Holidays Travel

3 of the best vineyards in the world – and why you should visit them

Bodegas de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal, Rioja, Spain was voted second in the World’s Best Vineyards 2023 (World’s Best Vineyards/PA)
Bodegas de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal, Rioja, Spain was voted second in the World’s Best Vineyards 2023 (World’s Best Vineyards/PA) Bodegas de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal, Rioja, Spain was voted second in the World’s Best Vineyards 2023 (World’s Best Vineyards/PA)

The Oscars of the wine industry, the World’s Best Vineyards 2023 has been revealed and the top 50 wineries are a wonderland for wine lovers.

An extensive and elite roll call of the very best in wine tourism, the list champions must-visit cellars across the globe, highlighting incredible experiences on offer – and of course, world class wines.

The ceremony took place in Spain’s Rioja wine region, and we’ve put the spotlight on three vineyards in the top five to fire your imagination and thirst…

1. Catena Zapata, Mendoza, Argentina

In the foothills of the Andes Mountains, Catena Zapata was voted number one in the World’s Best Vineyards Awards.

Known as South America’s Grand Cru, the striking pyramid-shaped winery was inspired by Mayan temples. With three tours on offer, a highlight is the Blending Games experience where you can turn your hand to being a winemaker for the day – and create something unique with your glass of malbec and cabernet sauvignon.

2. Bodegas Marqués de Riscal, Rioja, Spain

You can imagine the wild applause when Bodegas Marqués de Riscal was voted the top vineyard in Europe – and number two on the list.

The Frank Gehry-designed pink and gold titanium-roofed building – inspired by the wines of the region – is a futuristic architectural feat in itself, before you’ve even stepped foot in the Michelin starred Restaurante Marqués de Riscal.

The wines are for the most part tempranillo temptresses, with some ravishing rosés to pique your interest. Order an old vintage of Riscal and the sommelier will open the bottle with a pair of heated tongs – quite the spectacle.

3. Creation, Walker Bay, South Africa

Taking the number four spot and named overall African winner, Creation in Walker Bay is more a wine safari destination than cellar door. On a visit there, you’re encouraged to explore the showstopping scenery with cycling safaris and hiking across the magnificent estate.

A highlight must surely be an overnight stay in a self-catering cottage made from eucalyptus timber with epic views across Hemel-en-Aarde valley which translates as ‘heaven and earth.’ With a fully-stocked wine cellar, braii outdoor fireplace and binoculars for watching wildlife (including big cats), it must taste and feel like heaven on earth.