Drink wine by the vines – France & Argentina

Drink wine by the vines – France & Argentina

What better way to ease into your honeymoon than by glugging on the best wine available?

For a short-haul honeymoon with extra fizz, pop champagne in Champagne. Base yourself at a regal retreat such as the Chateau d'Etoges, a 17th-century pile within a champagne vineyard and 18 acres of parkland (www.chateau-etoges.com).

"From here you can do day trips to champagne houses including Moët & Chandon; you can even go for a row in the chateau's moat," saysMark Hallett,MD of specialistsGrape Escapes (www.grapeescapes.net). Arrange a tasting in Hautvillers, the small village where Benedictine monk and early winemaking advocate Dom Pérignon lived and died. "We can arrange a private tour of the Dom Pérignon Champagne House (including a flute or two), which isn't usually available to the public," adds Hallett.

New World wine lovers should look to the vineyards of Mendoza, Argentina, where many bodegas are open for slurping and sleeping. At the swanky adobe villas of Cavas Wine Lodge (from US$1,975 per couple for a two-night package; www.cavaswinelodge.com) you can be scrubbed with crushed grapes in the fancy spa, then sit on your roof terrace to sip wine overlooking the vines.

Alternatively, charming Finca Adalgisa (from US$105; www.fincaadalgisa.com.ar) offers cookery lessons and fine, home-grown malbec.

TOP TIP

If you want a souvenir bottle of wine from the year of your marriage, you'll need to wait for that year's vintage to be released (usually eight to 18 months after vinification; at least three years for vintage champagne) - a good excuse to go back!

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