The tradition of winemaking goes back centuries, if not millennia, in Tuscany. Castel Monastero
is located in the province of Siena, just outside the medieval town. The region is known for its Chianti and Montalcino varietals and the hotel regularly arranges visits within the Chianti region. In addition to sampling the famed red wine, guests love to wander through such charming hilltop towns as Greve, with a gelato in hand. The 11th-century castle boasts cozy rooms, suites and stand-alone villas in the beautifully manicured grounds.
Oporto is Portugal's second-largest city and home to majestic architecture and meandering streets. The quirky town is rich in charm and attracts those exploring Iberia, especially popular with oenophiles. Portuguese wine is experiencing a Renaissance moment with the rising popularity of Vinho Verde, a slightly bubbly wine that is made from young grapes. Nearby Vila Nova de Gaia is home to many port-wine lodges, which hold tasting rooms and are the storage facilities for aging tanks of the wine. The centrally located Porto Palacio Congress Hotel & Spa
is the ideal hub for a visit of the northern section of Portugal. Design scheme is contemporary and sleek, and views—especially from the suites—extend across the city.
Hidden Gem - Bulgaria:
Long a significant producer, Bulgaria has exported little wine over the last couple decades, but should not be overlooked by wine lovers today. The majority of vineyards are located on the Black Sea, which allows for an ecosystem that brings mild harvest seasons, ideal for varietals such as Gewürztraminer and Riesling. The southwestern part of the country is also home to excellent wineries that focus on Shiroka Melnishka Loza, a Bulgarian specialty. The luxurious Kempinski Hotel Grand Arena
is located in Bansko, a wintertime skiing destination that turns into a lush green countryside escape during the summer.