The Seven Best Cellar Door and Winery Restaurants in the World
Food and wine belong together – one enriches the experience of the other. What is even better, though, is to eat where the wine is grown. Around the globe wineries have opened their cellar doors and started serving delicious local produce. Here are some of the best.
Vineyard Kitchen, St Clair Family Estate, Blenheim, New Zealand
This family-run place pretty much encapsulates Kiwi hospitality. There is fresh, local produce, a super-friendly atmosphere that manages to be stylish without ever being stuffy. The wines can be tasted for free and then enjoyed for lunch and dinner – but there also is afternoon tea. And ideal place to enjoy the full gamut of Marlborough’s riches: and they go well beyond Sauvignon Blanc, even though that is delicious, too.
Josef Chromy Wines, Relbia, Tasmania, Australia
This winery just on the outskirts of Launceston makes stunning wines – including some seriously beautiful fizz – which you can enjoy right there. Either informally at the outdoor tables where cheese platters and snacks are served, or with starched serviettes at the upscale restaurant. Tasmanian produce looms large, so do not miss out on the local oysters. Meat is of the first order, too, as founder Joseph Chromy made his way as a butcher before entering the wine business.
Castello di Volpaia, Radda, Tuscany, Italy
Right in the heart of the Chianti wine region, Castello di Volpaia is the stuff that Tuscan dreams are made of. The medieval borgo, or hamlet, is surrounded by vineyards and olive groves and both wine and oil can be sampled at the Castello. The Osteria offers classic Tuscan fare of the highest order, but there also is a cookery school, a bakery (oh the focaccia!) and the absolute clincher: a gelateria.
Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, California, US
Imagine dining into the sunset amidst manicured vegetable beds in an old walnut orchard. That is what you get at one of Kendall-Jackson’s farm-to-table dinners that run throughout the summer months. Everything you eat will have grown right there under head gardener Tucker Taylor’s meticulous care. Simply delectable, so Californian and so fresh.
Bodega Garzon, Maldonado, Uruguay
If you want to be wowed in every respect, Bodegas Garzon is the place to go: a modern winery built with visitors in mind, just over an hour’s drive from Punta del Este on the Atlantic coast. No expense was spared in the construction of this sustainable winery and the planting of 240 hectare / 593 acre estate vineyards. Chef Francis Mallmann acts as a culinary director and has devised a ‘market menu’, his “fires menu” is a real highlight of open fire cooking.
Babylonstoren, Paarl, South Africa
The name gives the clue: the mythical gardens of Babylon are evoked here. You can lunch in style in the Babel restaurant, housed in the former cowshed, have picnics and snacks in the Greenhouse or join one of the themed dinners at The Bakery. Much of the produce is grown on site, here this includes not just vegetables but Chianina beef. There also is home-grown Rooibos tea, olive oil and honey from the estate’s own beehives – and wine from Simonsberg of course.
L'AND Vineyards, Alentejo, Portugal
This five-star retreat is just a 50-minute-drive from Lisbon but seems a world away. A masterpiece of contemporary, architecture, L’And has local produce at its heart. Chef Nuno Amaral’s food is Michelin-starred and offers first class regional Alentejo cooking.