The Daily Telegraph - Travel
Nick Trend, travel expert Try one of these trips to the world’s great vineyards, from Champagne and Bordeaux to Napa Valley
fabulous five-day tour by wine experts Arblaster and Clarke includes tastings at all the left-bank first growths, Lafite, Latour, Margaux, Mouton and HautBrion, as well as many other leading châteaux on both sides of the river.
Bordeaux tour with Oz Clarke from Telegraph Tours (0333 005 9069; telegraph.co.uk/ozwine). From £4,495 including all tastings, several meals and flights to Bordeaux. Departs June 20.
The 15th- and 16th-century châteaux of the Loire are among the architectural highlights of France, and the vineyards tucked away on gently sloping hills between them are home to some of its most elegant wines. This seven-day tour led by historian Dr Michael Jones and wine guide Lys Hall combines visits to several historic châteaux including Chenonceau, and some of the best producers of the chenin blanc whites of Vouvray, the fragrant reds of Chinon and Bourgeuil, as well as crisp, dry muscadets.
Pompeii and Amalfi
This striking itinerary combines in-depth visits to some of the world’s most spectacular archaeological sites, including Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum, with an exploration of the fascinating viniculture of Campania, where wines have been made for 4,000 years and many rare and historic grape varieties still survive.
Pompeii and Amalfi – Wine and Archaeology with Andante Travels (01722 713800; andantetravels.co.uk). From £2,475 including some meals, but excluding flights. Departs September 24.
Wine cruise in Italy
This seven-night cruise must count as one of the most relaxing ways to explore the wines and vineyards of Italy. SeaDream’s 60-berth top-end “yacht” cruises the coast from Rome to Cannes, makes calls at Elba, Livorno, Portovenere and Portofino and includes excursions to vineyards plus on-board tastings led by wine experts. There is also a Winemaker’s Dinner.
Wine Voyage from SeaDream Yacht Club (seadream.com) from about £3,000 full-board but excluding flights. Departs October 1.
Starting in the vineyards of La Mancha and including tastings at two of the best sherry bodegas, this well-planned eight-day tour combines wine with Andalusia’s rich gastronomic culture – Iberico ham, lemons, olives, tapas and excellent fish – and its most important monuments including the mosque at Cordoba and Seville Cathedral.
Gastronomic Andalusia – Food, Wine, Art & Architecture with Martin Randall (020 8742 3355; martinrandall.com). From £3,020 including flights and some meals. Departs March 3 2017.
This imaginatively planned journey across the north of Spain starts in the Basque country with a visit to the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. It goes on to combine touring, sightseeing, walking (gentle four to seven-mile day walks) and wine tasting in the vineyards of La Rioja, Montsant and Priorat before ending up in cava country and Barcelona. While not for serious wine buffs, it’s a great way to get a feel for the
Oz Clarke, wine expert
‘Best destination for wine lovers? France, Australia or New Zealand. France is the first place I got to know, and your first love is the one that stays with you’
context and terroir of some of Spain’s greatest wines.
Relatively few of the great cabernets and pinot noirs from Napa Valley make it to Britain, so this five-day private tour is an excellent excuse to head to California and taste them on-site. You enjoy private escorted visits and tutored tastings at four top vineyards in Sonoma Valley, including Dry Creek and Russian River, and four in Napa Valley itself.