Wine tasting is a luxury so many travelers find enticing, and why wouldn’t they? The process of sipping and savoring is an experience that feels indulgent, and everyone deserves a little pampering – especially when it involves pleasing your palate. While you might know of some B&B’s in wine country, are you aware that some properties actually double as wineries? If you are looking for the ultimate way to sip and stay, here are a few suggestions to get you started.Located in Bloomfield, KY, Springhill Winery & Plantation Bed and Breakfast is a stately, pre Civil War plantation that excels in Southern hospitality. The lush grounds are accented by vineyards, rolling pastures, and apple orchards. All accommodations are aptly named after wines, and each offers a distinct decorative style all its own such as the Chardonnay Room with its Victorian ambiance or the Cabernet Suite with Renaissance flare. Suites feature their own private baths and sitting areas, while all rooms showcase spectacular views of the Kentucky hills. They also include coffee, tea, and fresh baked breads at your door every morning, full country breakfasts on the weekends, and continental plus breakfasts during midweek. Springhill is a popular venue for a variety of events, including Murder Mystery dinners, seasonal concerts, and festivals. The wine varieties you’ll find at Springhill include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chambourcin, and Chardonnay. They have also partnered with vineyards nearby to offer Riesling and Merlot too. The most popular event for visitors is checking out the area’s Bourbon and Wine Trails.Beliveau Estate Winery, located in Blacksburg, VA, is a French country inn situated on 165 acres in the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains. There are five guestrooms onsite that feature private baths, fireplaces, TV’s, and mini-fridges. Air jet baths and private outside decks are also included in the Chocolat, Fleur de Lis, and Whimsical Rooms. The property features on-site hiking trails, spring-fed ponds, a hilltop pavilion with lavender garden, a gorgeous tasting room, covered outdoor veranda, Tiki bar, back patio, plenty of picnic spots (both covered and open air), and an event building with a large reception hall. Beliveau is a celebrated Virginia destination for special occasions, ranging from weddings and corporate retreats to afternoon teas, wine and tapas events, live music, and wine pairing dinners. Among some of the many wine varieties you will encounter at Beliveau are Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Red Zinfandel, Vidal Blanc, and more. As part of Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, Kite Hill Vineyard Winery and B&B in Carbondale, IL offers guests the opportunity to relax and revitalize in the serene countryside surroundings of Southernmost Illinois. The property features sun-drenched vineyards, plus a gorgeous five-acre lake with plenty of wildlife for nature enthusiasts to view. Visitors can stroll through the scenery or take it all in from the comfort of the porch. There are two comfy guestrooms on-site that come with private bathrooms, queen-sized beds, Wi-Fi, satellite TV, DVD/VCR, and a free movie library. Wine lovers enjoy a variety of special events at Kite Hill including wine and chocolate tastings, wine and cheese pairings, behind-the-scenes experiences with the winemaker, and tours of winery complete with tastings. Every morning, guests begin the day with a full three-course breakfast. Among some of the many wine varieties you’ll find at Kite Hill are Chardonel, Viognier, Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, and Traminette, among others.
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By now everyone who knows anything about wine, or has any interest, knows that Napa Valley is synonymous with some of the world’s best. There are plenty of award-wining wineries that offer tastings, tours, and more, and you’ll also find several luxurious inns within their midst. Here are a handful of options to inspire your palate’s desires.
