20 Dec 2013
Somehow, one day just doesn’t seem enough to celebrate getting married.
It might be tricky to persuade your guests to keep raising their glasses and
toasting the happy couple – but I, for one, could happily stretch the
celebrations out, keeping the champagne flowing for days…
…so a wine-tasting honeymoon to a country famous for its vineyards? I’d
say cheers to that!
The largest wine producer in the world, French wine traces its history
back over 2,500 years. You could head to Bordeaux where the tourist office has
tips on creating your own wine-tasting route in vineyards set around fairy-tale
chateaux or in the city itself. Or start in Champagne, small enough to cram in
several wineries every day, so perfect to combine with a stay in nearby Paris.
When to go? May/June or
September/October is the best time – you should have good weather and you’ll
get to see the harvest in the autumn. Just check the vineyards are still open
Image credited to Atout France Michel Angot
Fly into Cape Town and the winelands are right on your doorstep – then
you’re spoiled for choice. A few of my favourites are Fairview in Paarl, whose
labels include Goats Do Roam (along with matching goats’ cheese) or Boschendal
in Franschoek, where you can sip through the range on a lovely outdoor terrace.
Stellenbosch has so many producers you can download whole routes just for that
When to go: Ideal for winter
weddings with the Cape’s warmest months between October and April – harvest time
Image credited to South Africa Tourism
California gets most of the attention, but the classic trail through
Napa Valley isn’t the only option for a wine-tasting honeymoon. Washington State
in the far north-west has nearly 700 wineries, many within a short drive of
Seattle, or head to the stunning scenery of the Olympic Peninsula to see a
temperate rainforest between sips. New York State has five different wine
regions and you can work a trip to the Big Apple into your itinerary.
When to go: The main harvest takes
place in September/October, when you’ll get the highest temperatures in
California but there’s something to try year-round.
Image credited to Andy Simonds Tourism WA
Wherever you are on New Zealand’s two islands, you shouldn’t be too far
from a winery as they stretch almost the entire length of the country. The
biggest are Marlborough, at the top of the South Island, and Hawke’s Bay, in
the east of the North Island, but there are around 100 vineyards and wineries
around Auckland alone so it’s easy to combine a city and sipping trip.
When to go: Most wineries,
especially the bigger ones, are open year-round, while the harvest takes place
from February to April, also one of the best times to visit.
Images credited to Ian Trafford Tourism New Zealand (top and middle), Chris McLennan Tourism New Zealand (bottom)
With a climate that’s been described as part-way between California and
France, Chile is a great place for wine-lovers with some unique grapes and some
spectacular mountain scenery. The Maipo Valley is one of the traditional spots
for tastings, although Casablanca is another great region to try, with the city
of Valparaiso worth a visit on its own.
When to go: The main harvest season
runs from February to April, with some grapes being picked in May.
Images credited to Tourismo Chile
If you're interested in a wine-tasting style honeymoon then why not visit the honeymoon section on hitched.co.uk today to be inspired.