The best wine hotels in France

Not short of a perfectly aged vintage or two, France and its established wine regions – from Provence to the Riviera, with a celebratory interlude in Champagne – are more than worthy of a visit. Taste your wine right on the spot it was made, moments from the sprawling vineyard where it was harvested. Some properties even host their own lodgings, making for a relaxing retreat in nature armed with tasters of each château’s finest. Choose right and you could also be within walking distance from a Michelin-starred restaurant or an out-of-doors adventure trail. We’ve made it easier for you to find the right spot with our rundown of the top 10 hotels for wine lovers countrywide.

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Chateau de Berne Hotel Spa Cellars | Photo: Terry Clement

Peruse your wine map of France and you’ll soon see that central and southern France bear the majority of recognizable names known for producing much of the best wine from France. There’s Bordeaux to the southwest of the country, Loire Valley to the west, Burgundy, Jura and Savoy to the east, while the Rhône Valley, Provence and Languedoc-Rousillon languish on the Mediterranean coast down south. Champagne meanwhile stays aloft of the rest, slightly northeast of Paris. If you’re not looking for bubbles, Bordeaux, Provence and the Rhône Valley are primarily red regions, though warm Provence also offers a fair few rosé varieties. Languedoc then is known for its cheaper bulk-made wines (still divine, mind you!) while the Loire Valley does it all; white, sparkling and sweet.

1. Château du Tertre (Bordeaux)

Set within the Haut-Medoc area in the wider France wine country region of Bordeaux for over a thousand years, Château du Tertre remains unchanged since its classification as a Grand Cru vineyard back in 1855 (Grand Cru being the highest classification of the best France wine labels). Enter onto the 52-hectare grounds and step back in time, marvelling at the vast estate and its noble history upon which elevated Margaux vines bask in sunshine. Amongst it all, the Château du Tertre’s bed and breakfast, with a garden and terrace for slow afternoons between tours and tastings, where you can learn of the château’s 18-month, oak-ageing process that creates well-rounded Merlot, rich Cabernet Franc and aromatic Petit Verdot.

Photo: Cottonbro

Bordeaux, France | Photo: Arpad Czapp

2. Château St Pierre de Serjac (Languedoc-Roussillon)

Château St Pierre de Serjac meanwhile lies in the coastal wine region of Languedoc, in the small commune of Puissalicon. Rural in an attentively manicured type of way, the Château St Pierre de Serjac allows guests to unwind on 200-acres of land centred by an elegant manor estate that comes equipped with self-catering suites, a salon bar, and BBQ area. While the huge heated pool that fronts the property can keep guests amused in warm weather, other outdoor activities such as biking, walking, tennis and boules are all available on the grounds and woodlands surrounding.

Photo: Château St Pierre de Serjac

3. Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa (Provence)

Our first mention in Provence is Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa, a stunning French chateau settled in the lavender-scented hills of Lubéron Regional Nature Park. Five stars all the way, Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa boasts an award-winning spa, three restaurants and a bar, all in gazing distance of the property’s Aureto vineyard, 300-year-old olive groves and white rose patch. If the helipad intimidates your wallet, get around the estate by golf buggy, renting a bicycle for easy rides to hilltop villages such as Roussillon, Lacoste and Bonnieux for a taste of Provence culture at large.

Photo: Château Les Oliviers de Salettes

4. Domaine de Fontenille (Provence)

A familial offering in Provence is the Domaine de Fontenille, a 19-room luxury hotel that feels like home thanks to its classicist styles set within a 17th-century manor. On the outside, 100-year-old oaks encircle vast grounds, triangulating the space between the pretty Lubéron villages of Bonnieux, Lacoste and Lourmarin. As well as tours of its 35-hectare organic French vineyard and boutique wine cellar, the Domaine de Fontenille can also acquaint guests with an outdoor yoga space, sun terraces overlooking the gardens and jazz concerts on the lawn in summer. Nearby, full immersion into Provencal lifestyles is offered with stints of truffle hunting and donkey sanctuary visits before returning for Michelin-starred meals at La Cuisine d’Amélie.

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5. Château de Berne Hotel Spa Cellars (Provence)

More 5-star hotel hunting in Provence alerts us to the 500-hectare Château de Berne Hotel Spa Cellars, wowing visitors to the region with its picture-perfect estate, Michelin-starred restaurant and tranquil surrounds just one hour from St Tropez. Though the beaches certainly hold their allure, there’s plenty to do in the verdant countryside surrounding the chateau, including hiking, cycling and quad-biking adventures in the Haut-Var hills and water sports in Lac de Sainte Croix. Onsite meanwhile, pétanque, spa treatments and wine tours await in between relaxing moments exploring the Zen garden, 18th-century castle and old-school library. Experience a longer vacation in the region with our 5-day Provence itinerary.

