Full-bodied breaks across the world for wine lovers
Whether you’re a well-practised oenophile, or simply enjoy the occasional tipple at home, the best thing about vineyard tours is, of course, drinking the wine…
Taste the highlights of English wine… Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours’ extensive South Downs programme includes a new, two-night UK vineyard walking holiday – provisionally 5 to 7 October, from £499 per person. Experts lead you to the new sparkling wines of the Meon Valley and award-winning English wineries not open to public tastings.
The Scarlet Hotel, Mawgan Porth, in Cornwall, has launched its Naturally Into Wine break, running 14 to 15 December, from £305 per person. The weekend includes blind-tasting natural red, white and rosé wines, led by the hotel’s own wine specialist, Meeche Hudd, and local enthusiast Jen Morgan. In the evening, you will enjoy a four-course dinner with natural wines to complement each course.
Celebrating a special occasion? Sample the best French wines and cruise rivers and canals with Afloat in France, featuring Orient-Express’s five luxury péniche-hotels (barges… the food and wine are fantastic). The ultimate holiday for oenophiles is the six-night Burgundy cruise aboard Amaryllis, with a chance to taste the 33 Grand Cru wines. Visits to four familyowned vineyards not normally open to the public are included, with tastings and gourmet dinners. It’s not cheap – from £6,100 per person – but includes de luxe accommodation, meals, wines and tours.
0845-077 2222, www.orient-express.com
Grape Escapes wine tours offer a twonight Deluxe Champagne Weekend in France, from £389 per person; it includes Eurotunnel crossings, accommodation and VIP tours at Veuve Clicquot and Moët & Chandon. Visit a boutique Grand Cru Champagne House to see, first-hand, the fascinating Champagne-making process from vine to bottle; also a gourmet fourcourse lunch with Champagne and wines.
0845-643 0860, www.champagneescapes.com
For serious wine buffs, Fleewinter’s Winelands Experience is a seven-night, self-drive tour of South Africa, with guided excursions to famous wine regions, including Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Helderberg. The holiday, from £1,695 per person, includes hire car, extensive tours, four lunches with wine, tastings and return flights to Cape Town from Heathrow.
020-7112 0019, www.fleewinter.com
Finally, Discover The World offers a ninenight Boutique Wine Trail self-drive of both North and South Islands, New Zealand. The holiday costs from £2,574 per person and includes breakfasts, some lunches, return flights from Heathrow with Air New Zealand, and hire car. Allow time to explore the fabulous Central Otago region and its boutique wineries. And do pop in to Two Paddocks for a few glasses of pinot noir. The winery, in a glorious location, is owned by actor Sam Neill.
Move to the music Dine with Sir Bruce Forsyth on an eight-day ‘learn to salsa’ holiday in Puerto Rico with Western & Oriental (020- 7666 1214), 1 to 8 February 2013. It costs from £2,499 per person, including flights, accommodation at the El Conquistador Resort and Hilton Caribe San Juan, three two-hour salsa classes, sightseeing and gala dinner with Sir Bruce. www.wandotravel.com
London calling For 2012, The Landmark London Hotel (020-7631 8000) is offering a two-course meal with a glass of wine in its Twotwentytwo Restaurant & Bar for just £20.12. Dishes on offer include beef carpaccio with rocket and truffle oil, tagliatelle with wild mushroom and herbs and vanilla crème brûlée. www.landmarklondon.co.uk
Floral Jordan Cox & Kings’ (020-7873 5000) Botanical Tour of Jordan, 18 to 27 April 2013, will be led by garden and landscape designer Paul Hervey-Brookes. The 10 day/ nine-night tour costs from £2,195 per person, including flights from London. Sightseeing features Petra, Dibeen Forest, Dana Reserve, Wadi Rum and the Royal Botanic Gardens. www.coxandkings.co.uk
Daily tip from the lady archive
“HEAVEN forbid that we should go back to the days when beauty was under suspicion and plain girls were assumed to have angelic natures.”The Lady. With Prejudice. 28th April 1938