Anyone who’s ever been the dedicated driver at a winery tour will be well-versed in the delights of the vineyard hotel. Forget a few rooms tacked on to a commercial estate – the latest openings offer stylish lodgings alongside vinotherapy spas, in-house wine academies and bottles of the good stuff. As we hit the start of the grape harvest, we’re raising a glass to a trio of the hottest new hotels at home and away.
Les Sources de Cheverny
Loire Vallery, France
When Alice and Jérôme Tourbier opened Les Sources de Caudalie in Bordeaux in 1999, its revelatory vinotherapy spa helped usher in a new kind of vineyard hotel. With sister estate Les Sources de Cheverny, the hope will be to replicate that success in another prestigious French winemaking region: the Loire Valley.
This, of course, is châteaux country, and the hotel has a fine 18th-century example to call home, plus a village-like estate masterminded by architect Yves Collet. Design studio Be-Poles has preserved all of the historical heft but none of the fustiness, with flea-market furniture and walls painted in mossy green, while farm buildings house more rooms and the old storehouse a restaurant. That’s where you’ll find a bottle of house La Grand’ Vigne, made by a local organic winemaker, though it’s a waiting game until their own vines of white Romorantin grape come to fruition.
‘It was important for us to revive a winemaking activity that was once present at Château du Breuil, whose former cellars now house our auberge,’ says Alice. From around £166 per night. sources-cheverny.com
Casa di Langa
When it comes to wine, starry Tuscany tends to eclipse Italy’s northern Piedmont region. But with the crown comes the crowds, which makes the latter an appealing alternative. So, too, does this new retreat, which lies on the border of UNESCO World Heritage site Langhe-Roero and Monferrato, revered for its winemaking heritage and prized white truffles.
The 39 muted rooms and suites offer sleek Italian design, with furniture by Cassina, B&B Italia, De Padova and Meridiani, and there’s plenty of local stone and raw plaster. But Casa di Langa has a few more tricks up its sleeve. The buildings, inspired by the area’s vernacular architecture, are constructed with heat-storing adobe bricks, and further eco practices include solar panels and using recycled water for the vines.
The wine academy, certified by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, will prove persuasive for budding oenophiles, while the less studious can sign up for a Vespa tour of the vineyards. From around £373 per night. preferredhotels.com
The Pig in the South Downs
West Sussex, UK
It’s been just over a decade since the original Pig opened in the New Forest, and this chain of rustic-chic retreats has kept to a pacy schedule ever since.
Set high on the South Downs in pretty Madehurst village, its latest outpost maintains focus on epicurean delights – the two-acre kitchen garden is the largest so far – including the very first Pig vineyard.
A hotspot for British viticulture, the area’s chalky subsoil and elevation offer agreeable conditions for some 4,000 vines of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, thus fulfilling a long-held ambition for founder Robin Hutson. Opens September, from £155 per night. thepighotel.com