Château de Berne Hotel Spa Cellars | Photo: droneyourproperty

Photo: Château de Berne Hotel Spa Cellars

6. Village & Château Castigno - Wine Hotel Spa & Resort (Assignan)

The next offering takes guests back to a world without internet connection, allowing full immersion in the Saint Chinian wine region of Languedoc. This is Village & Château Castigno – Wine Hotel Spa & Resort, a luxury property build upon an entire village in Assignan. The beaches of the south coast are just an hours’ drive away, but for shorter distances, a two-wheeler will suit (motorized or non), allowing exploration to the neighbouring village of Roquebrun. Jeep or helicopter rides around the vineyards are also on offer, with additional daily activities of cookery and pottery classes, wine tasting and swimming before dinner at any of the village’s three restaurants; La Petite Table for light locally sourced dishes and breakfasts, La Table for larger spreads and even a Thai restaurant for authentic Asian fare.

Photo: Village & Château Castigno, Wine Hotel Spa

Photo: Village & Château Castigno, Wine Hotel Spa

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The winery on which the property is based – Château Smith Haut Lafitte – is some 600 years old, its pristinely maintained vines and ivy-covered château blending seamlessly with the newly reclaimed stone and timber lodging next door.

7. Les Sources de Caudalie (Bordeaux-Martillac)

Having a huge role to play in the rise of wine tourism, Les Sources de Caudalie has lured international wine lovers to its grounds for decades. Indeed, the winery on which the property is based – Château Smith Haut Lafitte – is some 600 years old, its pristinely maintained vines and ivy-covered château blending seamlessly with the newly reclaimed stone and timber lodging next door. Within the new build, guests of Les Sources de Caudalie can get a pampering at one of the vinothérapie spa’s 20 treatment rooms, hopping between the indoor and outdoor pools, steam room and hot tub before dressing up for locally-sourced French fare from two-time Michelin star chef Nicolas Masse at La Grand’ Vigne.

Photo: Les Sources de Caudalie

8. Château Les Oliviers de Salette (Rhône)

Another of the favoured wine regions in France is the Rhône Valley and welcoming guests to the region in style is Château Les Oliviers de Salette, based in Drome on the border to Provence. The castle comes kitted out with a lengthy outdoor pool and luxury wellness centre halfway between Lyon and Marseille (two hours’ drive from either city), making it primed for romantic country retreats. The closest towns are Grignan and Montélimar, both packed with history and friendly locals, though stay on site for a blissful break at the spa, where you’ll find a sauna, hammam and outdoor jacuzzi. Other facilities at the castle include a Zen garden, two restaurants and a panoramic terrace overlooking the manicured lawns, meadows and woodlands beyond, all the way south to the St Maurice cliffs and east to the Pré-Alpes.

Photo: Château Les Oliviers de Salettes

Photo: Château Les Oliviers de Salettes

9. La Chartreuse du Bignac (Dordogne)

Cradle of cuisine and home to some of the best French vineyards, the Dordogne – set between the Loire Valley and the Pyrenees – is a spot you don’t want to miss. La Chartreuse du Bignac is a fine place to stay in the Dordogne region, a site that takes full advantage of its charming natural surrounds and cottage lifestyle not far from both Monbazillac and Bergerac. Choose a room in the main 17th-century property or opt for a full cottage with 360-degree views of the vineyard and woodlands, with all guests coming together at the host’s dining table each night for homely gastronomy at its finest. Roam the 12-hectare estate as you wish – handpicking apples, herbs and pool loungers, or entertaining yourself in the library, home cinema or wine bar – venturing out by day to row on the lake, hike in the hills and motor down country lanes with not a care in the world.

10. Château des Briottières (Loire)

The Loire Valley comes primarily known for its castles and medieval settlements, but the region also happens to be among the best wine regions France has to offer, boosted by its proximity to myriad heritage towns. While staying in the region, consider Château des Briottières, an 18th-century, family-run property north of Angers offering lodgings for families, couples and poets alike in convenient reach of both Ile d’Yeu and Ile de Ré. Though the region is popular among road trippers, the Château des Briottières estate comes perfectly peaceful amongst pristine parkland. There’s much to do in the area, including a visit to the French Renaissance Chateau du Plessis-Bourré with its fortifications, courtyard and double drawbridges, though ensure to make it home for dinner paired with a fabulous selection of wines in the grand dining room.

Photo: Anna Kaminova

Photo: Cottonbro

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Chateau de Berne Hotel Spa Cellars | Photo: Herve Fabre

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