If you love visiting beautiful places and sampling exceptional wine, then you definitely want these four wineries on your bucket list.
Boschendal Winery, Franschhoek, South Africa
The Boschendal Estate near Franschhoek, South Africa, was established in 1685. The Dutch East India Company granted Jean le Long, who was fleeing from religious persecution in Europe, title to the estate. The Manor House, where you can get a personalized wine tasting with their connoisseur, was built in 1812 by Paul de Villiers, who was the third owner of the estate. He planted a beautiful orchard near the grape fields, as well as started a farm, all of which are open for touring today. If you are looking for a guided wine tasting experience, The Cellar Door tour is beautiful and unique. Upon opening the doors of the cellar, you feel immediately transported back to the 1600s. In particular, try sampling the vintage 2009 Bordenchal 1685 Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon and their Jean Garde Chardonnay.
Chateau La Nerthe, France
The history of who planted the first vineyards at Chateau La Nerthe, France, is shrouded in mystery. Historical documents dating from 1560, show that this vineyard was already in existence then. The large chateau was built in 1736. This estate is one of the first in the world to bottle its wine and the first in France to export its wine to other countries. From 1870 to 1941, the estate belonged to the Joseph Ducos family. Organic farming techniques are used to raise the 90 hectares of the 13 varieties of grapes allowed to be grown in this region. Some of the best wines produced by Chateau La Nerthe is La Nerthe Cuvee Cadettes, which is made up of 34% Grenache, 33% Syrah and 33% Mourvedre that is aged in French oak barrels. You can visit this estate and sample their outstanding red and white wines, but you must make it a point to ask for their cadettes as they are sold out in most markets. If you love French and European cuisine, you will find that the Hostellerie Chateau des Fines Roches Restaurant is magnefique!
Casa Madero, Mexico
Casa Madero is the oldest wine-growing facility in the Americas, and this estate located near Parras de la Fuente, Mexico, was established in 1597 by Don Lorenza Garcia. You have the option to take a horseback or carriage ride into the vineyards or go on a walking tour. The wine cellar is open daily for wine tastings. The grapes grown in the Valley of Parras include chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, shiraz and cabernet franc that are produced using a unique underground irrigation system to stop the water from evaporating as quickly in the Mexican summer heat. Grapes are picked in the early morning so that they stay cooler. One wine that you will want to try from this estate is the 2015 Casa Madero Shiraz. This estate wanted to get it right, so they even imported a winemaker from Australia to oversee its production. There is a restaurant on site at the Casa Madero, but there are several nearby, including La Jaf and El Meson De Don Evaristo.
Codorníu Winery, Spain
Codorníu is the oldest producer of Cava in Spain, and it is the oldest family-run business in the country. This estate was well-established by the mid-16th century, and the cellars were added between 1895 and 1915. The company owns over 3,000 hectares of vineyards, which makes it the largest vineyard owner in Europe. The cellars at this estate were declared a National Artistic Historical Monument by King Don Juan Carlos I as a key example of Catalan Modernism. You can participate in many wine tastings at Codorníu, as well as eat lunch and tour the Codorníu Museum, which is filled with vintage and antique winemaking equipment. You may want to sample the Anna Blanc de Blanc Reserva that is made up of 70% chardonnay grapes along with a mixture of Macabeo, xarel-lo, and parellada grapes or the 2013 Ars Collecta Jaume Codorníu that is made up of 40 percent chardonnay, 40 percent pinot noir, and 20 percent Xarel-lo grapes.
Taking a visit behind any of these wine cellar doors is a real treat that you will want to add to your bucket list. Pick one and start your world tour of some of the most beautiful and historical wineries that ever existed.