21. Off the Beaten Track in Texas
A trip to Fredericksburg in Texas will leave you surprised.
Small town Texas may seem like an odd place to meet 10th-generation winemaker Constantin Richter
of Weingut Max Ferd
, but many Texans take pride in their German heritage. At a dinner held at luxury B&B Hoffman Haus (hoffmanhaus.com)
, hosted by local farm-to-table German bistro Otto’s, Richter is the star. It’s part of Otto’s commitment to wine, Texan or otherwise.
Fredericksburg is the heart of the Texas Hill Country wine community (texaswinetrail.com)
. Stroll the tasting rooms on Main Street, or head out to established cellar doors like William Chris Vineyards
; and by-appointment finds like Calais Winery
. Owner Benjamin Calais
, a Parisian engineer-turned-winemaker transplanted the urban winery from Deep Ellum in Dallas to a discreet wine bunker at Hye. MAX BREARLEY
➽ TIP: Fredericksburg is also famed for its peaches. Pick up a punnet or a hot cobbler.
22. Burgundy by Bicycle
It is nothing short of a spiritual experience cycling through the village of Côte de Beaune
, sampling some of the finest wines in the world (burgundybiketour.com)
. Begin by taking in breathtaking views of the mountains and villages below as you prepare to make your descent. As much about education as it is wine, the guides talk in detail about the people, history, climate and ancient terroir that has been nurtured over the centuries. Casually winding through the vineyards of Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, and Saint-Romain, you’ll sample chardonnay and pinot noir with the winemakers and their families. After lunch it’s back on your bike to meet more producers, then on to Beaune to discover wine bars, museums and world-class restaurants. JOSH MARTIN
➽ TIP: Take the full day tour and make the most of this extraordinary experience.
Explore Kimo Estate and beyond by helicopter.
23. Helicopter Above the Hilltops
Explore the wine regions of Hilltops and Tumbarumba in style with Kimo Estate’s Heli Vine to Wine Experience (kimoestate.com)
. Start your day waking up in one of Kimo Estate’s stunning Eco Huts, before your helicopter picks you up at your front door for a flight across the Tumut State Forest and Batlow Orchards. The experience includes a visit to local cellar doors Obsession Wines
and Courabyra Winery
, where you’ll be hosted for premium tastings and vineyard and winery tours. All this topped off with another scenic flight across three of the Snowy Mountain dams and back to your Kimo Estate Eco Hut for a well-earned rest. AMY NORTHCOTT
➽ TIP: Set those alarms early as sunrise at Kimo Estate is something not to be missed.
24. History in Langhorne
Bleasdale’s effortlessly designed cellar door.
is Australia’s best kept wine secret – rich in history and boasting a stellar range of varietal wines. Founded by Frank Potts in 1850, Bleasdale Wines (bleasdale.com.au)
is Langhorne Creek’s first winery and a must-visit destination. It’s one of my favourite cellar doors, effortlessly combining the tradition and history of the area with its wines. You can go at your own pace and take a self-guided tour of the cellar door and parts of the original winery, where you can read about Bleasdale and its winemaking style and even see the Old Press built in 1892. AMY NORTHCOTT
➽ TIP: Book in for the Beyond the Cellar Door tour to see parts of the winery not open to the public.
25. Cité du Champagne
Next time you are in Champagne, get off the beaten track in Aÿ
and visit one of its lesser-known destinations, Collet’s Cité du Champagne (citeduchampagnecolletcogevi.com)
. On offer is an intimate experience across La Maison COGEVI
– chalk caves, a vinotheque, a museum and the Villa Collet. Should you have more time, you can take an extended vineyard walk across 50 kilometres of dedicated trails.
Tours are available in English, with your own personal guide providing deep insight into the history of Champagne, the riots of Épernay 100 years ago and how bubbles are made. Rooms are specifically themed around the cuvées and you can see the relationship between Champagne, art, fashion and food demonstrated vividly. JOSH MARTIN
➽ TIP: This tour is a steal at €28, but for something more personal, try the private tour.
26. Natural Finland
Solstice Festival in Finland.
Some beautiful words have already been written about Solstice Festival (solsticefestival.fi)
but one thing has been left out. In amongst the Nordic nature at this intimate three-day June rave on the lip of the Arctic Circle, there’s a natural wine bar. It comes as no surprise as the festival is a new concept from the guys behind Post Bar (postbar.fi)
in Helsinki, one of the best clubs I’ve visited and played at this year. Solstice is the first of its kind, a hand-built festival in harmony with its environment, where electronic music and art come together under a sun that never sets and the wine is as wild and alive as the surroundings. BELLA SARRIS
➽ TIP: Book now for Solstice 2020.
27. Good Craic in Ireland
As far back as the Middle Ages monks have been making mead (honey wine). You can buy mead
in specialty Celtic stores or online, but drinking it in a medieval castle in Ireland feels much more authentic.Fifteenth-century Bunratty Castle (bunrattycastle.ie)
, in Ireland’s south west, is one of the country’s best preserved castles. The mead is consumed along with traditional medieval fair. FERGAL GLEESON
➽ TIP: You might just get locked in the dungeon and have to ‘sing for your supper’ to be released!
28. Canberra From Above
Helicopter in to Shaw Wines.
Take to the sky next time you’re in our capital city, with a helicopter flight to Canberra District favourite Shaw Wines (shawwines.com.au)
. Run by Canberra Helicopters (canberraheli.com.au)
, you’ll take the scenic route from the airport to spot Parliament House from above before flying into the gorgeous Canberra District wine region. Landing at the cellar door, your VIP treatment continues with a tour and tasting – and the sweetest greeting from cellar door dog, Indi, if you’re lucky! All this will be followed by a three-course meal at Shaw Wines’ Olleyville Restaurant
before being flown back into Canberra. AMY NORTHCOTT
➽ TIP: Try the 2019 Estate Riesling for a premium example of the region’s cool-climate riesling.
Frankland Estate winemaking team.
29. One of the Best in the West
While it may be a trek to get there, Frankland Estate (franklandestate.com.au)
is a winery to visit when in WA’s Great Southern. About four hours from Perth, the picturesque property and lush vineyards are in the middle of the hinterland. It’s a family affair, with Judi Cullam
and Barrie Smith
running the winery and vineyards alongside their children Hunter
. The family takes prides in operating their sustainable and certified organic property, where they express a love of the land through their wines. AMY NORTHCOTT
➽ TIP: The Isolation Ridge Riesling is a must-try!
Come for the wine, stay for the view at Derwent Estate.
30. A View to Fly For
It’s been a busy year for Southern Tassie favourite Derwent Estate (derwentestate.com.au)
with its cellar door undergoing renovations just in time for the summer rush. It still holds all its rustic charm, but now has new updates to the entrance, tasting room and verandah as well as the menu.
Next time you’re in the region, spend an afternoon on the verandah enjoying the picturesque views across the River Derwent with a platter of charcuterie and a bottle in hand. AMY NORTHCOTT
➽ TIP: Derwent Estate now takes bookings for lunch on the verandah, so be sure to secure your spot for that perfect view.