Ideally located just a block away from historic Downtown Napa, Churchill Manor Bed and Breakfast boasts lavish guest rooms that are aptly named after Napa Valley’s wine growing regions, which were painted on each door by a local artist. Each room reflects the sophistication and grace of this 1889 mansion, while incorporating the best of modern amenities. Every morning guests can indulge in a delectable breakfast in the sunroom or its attached veranda, which features beautiful views of the gardens. The menu includes the freshest ingredients, bought locally and organic when possible. In the evening, guests enjoy a two-hour wine and appetizer reception, which features Napa Valley and other specialty wines along with appetizers including domestic and imported cheeses – but the thrills don’t end there. “We have so many exciting new developments in Napa to look forward to this summer,” reveals innkeeper Joanna Guidotti. “After a day of wine tasting, our guests will be able to stroll up the street to the Napa Valley Opera House where Blue Note from New York will be opening a jazz dinner club.” During the day, they will also be able to attend cooking demonstrations and everything food at the newly acquired Culinary Institute of America, which has just taken over the former COPIA food and wine complex. “And, my personal favorite,” adds Joanna, “our guests will be able to walk or bicycle off-road on the newly created 12.5-mile stretch of the Napa Valley Vine Trail as it winds from South Napa to Yountville. Eventually, the Trail will extend from the Vallejo Ferry Terminal for 47 miles to Calistoga.” Guests of Churchill Manor will have all of this within walking distance of the inn with complimentary tandem bikes also available for use.
Originally a 19th-century estate, the renovated Inn on Randolph is a special destination that seamlessly combines the best amenities of a modern Napa bed and breakfast with the property’s celebrated roots. Guests have the choice of staying in one of five luxurious guestrooms in the historic 1860’s main inn, or opt for one of five spacious private cottages complete with sumptuous in-room amenities such as air spa tubs, heated tile floors and beautiful fireplaces. The inn also features multiple beautifully landscaped gardens and hideaways, which include not only colorful floral and fauna but also ingredients that the chef uses daily for his special gourmet gluten-free breakfasts; stone paths ideal for a relaxing stroll; a revitalizing Spa Room for private treatments; and the enticing Cabernet Room for private events, a beautiful space where spa treatments take place too. No matter which accommodations you choose, personal touches and amenities abound. Most importantly, guests are just steps away from everything they came to Napa to experience including top-notch restaurants, wine tasting, outdoor adventures, the river promenade, music, and more. For those seeking local insight, the staff at Inn on Randolph is happy to share their expertise and experience about the area and wineries that you won’t want to miss. “HALL wines not only produces some of the best wines in the region, but they also provide a truly gorgeous tasting experience in their modern tasting building,” reveals manager Carlisle Engelhardt. “Other current favorites of ours include Alpha Omega and Round Pond, both of which are stunning experiences surrounded by gorgeous scenery. In downtown Napa, Vintners Collective is a must-visit to taste sumptuous small batch wines you won’t find anywhere else.”
Candlelight Inn Napa Valley rests on a tributary of the Napa River, on the border of Sonoma and Napa at the gateway to the Los Carneros wine region. This romantic rendezvous is complete within a park-like setting including swimming pool, outdoor patios, and redwood grove . The cozy accommodations have their own eclectic style offering guests plenty of comfort. A homemade three-course gourmet breakfast starts the day in the relaxed environment of the light-filled breakfast room. In the evening, guests can return to the inn to indulge in complimentary wine and snacks, or enjoy a couples massage in the privacy of their room, before departing to explore the local culinary scene. “The connection between wine and the table in Napa has never been as focused as it is now, with prime vineyard land sharing the spotlight with small, sustainably-farmed gardens whose produce is jettisoned directly from ground to local tables and accompanied by their pedigreed vinous counterparts,” says innkeeper Sam Neft. “Candlelight Inn Napa has always understood the relationship between the Napa Valley and its wine. We’re locally owned and over the years have developed long-standing relationships with wineries of Napa and Sonoma. Year after year we connect guests with their ideal Napa Wine experience, whether it’s glamorous or down-to-earth, extravagant or cost-efficient. Nothing gives us greater satisfaction than knowing we’ve assisted guests in accomplishing their ideal Napa adventure, whatever that may be, it’s our pleasure to help. There’s never been more to do in Napa than now, as the number of excellent restaurants, wineries and breweries continue to multiply, all in the timeless setting of the Napa Valley.”
October is Texas Wine Month, and what better way to mark the occasion than with a bounty of luxurious B&B’s located in wine country. With over 45 wineries in the Lone Star state, scattered across the expanse of some spectacular scenery, wine lovers will encounter varying terroir and winemaking styles throughout the region. And because everything is bigger in Texas, the industry is steadfastly becoming bolder, which means the wine is only getting better!
