the world’s best vineyards to visit, ranked
Photo from Unsplash
With the world slowly beginning to open up again, we’ve been working hard on our travel bucket lists – and on the top of those lists are some of the world’s best vineyards.
If you’re a wine-lover (I mean, who isn’t?) Whether it be red, white, rosé or sparkling – what seem like miles and miles of picturesque vines are usually accompanied by the equally stunning architecture of the wineries, making vineyards the perfect stop-off on your next adventure.
But which one should you visit first?
We’ve taken a look at some of the most well-renowned vineyards from around the world and ranked them on a variety of different factors;
- Year Established
- Size (Hectares)
- Distance To Nearest City
- Wine Selection (Red, White, Rose, Sparkling)
- Tour Cost
- Cheapest Bottle In The UK
- Google Review Score
- Accommodation Attached?
- Number of Instagram Hashtags
Bodegas del Herederos del Marques de Riscal topped the scoreboard with 71.6 out of 90, the Spanish vineyard is based in Elciego, and whilst not being one of the oldest vineyards on our list – it has still been in the winemaking business for over 150 years and does have the biggest vineyards we recorded, at around 985 hectares.
Herederos del Marques de Riscal, also well known for its hotel Hotel Marqués de Riscal, A Luxury Collection Hotel is described as the ‘jewel’ of the Marriott International chain. The luxury accommodation was designed by Frank O. Gehry, who is also known for designing the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
Other top vineyards included Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, which scored 58.4 – ranking highly on its prestigious age – being in business since the 14th century, and only being a short drive away from the famous city of Bordeaux in France.
Opus One Winery found itself at the bottom of our rankings, the winery, which can be found in Oakville, California, was founded in 1978 and only has 55 hectares of vineyards. Despite being the equivalent of approximately 77 football pitches, this is still considerably smaller than some of the other vineyards in the rankings.
BEST FOR BUDGET
Bodega Bouza, based in Uruguay, came top of the bunch – pun intended – for the budget. It was the only vineyard we found offering free tours around their vineyards. The winery is one of the youngest on our list – only established in 2000, but still scored relatively highly in the overall rankings despite this.
Our overall top scorer, Marques de Riscal is also pretty affordable – their cheapest tour will only set you back around £16.00 and includes a visit to their winery and vineyards, alongside a tasting of their Marqués de Riscal Verdejo, Arienzo de Marqués de Riscal and Marqués de Riscal Reserva accompanied by chorizo and Rioja sausage – delightful.
The most expensive tour is of Australia’s Henschke – their ‘Hill of Grace’ experience costs around £160, featuring access to their famous Hill of Grace vineyard, which is home to over 150 years of winemaking, their winery and a private tasting.
Since travel to certain destinations is still off-limits, we also took a look at how much the cheapest bottle of wine from each company was to buy online.
A half bottle (375ml) of Montes’ Cabernet Sauvignon will only set you back around £4.99 if you fancy a taster, whilst a full-size bottle of their Sauvignon Blanc retails for around £9.50. Chateau d’Yquem has the most expensive bottle, with the cheapest we found available for shipping to the UK starting at approximately £260 per bottle for their prestigious vintage white wine.
BEST FOR RED, WHITE, ROSÉ, SPARKLING WINE LOVERS
We found that six of the vineyards we looked at offered red, white, rosé and sparkling wines, with the highest rated being Argentina’s Bodegas Salentein, which scored 60 out of 90. The company owns more than 121 acres of land dedicated to its vineyards and surrounded by the Andes.
23% of the vineyards we looked at specialised in only one type of wine. Besides Champagne Taittinger and Champagne Billecart Salmon, who produce Champagne, 10% of the vineyards produced solely red wine, whilst only 7% produced solely white.
If you’re red wine’s number one fan, you might want to add D’arenberg to your bucket list as their vineyard is home to more than 40 different bottles of their esteemed red wine. You are bound to find one you like here – red wine lover or otherwise.
More of a white wine connoisseur? Then Domane Wachau in Austria or Weingut Dr. Loosen in Germany are your best options – you could even do both if you fancied the 9-hour drive road trip!
NEAREST CITIES, MAPPED
Vineyards are both perfect for multiple-night getaways and day trips. However, many vineyards are out in the countryside or up in the hills – so which vineyards are best if you are looking for a mini-break to explore the nearby towns?
Champagne Tattinger’s winery is only 2.3km away by car from Reims, one of France’s biggest cities.
Another famous French vineyard, Chateau Pichon Baron is located only 2.3km away from Paulliac, in southwestern France – which is only a 5-minute drive, or a 36-minute walk if you fancy a wander into town.
Australian vineyard company, Penfolds, hails itself as being one of the world’s first and few ‘urban single vineyards’ out there. The Magill Estate, Penfold’s first vineyard, sits only 8km out of Adelaide.
If you are looking for a secluded weekend getaway amongst the vines, Weingut Dr. Loosen is located 108km from Mainz in Germany and has onsite accommodation. Overlooking the vineyards and the Moselle river – a double room in Dr. Loosen’s new guest house will set you back around £120 and is possible to book for 2 nights or more.
So whether you are looking for a vineyard-city break or you’re on a mission to find your favourite red wine in the world, you have your pick of the very best bunch with these incredible vineyards.
Data was collected primarily using desk research. The vineyards were taken from World’s Best Vineyards 2020 list, taking 30 of the top vineyards to rank on 9 different factors.
- Year Established – Found through desk research, primarily from the official website or reputable news source/website if not available.
- Size (Hectares) – Found through desk research, primarily from the official website or reputable news source/website if not available.
- Distance To Nearest City – By using Google Maps, we found the closest city to the vineyard and took down the distance (KM) of the fastest recommended route.
- Wine Selection (Red, White, Rosé, Sparkling) – Found through desk research, primarily from the official website or reputable news source/website if not available.
- Tour Cost – Found through desk research, primarily from the official website or reputable news source/website if not available, the most affordable third-party tour was recorded.
- Cheapest Bottle In The UK – Used Google Shopping to find the cheapest bottle available from a UK-based distributor, those who didn’t have product available in the UK were marked as 0.
- Google Review Score – Taken from Google Reviews
- Accommodation Attached? – Found through desk research, primarily from the official website
- Number of Instagram Hashtags – Found using Instagram