The Big Six: European wine hotels
With eye-catching design, this all-suite resort opened on the outskirts of Evora last year. Each of the chic rooms mixes natural slate and stone with whitewashed walls and rolling views of the Alentejo hills. Guests can create their own blend at the winery – complete with personalised labels – or indulge in tutored tasting sessions of L'And's 2009 Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca and Alicante Bouschet. There's also the chance to try regional pork and cheese dishes at the restaurant, or relax in the spa with "vinotherapy" treatments, using grape-based products.
L'And, Estrada Nacional 4, Herdade das Valadas, Evora, Alentejo, Portugal (00 351 266 242 400; l-andvineyards.com). Suites start at €170, including breakfast.
Conti di San Bonifacio, Italy
Conti di San Bonifacio's small vineyard has been producing five varities since 2004. At its heart is a farmhouse that has five refined guestrooms with creamy hues, distressed furniture and terracotta floors. Guests can relax by the pool with an aperitivo, widen their waistlines with a cooking course or explore nearby Grosseto with its Medici walls.
Conti di San Bonifacio, Localita Casteani 1, Gavorrano, Grosseto, Italy (00 39 34 0773 1873; disanbonifacio.com). Doubles from €250, B&B.
Loisium Sudsteiermark, Austria
This modern concoction of concrete and glass opened yesterday in the wine-producing region of Styria. As the second of Loisium's wine resorts (the first is in Langelois), it has high-spec rooms, a rooftop wine bar, two restaurants and a spa.
Loisium Sudsteiermark, Am Schlossberg 1a, Ehrenhausen, Austria (00 43 34 532 8800; loisium-suedsteiermark.at). Doubles €180, B&B.
This historic hotel has been in the Becker family for five generations. Located outside Trier – the oldest city in Germany – it has a Michelin-starred restaurant that serves traditionally-grown riesling and pinots from the family estate, along with local wines from the Mosel valley.
Becker's, Olewigerstrasse 206, Trier, Germany (00 49 651 938 080; beckers-trier.de). Doubles start at €170, including breakfast.
Hacienda Zorita, Spain
Set in the Duero Valley, this former monastery is now a 40-room hotel and working wine estate. Its vaulted Marqués de la Concordia cellar was built in honour of Christopher Columbus, who once stayed at the hacienda, and where crianza wine is aged in 1,450 oak barrels. The restaurant serves produce from the fertile valley plains; the shop sells cheeses and cured ham from the on-site organic farm.
Hacienda Zorita, Calle Carretera Ledesma, Valverdón, Salamanca, Spain (00 34 902 109 902; haciendas-espana.com). Doubles from €149, B&B.
Les Sources de Caudalie, France
This hotel boasts a series of traditional rooms on the Château Smith Haut Lafitte wine estate near Bordeaux. The pièce de résistance is the l'Ile aux Oiseaux suite – designed by Belgian fashion house Maison Martin Margiela – which stands above a lake with an all-white interior and vineyard views. There are two French restaurants, a cellar stocked with 16,000 bottles and a bar with leather armchairs for digestifs.
Les Sources de Caudalie, Chemin de Smith Haut Lafitte, Bordeaux, France (00 33 5 57 83 83 83; sources-caudalie.com). Doubles €200, room only.
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