Located in beautiful Brownwood, TX on two wine trails – the Way Out Wineries and Texas Hill Country – Star of Texas Bed & Breakfast offers wine lovers access to all of the action. The inn’s spacious and private cottages make for a comfortable environment in this idyllic setting, which is conveniently situated near the peaceful and secluded Lake Brownwood. Here guests can appreciate the native wildlife and breathtaking landscapes that encompass the property. Each cottage is uniquely appointed and features its own bath, Wi-Fi, small refrigerator, candles, and outdoor hot tubs. Select accommodations also include soaking tubs. A delicious hot breakfast is delivered every morning and can be savored before exploring the region’s numerous activities and attractions. Among the local wineries innkeeper Debbie Morelock recommends include Wedding Oak Winery in San Saba (the Harmony Ridge red is favorite, and the Albariño took home Best Double Gold at the San Francisco International Wine Competition!); and the award-winning Brennan Vineyard in Comanche, which brought home two Double Golds from the San Francisco International Wine Competition for their Mourvèdre Rosé and Tempranillo. They are the first ever Texas winery to achieve that, providing further proof that Texas wine is on the move.
Situated on the edge of Texas Hill Country, Morning Glory House B&B in Christoval, TX provides guests with a perfect riverside escape for wine lovers in its serene and secluded lodging. Constructed in 2002, this two-story cottage resides right above the South Concho River’s edge and sleeps up to four people. (Additional lodging is available in the Bunk House for up to six people.) Amenities range from plush, cozy decor and air conditioning to Wi-Fi, satellite TV, VCR/DVD, and BBQ grills. Foodies favor a bounty of breakfast delights to enjoy on your own schedule including country fresh eggs, sausage, seasonal fruit, cheeses, bagels, sweetbreads, and assorted beverages. There is also a plentiful supply of dry cereals, oatmeal, sweet rolls, and snack bars. From the wrap-around porch and outdoor seating areas, visitors take in spectacular views of the river along with exquisite surroundings where wildlife abounds. In warmer months, they also enjoy canoeing, fishing, and tubing. Just 15 miles south of San Angelo, short trips can be taken year-round to nearby attractions along the Texas Forts Trail and more. Christoval Winery, the inn’s next-door neighbor, is celebrated for its Tempranillo, Vermentino, Riesling, and Mourvèdre. This year the winery won a gold medal at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in New York for its Angelo Red blend. A favorite of the innkeeper is their Almond Champagne!
Nestled between San Antonio and Austin, Kuebler Waldrip Haus Bed and Breakfast in New Braunfels, TX lies on 43 tranquil acres a few minutes from the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers and numerous popular restaurants, shopping, and attractions in the region. The property features three elegantly restored buildings, a cottage, an 1847 German rock homestead, and a 1863 schoolhouse. There are nine rooms and one suite. All accommodations feature a king- or queen-size bed, heat, AC, TV, private baths (four Jacuzzi tubs), coffee pot, refrigerator, and a porch or access to a patio area. In the morning guests relish a decadent, large hot breakfast that features egg dishes, fresh fruit, meat (bacon, ham or sausage), homemade breads, potato dishes, homemade tamales, cereal, and various beverages. Fun fact! The Historic Kuebler Waldrip Haus property was first owned by Francois Guilbeau, a French-born wine merchant, credited with saving the diseased French vineyards (in 1850’s) with mustang grapevine cuttings that came from the Comal County region. Today wine lovers can discover area wineries including Dry Comal Creek Winery, which produces whites such as French Colombard; reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon; plus Demi-Sweet and Dry Sparkling. They can also enjoy live music at River Road Icehouse and Gruene Hall. Other great attractions just 20 minutes from the inn include the Natural Bridge Caverns and Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch. There are many year-round festivals including a gourd show, a quilt show, Wurstfest, and more.
