14 Unique Winery Tours From Around The World

vineyard hot air balloon tour
vineyard hot air balloon tour - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

A huge part of the appeal of visiting a winery is being able to taste the wines on-site, often close to the vineyards that produced the grapes. Seeing the environment responsible for the wine in your glass really ties the whole experience together, especially if you can visit the cellar and see some of the winemaking facilities. While that's already a fun outing for any oenophile, some wineries take it up a notch and offer tours that transform the day into an unforgettable experience.

With wineries often located in regions with striking surroundings, it's no surprise that many organized visits highlight the features that make these locations one-of-a-kind. Whether viewing vineyards from up in the sky, pairing wine with creative elements, or showcasing the natural wonders that make up the landscapes, there are plenty of ways to expand your love of wine beyond the glass. Of course, you'll also get to taste the wine as you explore these unique winery tours from around the world.

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Hot Air Balloon Ride At Bodegas Muga (Haro, Spain)

Bodegas Muga hot air balloon
Bodegas Muga hot air balloon - Bodegas Muga/Facebook

Start your tour of Bodegas Muga in Haro, Spain with a bird's-eye view after being whisked off to a hot air balloon awaiting inflation. Along with a group of visitors, you'll assist in the pre-departure process before taking off above the vineyards and surrounding areas. For a premium price, opt for the private package and soar high with only your select group of guests.

Located in the region of Rioja, Bodegas Muga has no shortage of dazzling landscapes to view. Take in the rolling hills, plateaus, endless vineyards, and unforgettable beauty of one of Spain's most prized winemaking regions. Considering the lack of steering capacities, your point of arrival will be up to the whims of the wind and the hot air balloon. Nevertheless, once you're back on the ground you'll be transported to the winery for a tasting and optional guided tour. Tie the day together by sipping on top Rioja wines, made with native tempranillo, garnacha, mazuelo, graciano, macabeo, and malvasia grape varieties.

VR Winery Visit At Campo Alla Sughera (Bolgheri, Italy)

woman in vineyard with VR visor
woman in vineyard with VR visor - Campo alla Sughera/Facebook

Bolgheri is famous in Tuscany for being home to the region's prestigious Super Tuscan wines, primarily made with international rather than regional grape varieties. Now, Campo alla Sughera is introducing an immersive virtual reality experience that goes beyond viticultural innovation. Whereas some wineries offer the chance to take part in the laborious harvest, this tour provides insider knowledge without the backbreaking work.

Simply don a VR visor and witness the many stages of a vineyard and winery during harvest time, from hand-picking the juicy grapes on the vines to transferring them to the tanks in the cellar. Additionally, guests will be guided through the physical winery, cellar, and vineyards to see where the magic truly takes place. Finally, the tour ends with a tasting that includes four of Campo alla Sughera's top wines made with varieties like cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and merlot, offering visitors a peak experience from start to finish.

Icewine Experience At Inniskillin (Niagara, Canada)

ice wine bottle in snow
ice wine bottle in snow - inniskillinwines/Instagram

Although it's not exclusive to Canada, the country's viticultural repertoire is commonly associated with icewine. In Niagara, Ontario, Inniskillin is arguably responsible for much of this international clout, winning a top award at Vinexpo in Bordeaux, France in 1991. Since, the winery continues to produce exceptional icewine (and plenty of other styles as well), offering an icewine experience for guests who want to take a closer look at the chilly process.

To understand everything you need to know about icewine, taste a flight of three wines, sampling them in assorted glasses to savor the elements that make each one distinct. Sparkling icewine and assorted grape varieties provide a broader tasting experience for novices and aficionados alike. Additionally, a few tasty morsels accompany the wine samples, highlighting some of the many ways of pairing icewine. Considering the premium price of a bottle of icewine, partaking in this tour is a valuable way to discover what you love most about this unique style.

Underground Cellar Labyrinth At Cricova Winery (Moldova)

underground winery cellar Cricova
underground winery cellar Cricova - Gheorghe Ghirjev/Facebook

Anyone with a fear of confined spaces might want to skip out on Cricova Winery's underground cellar labyrinth tour. The Moldovan winery is home to what it describes as a "subterranean city" with streets holding endless rows of wine casks. Designed following extensive limestone excavation (to build a neighboring city), the roads are almost 300 feet below ground, making it all the more exciting to venture down during the guided tour. The maze of lanes stretches for around 75 miles, holding over one million wine bottles.

The tour makes its way through segments of the route by transporting guests on a small train and can be combined with a wine-tasting flight in one of the underground tasting rooms. You might even catch sight of exclusive wine collections belonging to Putin and other political figures. Cricova is known for its traditional method of sparkling wine, but you can also taste wines made with cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, and muscat.

