9 Wine Experiences Around the World That Will Blow Your Mind

9 Wine Experiences Around the World That Will Blow Your Mind

Who's up for an underwater winery tour in Croatia, or an elephant trek through vineyards in Thailand?

By Lindsay Tigar

Oenophiles, get ready to drool over these out-of-this-world tastings, events, and remarkable destinations all over the globe... which could each make an excellent peg on which to plan your entire next dream vacation! From California, to Italy, to Croatia, to Eastern Europe, add these wine experience to your travel bucket list stat... and have a tipsy good time checking them all off.

1. Tour the Largest Wine Cellar in the World

Visit the world’s largest wine cellar in Moldova in Eastern Europe: Milestii Mici. There, you'll find a stock of two million bottles of wine. Tastings, parties, tours, and more are all offered on site, so bring some friends.

2. Tour a Winery in Zurich, Via a Rolls Royce

A $5,000 wine experience in Switzerland can take your travels to the next level: The appropriately-titled "Exclusive Wine & Dine" experience includes a two-night stay at the five-star Baur Au Lac hotel, a four-course menu on a rooftop, and a wine tasting transfer to the nearby infamous Erich Meier vineyard, via a Rolls Royce. If you’re going to get boozy after all, having a driver behind the wheel of a $250,000 car is the way to roll.

3. Drink Holy Wine

While you already know wine is the holy-grail of all alcoholic beverages, for a true religious awakening, venture to the Grgich Hills Estate winery in Rutherford, California. Here, a priest douses holy water on the olive branches, a tradition that can be traced to the Old Testament. You can partake in this ceremony, at no cost, and then join the winemakers in the grape stomp you’ve always had on your bucket list.

4. Go to Wine Camp

You’re never too old to learn and you can teach yourself new tricks at the Carmel Valley Ranch in California. This 500-acre resort was created with the throwback vibes of summer camp in mind, right at the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains. Twice a year, they host an immersive, week-long introduction into all-things wine, complete with an all-you-can-drink upgrade. For those who swoon over pinot noir, chardonnay, and rose, you’ll especially enjoy this adult-a-fied educational program, since the on-site vineyard specializes in these varieties.

5. Take a Helicopter and Elephant Ride in a Vineyard

You can use your own two feet to trek the aisles of blooming grapes, or you could hitch a ride on a helicopter above the vines... and even ride through on an elephant! For quite the hefty price tag — $12,055 for two people — head to Thailand, where your journey starts on the 37th floor of The Peninsula Bangkok’s aviation lounge, from which a helicopter will take you to Hua Hin. Here, a BMW will transport you to the Hua Hin Hills Vineyard, a former corral where Asian elephants were domesticated. They still live among the wine on 560 acres and will take you on a tour, where you’ll learn about the land. To end this luxury experience, you’ll paint your own personalized wine labels for a take-home gift, enjoy a three-course menu with a wine pairing, and hitch your helicopter back to the hotel, just in time for turn-down service.

6. Have a Bath in Warm Red Wine

You read that right. When you visit Hacienda El Carmen in Mercado, Mexico, you can book a dip in a 100-degree bath of cabernet sauvignon. It’s said this will soften, moisturize, and invigorate your skin and senses, leaving you rejuvenated (and perhaps a tad tipsy). For an added splash, you can add on a honey-and-wine wrap with a volcanic clay and merlot exfoliation.  

7. Visit an Underwater Winery

Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter, in an underwater winery an hour north of Dubrovnik in Croatia. At the Edivo Vina winery in the quaint town of Drace, you can see the process of creating wine under dunes. Though technically the bottles are aged above ground for three months before they’re stored in clay jugs for one to two years, it’s still pretty stellar to say you’ve sipped some vino that once fermented among sea creatures.

8. Drink Out of a Wine Fountain

Sure, after a jog around the block or your local park, you could make a pit stop at a water fountain to refresh. Or, if you’re in Caldari di Ortona in Abruzzo, Italy, you could refill on wine from the locally produced Dora Sarchese vineyard. It’s along the beloved Camino de Santiago path, offering hikers who challenge themselves to the pilgrimage a small, boozy reward for their trekking.

9. Visit a Wine Theme Park

It probably comes as no surprise that the world’s one-and-only wine theme park is in Bordeaux, France. At La Cite du Vin you can learn more about winemaking in the region, while also touring around attractions, tastings, restaurants, shopping, and more. Cheers to all that.

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