For world explorers in search of the ultimate Valentine’s getaway, below is a selection of global, 5-star hideaways in which to escape with a significant other. From chocolate in Africa, to cava in Spain, to breath-taking views in Switzerland, and a true “Downtown Abbey” experience in the United Kingdom, any of these romantic escapes in exclusive destinations are sure to please.
The perfect retreat for chocolate loving readers of Refined-Life, Finch Hattons announces its “Chocoholic Valentine’s Day” experience – an all-inclusive stay in a lavish, tented suite with an assortment of chocolates upon arrival. Afternoon tea is served along with locally grown coffee and an array of cookies, chocolate fondue, chocolate cakes, and pastries. Chocolate dessert cooking classes are offered and taught by Executive Chef, Isaac Muhika. The most decadent element of the experience is a bush breakfast and a guided bush walk to taste Kenya’s rich culture. This wildly romantic expedition in the heart of Kenya is available February 12th-16th and a fourth, complimentary night’s stay is offered with a three-night minimum reservation.
For a less wild but equally delicious escape, South Africa is perfect for the globe-trotting duo. Couples can spend this Valentine’s Day at the Ellerman House in the colorful and alluring South Africa. Instead of chocolate lovers, this escape is tailored to wine connoisseurs; The Ellerman House boasts an exquisite South African wine collection totaling over 7,500 different bottles from all throughout the Southern African region. The two-story villas are one-of-a kind masterpieces. With three adorned bedrooms, each with a personal bathroom and terrace, the villas also include an exclusive cinema, an infinity pool, an interactive, couture kitchen, and a private chef at hand. This exclusive special includes a 60 minute couples massage, plus sunset cocktails and canapes overlooking Bantry Bay, followed by a three course set menu dinner with wine pairing. Four night minimum stays are required.
Jumping continents, those who want a zesty side of Mediterranean added to their romantic weekend, can enjoy Valentine’s Day encompassed by the ocean, art, and Catalan culture at the Hotel Arts Barcelona. With exclusive cava and chocolate covered strawberries presented upon arrival, Hotel Arts Barcelona offers accommodations including a dinner for two at Arola Restaurant. A signature cocktail, Michelin- starred chef Sergi Arola’s creative tapas and a personalized wine pairing are on the menu for this delicious evening. In the morning, couples can indulge in an American breakfast for two at Café Veranda and linger in-room with a delayed, 4pm checkout. This special will be offered February 11th-15th.
Travelers in search of another Mediterranean escape, this one off the beaten path will be surprised to find it in Switzerland. Hotel Eden Roc is situated on the Italian/Swiss boarder and is offering a special Valentine’s Day experience.
Ascona, Switzerland offers lovers some of it’s very best views with an exclusive two night get-away on glistening Lake Maggiore. Guests will enjoy a couple’s massage, in traditional Swiss fashion and later be enchanted by the landscape visible from Cardada; a magical lookout point, it provides views of both Switzerland’s lowest point, Lake Maggiore and the highest point, the Dufour peak (located in the Monte Rosa mountain range.) A candlelight dinner for two will also be served while admiring the majestic lake, twinkling beneath the stars. This visionary, two-night package is offered February 12th-15th.
Also set in Switzerland, but in a better-known region, St. Moritz is mountainous with a sparkling dusting of snow freshly fallen for the holiday. The Carlton Hotel is ideal for the equestrian loving pair, who would enjoy three nights in a suite or junior suite, including one VIP ticket per person to experience the White Turf exposition. White Turf is the only skijoring race in the world, during which guests enjoy a champagne bar, and Swiss buffet breakfast while watching skiers race, while gliding behind horses across a frozen lake. A food and beverage voucher is also provided for each guest to enjoy countless participating dining tents. This experience also includes access to the opulent Carlton Spa, butler service, transportation to Corviglia ski station, and 24 hour Bentley limousine service. The special experience can be reserved February 11th-15th per availability.
