Each suite is decorated according to one of the grape varieties that make up our famous wine, Clos Apalta. The setting will awaken your five senses, where our wine and gastronomy play leading roles. The perfect environment to discover nature’s beauty, or to relax in an authentic and intimate atmosphere.
Clos Apalta Residence is responsible for an ambitious environmental policy. This includes measures against food and energy waste, and the recycling of waste and water. The House includes some 380 hectares of vineyards. The philosophy of this wine business is entirely focused on a respect for the nature that surrounds it. Operations have been designed in order to minimize the environmental impact such as the use of compost, water treatment plants that are 100% organic and energy savings. Finally, the establishment also has a waste management program throughout its domain: minimizing liquid and solid waste, and imposing the sorting of plastic, glass and cardboard waste.
Bruma Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico
Mexico’s arid desert region outside of Guadalajara may not be known as the premiere destination for oenophiles, but to our delight, Casa 8 is pushing the ball forward with its innovative Bruma project and in-house winery. Each of the casa’s 8 rooms are unique, and amalgamate the best of traditional and contemporary Mexican design, and proudly support local brands and communities, our amenities include Baja Botanica products, made with the region’s iconic lavender. Casa Burman consists of nine dark-coloured blocks and a forest clearing that acts as a courtyard for this home by Mexican architects Fernanda Canales and Claudia Rodríguez. The in-house winery and label, “Ocho,” consists of 8 different wine types that reflect the terroir and atmosphere of the Mexican desert landscape, including the Tinto 2018, which is based upon 50% cabernet sauvignon grapes and 50 petite Syrah, resulting in a deep purple color and a nose with licorice, chocolate, tobacco leaf and graphite.
Castelletto Gredič is an exceptional establishment set in the heart of the Goriška Brda wine region that boasts breathtaking panoramic views and offers guests a wealth of opportunity for unwinding and taking things easy. The impressive villa was built around 400 years ago and was completely renovated in 2012, while preserving its historical charm. Gredič is destined to reflect all the characteristics of the area. It is set in a region with a rich wine and culinary tradition as well as a unique climate with its mix of Alpine and Mediterranean influences. Its gaze is fixed on the sea to the south, its back is strengthened by the hills of Brda and the snow-capped Alps in the distance.
After the war, it stood on a border between two worlds; nowadays it does not recognise any barriers anymore. Its figure is saying that its mission was never to impose power, but it stands in its place in order to protect and serve, to help and advise. Nowadays, it tells the stories of the place, the land and its wine, food and people. Gredič is an idyllic spot to either spend your holidays and enjoy a romantic dinner, or for hosting a variety of events. It has an easily accessible location and offers an intimate stay. The 7 rooms and suites offer plenty of privacy, tranquility and comfort in a phenomenal ambience. The convenience of the warm hospitality surrounded by picturesque landscapes as far as the eye can see, the most exciting wines of the region that you can find in Gredič’s vinothèque and the extraordinary gastronomic excursion that you will experience in its restaurant.