Blend Your Own Wine At d'Arenberg (McLaren Vale, Australia)

woman pipetting wine into glass
woman pipetting wine into glass - d'Arenberg/Facebook

A little work never hurt. At d'Arenberg in McLaren Vale, South Australia, winery guests get to step into the role of a winemaker at The Blending Bench. The real heavy lifting is done for you ahead of time, as the grapes have already been harvested, pressed, and fermented. Instead, you'll be presented with three samples of shiraz wine to blend at your discretion. McLaren Vale is home to some of the top shiraz vines in Australia, so you'll be working with the best.

Aside from highlighting the nuances of the different base wines, the process will finetune your senses and assist you in identifying the qualities you prefer in your wine. There's plenty of sipping involved as you hone in on the individual characteristics. You won't be going home empty-handed, either. Once you've completed your custom blend, it's transferred to a 750-milliliter bottle that you can take home to enjoy at your leisure. If you want to expand on this experience, pair it with an eight-course dinner with wine at the on-site restaurant.

Underwater Cellar Dive At Edivo Vina (Hrvatska, Croatia)

scuba diver holding amphora
scuba diver holding amphora - Edivo Vina/Facebook

Scuba diving and wine don't usually go hand in hand, but at Edivo Vina in Hrvatska, Croatia, an underwater cellar awaits exploration. The winery doesn't age all of its wine in the Adriatic Sea, but a selection of Croatian coral wine is aged in the watery depths. Made with local Croatian grapes, the wine is transferred to glass bottles and stored in amphora vessels before being submerged in steel cages around 60-80 feet below the surface and nestled in a shipwreck. The cool, stable climate and tranquil setting appear to be optimal for the wine's maturation process.

Following a short boat ride to the site, certified divers can venture down to the cellar with a PADI instructor. All of the required equipment is available for rent, making it a fun way to dive and see an underwater winery on the same tour. Following the dive, a mixed selection of wines (aged above and below water) is available for tasting along with light snacks at Edivo Wine Bar.

Art Museum Tasting At Hess Persson Estates (Napa, California)

art gallery exhibition room
art gallery exhibition room - The Hess Collection/Facebook

For many oenophiles, wine is an art, so it makes sense to combine a sensory tasting experience with a visual arts one. At Hess Person Estates in Napa Valley, the two come together seamlessly with the on-site art gallery. Art lovers can tour the Hess Collection Contemporary Art Museum with the director of art, who spent dozens of years familiarizing himself with the pieces alongside the founder. Engage with the dynamic works in a small group as you explore the various meanings and sensations that arise.

Once the visual arts tour is complete, you will be treated to an educational wine-tasting experience with one of the viticultural experts. With vineyards located on Mount Veeder and surrounding areas, the wines are all infused with the complexities and nuances of the varied terrains. Try top-tier cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, and chardonnay, among other well-executed classic varieties.

Dog Hike And Tasting At Kunde Family Winery (Sonoma, California)

people with dogs at vineyard
people with dogs at vineyard - Kunde Family Winery/Facebook

If you like to bring your four-legged bestie everywhere you go, then schedule a visit to Kunde Family Winery. Located in Sonoma, California, the fifth-generation family-owned winery is the perfect place for a hike followed by wine tasting. It's worth noting the hike lasts around four hours and takes you through a valley and into the Mayacamas Mountain range, so skip the winery-chic fashion and lace up your hiking boots. Described as "moderately strenuous," you'll want to ensure your dog is up for the activity, too.

Nevertheless, the beautiful views make the effort well worth it, and the included wine tasting and lunch provide you with plenty of sustenance to refuel after the hike. Options like viognier, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, merlot, syrah, and zinfandel are just some of the varieties you can pair with your meal. Aside from working out your body, you'll also work out your mind as you learn about the viticultural and winemaking practices in the vineyards and cellar. Dog lovers will be pleased to know that part of the tour proceeds are allocated to local dog rescue projects.

Trek With Llamas At Divine Llama Vineyards (East Bend, North Carolina)

people walking llamas at vineyard
people walking llamas at vineyard - Divine Llama Vineyards/Facebook

If you don't have a dog to bring to your winery outing, consider heading to Divine Llama Vineyards in East Bend, North Carolina. The farm is home to the largest population of llamas in the Southeast, making it an excellent spot to better acquaint yourself with the furry animals. The tour consists of about two hours of hiking in mixed terrain, passing forests, rolling hills, and a creek. You'll be hiking with llamas in tow, with opportunities to feed them and snap some pictures to commemorate the moment.

The hike finishes back at the winery where you'll get to sample the wines. Some classic varieties like merlot and cabernet franc are featured, as well as hybrid wine grapes that are better suited for the climate and other fruits like blackberries and peaches. The winery regularly hosts local food trucks with assorted bites, or feel free to pack a picnic and make a day out of your visit to Divine Llama Vineyards.