Romance fit for a royal is alive in the beautiful Cotswolds region of England, celebrated at the original countryside manor house of Ellenborough Park. Rolling hills, award-winning spa facilities, and quintessential British High Tea are all on offer. Travelers will revel in theunsurpassed elegance of a 15th century manor house hotel, which presents an authentic experience and provides a personal immersion into a quaint British country lifestyle. This Valentine’s celebration includ
London is calling and it can be answered at The Draycott where couples are invited to spend Valentine’s Day in the heart of the bustling city. Its exclusive location in an intimate garden oasis makes for a cozy town house hotel. Guests will feel right at home as they enjoy complimentary tea, champagne, hot chocolate, and a fire place in their room. Each will be outfitted with a dozen, fresh roses, an exquisite box of hand-made chocolates, a bottle of pink, chilled champagne, and silky rose petals at turn down for the ultimate in romance. A late 1pm check out, exclusive room service & a full English breakfast for two, means travelers practically never have to leave the privacy of their room. This special is available February 6th– 14th.
Across the Atlantic in São Paulo, Brazil, Hotel Unique is perfect for the couple looking for an intimate and exotic experience this Valentine’s Day. Offering the “Dream Purple” Package, traveling duos can enjoy a sensual night including a bottle of Veuve Clicquot compliments of Chef, Emmanuel Bassoleil, “spicy” surprises, and two “hot” DVDs. Breakfast at Skye Restaurant is included and can be enjoyed while taking in some of the best views of the São Paulo city scape or sent down to be enjoyed in the privacy of one’s own room. Couples can be enveloped in this purple hued, dreamscape until a relaxed 6pm check out.
Last but not least, Jacada Travel offers exclusive, customized retreats that intend to meet the wildest desires and dreams of any and every variety of traveler this Valentine’s day. Perfect for the adventurous couple who wants control of their day to day activities and experiences, one sample expedition is a Vietnam and Cambodia adventure scheduled through Jacada. Couples have the option of dining privately under the stars at their own Angkor Wat temple equipped with a butler, a single violinist, or traditional Cambodian music if they prefer. Pre- dinner drinks served under a canopy with authentic Cambodian dancing and a locally produced 5 star menu is another potential itinerary element to this tailorable destination escape. Jacada provides travelers with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, such as exploring sacred temples in luxurious seclusion. Jacada can even arrange a blessing by a Buddhist monk for an extra memorable experience. Every package is priced according to the personalized excursions.
Wine Spectator is one of the wine industry’s most respected publications, and restaurants that receive its coveted Award of Excellence and Best of Award of Excellence are properties that offer top-notch culinary experiences. The Award of Excellence recognizes wine lists with unique selections that are appropriate to their cuisine and enticing to a vast range of wine lovers. At least 90 wines are required for consideration. Lists are reviewed for accuracy; must include vintages and appellations; and be impressive in overall presentation. The Best of Award of Excellence was designed to give special recognition to restaurants that push the envelope even further. These lists typically offer 350 wines or more. Along with exceptional presentation, they also display either vintage depth, with numerous vertical offerings of top wines, or distinct breadth across several regions. Here are three inns who made the cut in 2015, and some insight into what makes them so special.
The spirit of Provence surrounds guests stateside at the lavish L’Auberge Provencale Bed & Breakfast in White Post, VA. Located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, this quintessential French Country inn is just an hour from the DC beltway, but staying here feels as though you have been transplanted to a fabulous French countryside escape. The authentic Provençale-style experience combines gracious service coupled with refined, well-appointed rooms and suites with modern luxury amenities. The essence of Provence is apparent throughout the property from the food, gardens, and decor, to the pastoral countryside views and surroundings. Framed by the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains, the inn offers guests plenty of opportunities to relax with wine in hand or enjoy area activities including antiquing, horseback riding, hiking, biking, golfing, canoeing or ballooning. In the morning, guests savor the signature gourmet breakfast served in the sunny peach dining room. While in the evenings, they indulge in the award-winning cuisine and wine list at La Table Provencale, a farm-to-table restaurant that features an innovate menu with the freshest seasonal ingredients. There are more than 1,100 different selections, with a heavy emphasis on French and American wines. There is also a smaller selection of fine, well sought-after wines from Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Portugal, Austria, Lebanon, Argentina and Germany. The inn is also active in promoting Virginia wines and has its own sommelier onsite. The cellar encompasses more than 7,000 bottles and continues to expand daily, and the restaurant hosts monthly wine dinners with top Virginia producers and winemakers from around the globe. For the past 10 years, L’Auberge Provencale has received the Best of Award of Excellence for its wine strengths in Burgundy, and California selections, which are paired at the restaurant with Modern French cuisine.
