The 10 Best Wineries To Visit This Fall

The 10 Best Wineries To Visit This Fall

From Napa Valley to Portugal via England’s East Sussex, our founder Sebastian Schoellgen handpicks the wineries to bookmark this year. All Vivino-approved, this is the Who’s Who of biodynamic and organic wines…

/ Sebastian

One of the best wine regions in the world, the Alentejo is characterized by wild beaches and a landscape of oak trees, vines, olive groves, and orange orchards. With a history shaped by the Phoenicians, Romans, and Arabs, it’s also a fascinating culture to explore. L’AND Vineyards is located 45 minutes from Lisbon, with six hectares of both red and white grapes, including Touriga Nacional and Gouveio varieties. There are 30 suites and villas, designed by Márcio Kogan, as well as a gastronomic restaurant and Vinotherapie spa. Plus, the team can curate plenty of wine-focused experiences, such as visiting local vineyards, learning about biodynamic winemaking, and tasting regional wines.

Located in the Douro Valley’s Golden Triangle, Quinta da Côrte is unique in the traditional way it approaches viticulture: much of the work is still done by pickaxe, man, and mule. One of the oldest Quintas in the region, guests can stay at its Pierre Yovanovitch-designed Casa, which dates from the 19th century and is packed with characters handed down from previous owners. There are just eight rooms, where luxurious yet simple interiors are married with bathrooms decorated with traditional Portuguese tiles — plus views of the beautiful countryside. It’s a brilliant base for tasting your way through the Douro Valley.

Set in the Tramuntana mountains near Pollença — the very northern tip of Mallorca — this finca seamlessly blends traditional and innovative winemaking techniques. Surrounded by vineyards, the Can Axartell estate had fallen into disrepair until the 90s when its new owners set about recultivating its first vines. The new organic winery uses unique infrastructure to allow the ‘Metode Gravetat’, where grapes and wine can only be moved using gravity. You can visit the Finca to stroll among its vineyards, learn about its innovative method and taste the fruits of its labor: a rosé, two whites, and three reds.

Located in the heartland of Tuscany, Il Borro is set in a centuries-old hamlet in the Valdarno Valley, surrounded by more than 1000 hectares of land. Restored to its former glory in 1993, it eliminated all chemical products 20 years later and is now a shining example of organic winemaking in Italy. There is an elegant selection of suites and farmhouses for guests to stay in, as well as Viesca, a nearby estate. As well as taking an expertly-guided tour of the winery, make good use of the infinity pool and spa, too. Plus, we highly recommend booking into Osteria del Borro, its gourmet restaurant.

Castello di Ama is in the heart of Chianti Classico in Ama, a small village between Florence and Siena. The winery has 75 hectares under vine, spread across four vineyards named after their respective valleys: Bellavista, San Lorenzo, La Cassucia, and Montebuoni — and produces 320,000 bottles a year. Overnight guests can bed down in one of Villa Ricucci’s five suites, surrounded by antique furnishings, cozy corners, and views of the Chianti countryside. Room bookings include a tour and tasting at the Ama winery, and exploring the ancient village is much encouraged.

The Château La Coste wine estate is in Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, 20 minutes from beautiful Aix-en-Provence. Spanning 200 hectares, it has a winemaking tradition dating back to Roman times and which now boasts the ‘Organic Farming’ label. But it is about so much more than just the wine: Château La Coste is also part open-air museum and sculpture park, and part minimalist hotel via Villa La Coste. Make a reservation at Louison, the hotel’s signature restaurant which is helmed by three Michelin-starred chef Gérald Passedat. Stay for a few days to soak up the full experience.

A star of the Haut-Médoc wine region, the impressive Château Lanessan is known for producing Cru Classé-standard wines at Cru Bourgeois prices on its 85 hectares of vineyards. You can visit this wine estate for tours and tastings (by reservation), which is the oldest in Bordeaux and has been run by the Bouteiller family for eight generations. It also has a cosy cottage if you want to settle in for a proper stay.

Near the border of Hungary, you will find the self-sufficient Pannonian farm, Meinklang. In a family-run operation, there are three brothers involved, each specializing in an aspect of farming, from the animals to the vines. As well as organic wines using a ‘grapple’ technique, they also produce ancient grain beer at the farm. We recommend staying in Vienna, which is nearby — go for the Alstadt, in the city’s fashionable Boboville district.

A biodynamic vineyard in East Sussex, Tillingham has been making waves as the UK’s coolest vineyard ever since it opened. Set in 70 acres of rolling green countryside near the south coast, it’s not far from the medieval hilltop town of Rye and Camber Sands beach. It offers relaxed tours and tastings has an excellent restaurant and a pizza oven, as well as 11 design-led bedrooms in a stylishly renovated barn. Of course, you must not leave without buying a few bottles from the shop — we recommend Col, a stunning sparkler.

Run by husband and wife duo, Stephen and Denise Adams, Adamvs is a diminutive winery of just 10 vineyard blocks in California’s Napa Valley. Sitting on an 80-acre Howell Mountain property, it uses biodynamic, organic farming methods to produce small-batch wines. Tastings and tours are by appointment only (contact well ahead), and include a tour of the vineyard, meeting the farm animals and a locally-sourced cheese and charcuterie board.

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