Sunday, March 20, 2022

7 chateau hotels in France’s vineyards

 There’s something special about drinking wine at its source. Maybe it’s the vine-covered landscape, the history, or the cultivation of the soil over thousands of years. Or perhaps it’s the character and stories of the wineries themselves – particularly in France, where winemaking regions are famous for their monumental vineyard chateaus, many of which have been converted into extravagant hotels.

Château de Valmer – La Croix-Valmer, France


Château de Valmer

To picture the scene at Château de Valmer, imagine palm groves, the smell of the sea, and a chilled glass of Côtes de Provence rosé. This seaside castle has everything you’d expect of a five-star resort – a spa, a private beach, and a Michelin-starred restaurant. When you’re done exploring the beach and countryside, you can stroll through vineyards, vegetable gardens, and ancient hilltop towns.

La Chartreuse du Bignac – Saint-Nexans, France

La Chartreuse du Bignac

La Chartreuse du Bignac

La Chartreuse du Bignac stands on a hill surrounded by a rolling landscape of plum trees and vines. It’s located in the heart of Bergerac, a region known for full-bodied reds and fruity whites. Head to the hotel’s on-site wine bar to sample some of the area’s finest vintages. A small library, stone fireplace, and vaulted 12th-century cellars add to the rustic elegance.

Château du Tertre – Arsac, France

Château du Tertre

Château du Tertre

Red wine-lovers rejoice – the vineyards of Margaux produce some of the best reds in Bordeaux. Overlooking this landscape is the stately Château du Tertre. It was built in 1865 but is still architecturally impressive, with its exposed beams and French oak ceilings. You can tour the wine cave and wander the grounds, taking in the beauty of the vines as you sample their local grape varieties.

Hostellerie du Château des Fines Roches – Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France

Hostellerie du Château, France

Hostellerie du Château, France

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a famous red beloved for its ripe juiciness, and there’s no better place to enjoy it than its hometown. Opening onto the local vineyards is the Château des Fines Roches. This 19th-century castle was once inhabited by the Marquis de Baroncelli and visited by many Provençal poets. Nowadays it’s a place for a wine-fueled relaxation while sunbathing, dining on the terrace, and swimming in a pool beneath turreted towers.

Château de Mercuès – Mercuès, France

Château de Mercuès

Château de Mercuès

The vineyard of Cahors is known for producing wines of a deep red hue made from Malbec grapes. Such a rich wine also has a rich history. The bishops of Cahors used to live in the Château de Mercuès in the 13th century, overseeing the vineyard. This same castle is now a four-star hotel, complete with a swimming pool bordered by cedar trees.

Domaine de Verchant Relais & Châteaux – Montpellier, France

Domaine de Verchant Relais & Châteaux – Montpellier, France

Domaine de Verchant Relais & Châteaux – Montpellier, France

The architecture of Domaine de Verchant Relais & Châteaux embodies the grandeur of southern France, with its 200-year-old white stone walls, orange tiled roof, and palm-tree-covered terraces. This impressive villa also houses a 10,000-bottle wine cellar. The region is known for crisp white wines, which perfectly complement the hotel’s Mediterranean food menu.

Château de Berne – Lorgues, France

Château de Berne – Lorgues, France

Château de Berne – Lorgues, France

Head down to the end of a narrow lane deep in the Provençal countryside, and you’ll find this magnificent 18th-century chateau. More specifically, this palatial stay is located in Lorgues, the oldest wine-growing region of Provence, famous for pale, dry rosés and spicy, full-flavored reds. In between wine tours and activities, you can enjoy the massive spa and Michelin-starred restaurant, go on walks through the olive groves, or rent a car to discover even more of the local area.

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