Nestled in the spectacular Adirondacks Mountains overlooking a small pristine lake, the exquisite Friends Lake Inn in Chestertown, NY is a boutique hotel that seamlessly unites luxurious accommodations in an idyllic, bucolic country setting. Its location is central to the best of the Empire State, conveniently situated just 30 minutes north of Lake George, 1 ½ hours north of Albany, 3 ½ hours north of New York City, and 1 hour south of Lake Placid. This historic inn was constructed in the 1860s and has relished a 100-year tradition of fine cuisine and exceptional hospitality. Known as a popular retreat for relaxation and tranquility, Friends Lake Inn has been restored to maintain its original beauty and peaceful refinement. There are 17 guestrooms onsite, many featuring king-size beds with luxury linens, Jacuzzi tubs, lake views, wood-burning fireplaces, private bathrooms, entrances and porches. Guests revel in the breathtaking waterside surroundings of the property where they can swim, canoe, kayak or fish. They can also opt to lounge at the outdoor heated pool in warmer months and take advantage of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on the inn’s trails at its own Snowshoe Center when it gets colder. Nearby area attractions include downhill skiing, cross country-skiing, whitewater rafting, golfing, hiking, antiquing and much more. Friends Lake Inn’s highly acclaimed, award-winning restaurant of DiRoNA distinction, tantalizes wine lovers with innovative New American cuisine complemented by a superior wine collection, served in the rustic sophistication and warmth of its 19th-century dining room. There is also an in-house sommelier onsite. Friends Lake Inn received the Best of Award of Excellence for its wine strengths in France, Italy, and California selections, which are paired at the restaurant with New American cuisine.
Located in Middleburg, VA, the gorgeous Goodstone Inn & Restaurant is a lavish 18th-century country estate and award-winning gourmet restaurant conveniently nestled in the heart of the Old Dominion’s wine and hunt country. Situated on 265 sprawling acres of rolling hills and breathtaking surroundings, guests enjoy luxurious accommodations coupled with top-notch dining and service. This historic property includes five-star quality lodging in six unique structures: The Carriage House (main building), The Dutch Cottage, The French Farm Cottage, The Spring House, The Manor House and The Bull Barn. The candlelit Wine Cellar Dining Room is lined with more than 1,500 bottles of fine wine hailing from around the globe. Guests to Goodstone also enjoy a full-service bar, an elegant spa, a unique outdoor pool, walking and hiking trails, stables for boarding guests’ horses, mountain biking, canoeing and excellent shopping in the quaint town of Middleburg. The Restaurant at Goodstone features state-of-the-art, seasonally-inspired cuisine with a farm-to-table focus. The menu offers French Country cuisine and showcases the freshest of vegetables, herbs, micro greens, eggs and lamb from the Farm at Goodstone as well as other local farms. There is a sommelier onsite, and special wine dinners are often held here, designed to highlight a particular wine region or producer. An impressive series of courses are created to complement the featured wines. The wine list encompasses approximately 400 selections from a dozen countries, in addition to more than 30 selections from local Virginia wineries. All of the wines on the wine list are available for purchase through the Goodstone Retail Wine Club and may be picked up onsite. Goodstone Inn & Restaurant received the Award of Excellence for its wine strengths in international, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and California selections, which are paired with Classic French cuisine.