Tasting In A Bunker At Château Siran (Bordeaux, France)

winery bunker staircase and door
winery bunker staircase and door - Château Siran/Facebook

You might associate Bordeaux, France, with some of the most prestigious wineries in the world, but it's also the location of an anti-atomic bunker built during the Cold War that now stores tens of thousands of bottles dating as far back as the early 1900s. At Château Siran, a family-owned winery in the Margaux appellation, visitors can partake in a vertical tasting of three of the winery's vintages in an underground bunker. For escape room enthusiasts, an alternate tour offers an "escape game" experience in the bunker, highlighting its armor-like characteristics.

Château Siran wines consist of a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and petit verdot. The latter is often featured in smaller quantities in Bordeaux, but its notable presence here adds an edge to the Siran blend. A vertical tasting allows guests to taste the evolution of the wine over the years, adding a historical layer to the tour that mirrors the setting. If you tend to feel claustrophobic in enclosed areas, skip the underground visit and savor the wines in the tasting room.

Horseback Ride And Tasting At Tenuta Torciano (Tuscany, Italy)

winery horses running in pen
winery horses running in pen - torcianowinery/Instagram

Natural landscapes and wineries go hand in hand, so it's no surprise that many vineyard tours take advantage of the scenery. At Tenuta Torciano in Tuscany, guests can go horseback riding in the surrounding hills of the Chianti region. Located close to the medieval town of San Gimignano, the excursion is the perfect outing for wine, nature, and history aficionados. The ride lasts about an hour, allowing visitors to experience the serene backdrop of the vineyards.

After dismounting, guests are provided with wine samples and Tuscan appetizers as they learn about the various facets of local winemaking. The Italian geographical region is most known for the sangiovese grape, and at Tenuta Torciano you can taste it in various DOCG wines such as Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and Morellino di Scansano. Super Tuscan blends made with international grapes like cabernet sauvignon and merlot are available as well, along with the local white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG. A classic wine and food pairing -- including charcuterie, cheese, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar -- ensures both foodies and oenophiles will find something they love.

Most Instagrammable Wine Tour At Trius Winery (Niagara, Canada)

bath with balloons
bath with balloons - karetotravel/Instagram

At Trius Winery in Niagara, Ontario, wine lovers can embark on an experience touted as "the most Intagrammable winery tour on the planet." Granted, an existing interest in Instagram and a perfectly curated design and setting will boost your overall enjoyment of the visit, but it's not a prerequisite.

#TheTriusTour takes winery-goers through an art installation paired with wine samples. Taste the rosé, made with gamay and syrah grapes, in the floral Rosé Lounge overlooking the vineyards. Then, make your way to the Sparkling House, where you can sit in a swing, made to mimic the cage on the cork of a bottle of bubbly. Don't miss out on the Bubble Tub as you sip on the assorted selection of traditional method sparkling wines and finish the tour at the classy Brut Bar. It's not just a photo-op either; guides are available to answer any questions regarding winemaking and the wines, rounding out the Canadian winery experience from start to finish.

Eco Wine Safari At Avondale Wine (Paarl, South Africa)

tractor with cart carrying people
tractor with cart carrying people - Avondale Wine/Facebook

South Africa is a hot spot for safari tourism, and at Avondale Wine in Paarl, visitors can take part in a different spin on the classic. Here, guests can enjoy a leisurely tour of the vineyards from the comfort of a tractor-drawn cart during the Eco Wine Safari. After sipping on a glass of MCC (Methode Cap Classique), South Africa's premium traditional method sparkling wine, climb on board to explore the vineyards as you learn about the viticultural practices at Avondale Wine. Taste a range of wines within steps of the vines that grew the fruit for a close-up look at the interaction between wine and its terroir.

Continue the tour in the cellars, where you'll see Avondale's gravity-flow method for transferring wine to underground tanks. Upon returning to the Tasting Gallery, pick up a bottle of your favorite sample or try something new from the selection, which includes grape varieties such as chenin blanc, viognier, roussanne, grenache, syrah, and plenty more. The winery also features a changing art exhibit, providing guests with a full spectrum of experiences during the tour.

Helicopter Tour At Seppeltsfield Wines (Barossa, Australia)

helicopter flying over Australian vineyard
helicopter flying over Australian vineyard - Barossa Helicopters/Facebook

If you want to experience a winery from up above, a helicopter is the most efficient mode of transport. At Seppeltsfield Winery in Australia's Barossa Valley, guests can hop on a helicopter ride and survey the vineyards from the sky. Depending on the tour you book, you'll fly for about half an hour, overseeing the vines and surrounding areas as you take in the valley's natural wonders complete with rolling hills and palm trees. Considering its proximity to other wineries, you'll get your fill of bird's-eye vineyard views.

Once you're back at the winery, make your way to the tasting room to sample a flight of wines. Seppeltsfield grows a wide range of varieties, including white grapes like riesling and vermentino and red grapes like Nero d'Avola, grenache, and shiraz -- the darling of Barossa. While you're on-site, take advantage of the multitude of ongoing projects at the estate, including a cooperage, a craft and design studio gallery, and a soap factory making raw soap and skin products. With so much to do, you might as well stay the night at The Lodge at Seppeltsfield to make the most of it.

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