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Decanter’s Dream Destination: One&Only Portonovi, Herceg Novi, Montenegro

Every month Decanter selects a must-visit destination for wine travellers. This month Julie Sheppard recommends taking a trip to One&Only Portonovi in Herceg Novi, Montenegro.

Located at the entrance of Boka Bay on Montenegro’s stunning Adriatic coast, One&Only Portonovi is a new luxury hotel that makes a great base for anyone looking to explore local Montenegrin wines.

Head sommelier Rafaela Pons has curated a full programme of wine experiences. ‘Montenegro is small, yet extremely diverse. The same goes for its wines, which are extremely rich, crafted with love, dedication and attention,’ says Pons.

The ‘Wine and Dine’ experience (2.5 hours/€125pp) includes a visit to meet the owners of local winery Savina, with wine tastings and a chance to sample traditional Montenegrin cuisine. Back at the resort Pons can take guests on a ‘Journey through Wines’ (90 minutes/€45pp), a private tasting in the resort’s dedicated Wine Room that explores a selection of native wines.

Wine cellar with display cabinets full of wine bottles

The Wine Cellar at One&Only Portonovi

‘Montenegro’s strong suits are Cabernet Sauvignon and the indigenous varietal Vranac – a red grape that, in the right hands, produces a full body and complex nose like a Cabernet Sauvignon-Tempranillo blend,’ explains Pons. ‘The 2016 Vranac Reserve by Sjekloca, a tiny family-owned winery southeast of Portonovi, also scrubs up very well. Among the sweet wines, guests can discover Zizak, an indigenous white varietal now being revived by Montenegrin growers including the award-winning winery Savina, not far from the resort.’

The One&Only Portonovi concierge team can organise private day trips to Savina and other Montenegrin wineries such as Kopitovic and Plantaze. Guests can also order bespoke food and wine pairing dinners.

The resort’s three restaurants include contemporary Japanese eatery Tapasake Club and La Veranda, which offers fresh, homestyle Montenegrin cuisine. At Sabia by Giorgio Locatelli the Michelin-star chef has created a menu of seasonal Italian dishes and boasts a wood-fired pizza oven.

Three sun loungers next to a swimming pool

Relax at one of the resort’s six swimming pools

When you aren’t eating and drinking, you can go sailing, visit picturesque local towns such as Budva, or spend an afternoon wandering the tree-lined streets of Podgorica, Montenegro’s capital.

If you’re feeling energetic, trek the limestone peaks of Tara River Canyon in Durmitor National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Or simply relax by one of the hotel’s six pools or in the tranquil Chenot Espace spa.

One&Only Portonovi Chenot Espace spa

The relaxing Chenot Espace Spa

Guests can choose from accommodation in stylish rooms, suites and private villas with their own beach and jetty. There’s plenty of space to moor your superyacht too…

For more information, visit oneandonlyresorts.com/portonovi

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