Could 2019 be the year to leave the office job behind and head for the vine-covered hills? Find your perfect wine-estate escape, from fairytale châteaux to boutique vineyards…
The international property section on Country Life features some of the most sort after wineries and vineyards in the world. What better way to start the new year, than with a vineyard purchase! Here are Decanter’s selection of vineyards for sale, focusing on information about the wine areas around each property.
Luxury wine estates
Set in one of the world’s most prestigious wine regions, this Bordeaux estate offers all the grandeur of château living, alongside a working winery and vineyard.
It has been listed as a wine estate since 1720, but the château itself dates back to the 1600s. Today, the winemaking facilities are fully functioning and there are 41ha of classified vineyards, sold under Côtes de Bordeaux AOC, Bordeaux Rouge AOC and Bordeaux Blanc AOC.
These appellations account for some of France’s largest wine sales and the estate already exports to China, Hong Kong and Belgium. In addition, it’s a mere 35-minute drive to the city of Bordeaux, famous for its restaurant scene and its wine museum, Cité du Vin.
Portugal’s largest DOC, Vinho Verde, is famous for its zesty and refreshing dry white wines. This regal estate is in the district of Braga, close to the northern border with Spain.
Although the palace oozes with old-world opulence, the winery is modern and well equipped, housing stainless steel tanks as well as bottling and storage facilities.
There’s even an oenology lab, where winemakers can experiment with different wine blends and styles. The estate bottles wines under two different Vinho Verde brands.
Typical regional grape varieties are grown here, including Loureiro, Trajadura and Pedernã, aka Arinto. Vinho Verde wines are favoured for their high acidity and mineral, zesty or floral characteristics.
Take a break from modern life in a 15th-century Tuscan monastery, renovated for comfort and boasting its own winery.
Nestled in the rolling hills of southern Chianti, the property includes 30ha of land – half of which is under vine and classified as Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG.
Equipped with a temperature-controlled winery, barrel storage and bottling facilities; everything is in place for you to begin your new life as a Chianti wine producer.
An hour from beautiful and bustling Barcelona, this expansive estate could not be better placed for those who want to escape to wine country while keeping ties with city life.
Its vineyards are located in Penedès DO, the appellation where around 95% of Spain’s sparkling Cava wines are made.
Cava country’s international reputation for cheap, easy-drinking celebration wine is slowly being matched by its dedicated producers’ attention to making complex and cellar-worthy sparkling wines. In recent years they succeeded in securing a new single-vineyard classification to distinguish their premium wines, Cava de Paraje Calificado.
This estate has great potential for Cava production, with a grand underground cellar for storing barrels. Here, you can find your own perfect blend between Cava’s traditional sparkling wine grapes, Xarel-lo, Parellada and Macabeo.
Located on the western side of Chile’s Central Valley, Colchagua benefits from a more Mediterranean climate than neighbouring Cachapoal, with some ocean influences from the Pacific. Join the swelling ranks of ‘boutique vineyard’ owners in Colchagua with the purchase of this 31-hectare estate near the town of Lolol.
Colchagua is home to some of the biggest names in Chilean wine but it’s also defined by its community of ‘micro-producers’ who practice small-scale winemaking, according to Decanter expert Alistair Cooper MW.
The vineyards are designed for experimentation: nine different red and white varieties are divided into small sites on low-lying and higher-elevation zones.
Famed for its Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough is one of New Zealand’s top wine regions, accounting for more than 70% of total wine production.
Waitaria Bay Estate is located in Marlborough Sounds, characterised by semi-submerged coastal valleys that form a coastline of green hills and sandy inlets.
Marlborough’s climate is typically cool and dry with plenty of sun exposure — perfect for dry white wines that require high acidity. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris and Viognier vines are planted here, across 4.9ha of ocean-facing vineyards.
This small-scale estate is focused on organic winemaking and much of the vineyard work is carried out by hand.
The Malbec grape’s true home, Cahors, straddles the Lot river as it runs through Southwest France. Its wine reputation was built on making a darkly tannic vin noir, or black wine, made to cellar for decades.
However, modern winemakers in Cahors AOC cover a range of red wine styles, often blending Malbec with some Merlot or Tannat.
This fully operational and organically certified vineyard covers 8.5ha, with the possibility to expand into another 4.5ha. It’s currently planted with 70% Malbec and 30% Merlot vines.
The domaine is capable of producing 26,000 bottles per year; it has its own winemaking facilities, barrel storage and tasting area. The 14-room property was built in 1801 and has a swimming pool overlooking the vineyards.
For those looking for an up-and-coming wine region – Canada’s British Columbia has grown from strength to strength in recent years, garnering praise from top wine critics.
‘I have seldom encountered such beautiful scenery and such passionate viticulturists and winemakers, while tasting wines of such encouraging quality,’ said Stephen Spurrier, after visiting the region in 2016.
Vancouver Island, off Canada’s western coast, is built into the southern slope of Mount Provost and has panoramic views of Cowichan Valley.
The total estate covers nearly 19ha and focuses on single-vineyard wines, including Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Average production is 6,500 cases but the cutting-edge winery can process more than double that.
Luberon is the Rhône valley’s southernmost wine appellation, defined by a mild Mediterranean climate and scenic hilltop towns.
There is ‘a high proportion of individual growers’, she added, with many producers relying on the local markets for trade.
Find your own small piece of Provençal heaven in this 19th-century country manor house, complete with its own small vineyard — perfect for a wine hobbyist.
Sicily’s Mount Etna, the tallest volcano in Europe, is a key wine region of southern Italy. Its volcanic soils create rich and powerful wines, primarily reds known as Etna Rosso.
This estate is found on Etna’s northern slope, near the medieval town of Castiglione di Sicilia and not far from the vineyards of world-renowned producer, Planeta.
It has 3.5ha of DOC-classified vineyards, mainly planted with Nerello Mascalese, a native red wine variety. On average the vines produce 15 tonnes of grapes annually, which can be processed in the vast cellar.