Travel Guide: Three Wine-Centric Honeymoon Destinations

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Looking for wine and dinner on your honeymoon? These places have you covered.

Columbia Crest Winery has a rich heritage in the Horse Heaven Hills growing region. / Photo courtesy

HEAD WEST

Columbia Valley, Washington

When most people think of West Coast wine country, they think of California. But up north, Washington state, the nation’s second-largest wine producer, is the playground for cabernet lovers. The sprawling Columbia Valley American Viticultural Area lies east of the Cascade Range and comprises nearly 60,000 acres of vines that produce your favorite reds, rosés and more.

TO EAT

Walla Walla is more than just a town with a funny name (so good you have to say it twice!); is becoming more and more of a dining destination in Eastern Washington. No restaurant better embodies the flourishing culinary spirit than Hattaway is in alder, a 2021 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice selection. Hattaway’s southern-leaning fare includes standards and reinterpretations (think: chicken and grits and an étouffée with shrimp and house-made kielbasa), plus a wine list packed with Walla Walla and Columbia Valley wines. A standout? The “Summer” rosé from Smak, the exclusive Walla Walla woman-owned rosé winery, pairs well with everything from roasted asparagus to flourless chocolate cake.

The wine list at Hattaway’s on Alder leans heavily toward Washington labels. / Photo by Janna Dotolo

STAY

the beautiful desert wind winery, inn, restaurant and spa at Prosser is everything you could want from a honeymoon and more. The on-site tasting room, views of the Yakima River, and your choice of one of the inn’s four Santa Fe-inspired rooms combine to provide the luxurious and private experience you deserve after the chaos of the wedding. Start each day with breakfast in bed (courtesy of the locavore menu at Kitchen at Desert Wind) before heading to the tasting room’s newly remodeled riverfront patio to sample the house malbec and other Wahluke Slope-made wines. Finish off with a massage at the spa and ahhh, ultimate honeymoon bliss.

PLAY

It’s wine country – get ready to visit some of your favorite Washington spots. Pop down the road to Prosser’s Cellar 14 Hands, home to popular varietals like the Wine Enthusiast-praised sauvignon blanc, as well as the perennially crowd-pleasing red blend “Hot to Trot.” Or stop by the famous colombian crest winery in Paterson to sample award-winning reds such as Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. Do you prefer your wine outdoors? Pick up a few bottles and a picnic plate from a vineyard of your choice and post it by the Yakima River for a DIY tasting for two.

Saint Clair’s Vineyard Kitchen takes outdoor dining to a new level. / Photo courtesy

FLY AWAY

Marlborough, New Zealand

When it comes to sauvignon blanc, it’s hard to beat the cool climates of Marlborough. New Zealand’s most famous wine region is packed with white wine specialists as well as some of the world’s freshest seafood. The flight may be long, but the destination, now open to travel from the US, is well worth it.

TO EAT

New Zealand rivals New England in seafood. And, thanks to the fertile land, Marlborough also has world-class produce, meaning diners are awash with options for food from land and sea. try both on Arbor, the Blenheim restaurant with a rotating menu that consistently tops regional “best of” lists. Depending on the season, you can dine on green-lipped mussels (a local specialty), plum goat curd, or raw venison and hazelnuts; Whatever Arbor serves, it will not only be fresh and local, but it will also be delicious. good your plate As always, a bottle of sauv blanc or pinot noir from a neighboring winery seals the farm-to-table (or by the glass) experience.

The Arbor Restaurant in Blenheim specializes in farm-to-table cuisine. / Photo courtesy

STAY

Picton, on the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, has long been considered the gateway to the Marlborough Sounds. Even better, it’s also just a short drive from the wineries that put Marlborough on the map. Get the best of both worlds when you book a suite at Escape to Picton. The boutique hotel’s opulent accommodations were made for honeymooners. Reserve the “Formal” Suite for access to a freestanding French tub and king-size bed to help you start your married life in style. Completing the romance: free champagne, elegant high tea in the hotel restaurant and stunning views of Picton Marina.

PLAY

This is what you came for: it’s wine time. Escape to Picton guests can book a personalized guided winery tour, which takes you through as many Marlborough vineyards as you like. Must-see stops include the premiere cloudy bay vineyards, home to a signature sauv blanc and seasonal restaurant Jack’s Raw Bar, and Saint Clair family estate, a favorite spread for stunning chardonnay and pinot noir charcuterie and pours on Vineyard Kitchen’s lush outdoor terrace. Sold out? Equally alluring are the islands and inlets of the Marlborough Sounds, which you can explore on a boat cruise from Picton Marina. (Sunset sail, anyone?)

KEEP IT LOCAL

Connecticut Wine Trail, Connecticut

Fortunately, New Englanders don’t have to go far to experience world-class wine country and vineyards. The Connecticut Wine Trail is basically our backyard: the more than 40 wineries that make up the state’s wine country are just a short (and scenic) drive from Boston. Grab your sweetie, load up the car, and get ready to experience this East Coast gem.

TO EAT

Tucked away in northwestern Connecticut is Arethusa al Tavolo, voted 2022 Connecticut Magazine readers’ best new American restaurant. (It’s also a repeat Wine Spectator winner and an OpenTable favorite.) The farm-to-table venue uses only the freshest local food, including dairy products from Arethusa Farm, to round out its changing seasonal menu. Of the starters, a yellowtail tartare might give way to a pea flatbread with house ricotta or a kale salad with muscat grapes and pickled beets. Entrées range from Arethusa Butter Poached Chicken to a Vegetable Wellington made with whatever’s in season. Trust us: every one of Arethusa’s many accolades is well deserved.

Retreat to opulence in one of the Mayflower Inn’s farmhouse-inspired suites. / Photo courtesy

STAY

When it comes to accommodation, location is key. That’s why the five stars Mayflower Inn & Spa in Washington is perfect – not only is the luxury hotel absolutely beautiful (cottage but luxurious), but it’s also centrally located between all the best wineries western Connecticut has to offer. Reserve one of the Mayflower Premium Suites to enjoy a private balcony overlooking the Mayflower Woods and a gas fireplace and deep soaking tub for cozy nights with your love. Additionally, The Well, Mayflower’s sprawling spa and wellness destination, recently won recognition in Harper’s Bazaar. If a beautiful country retreat is on your honeymoon checklist, Mayflower has more than you covered.

PLAY

It’s time to hit the road, the Camino del Vino, that is. If you’re staying in western Connecticut, you’ll want to stop by Newtown’s Nido de Aquila Vineyards, one of the state’s newest wineries with a variety of outdoor drinking spaces. Reserve the Arabian Nights-inspired pergola, for example, under which you can enjoy a bottle of Baco noir “The Amazons” by a lantern-lit fire pit. There’s also Hawk Ridge Winery in Watertown, a Constitution state favorite for its award-winning wines and grounds overlooking bucolic hills. Relax with a glass of the gold medal-winning “All Day Rosé” (or try a wine slushie) and settle into the glow of the newlyweds.

Get marry? Start and end your wedding planning journey with Boston Weddings’ guide to the best wedding vendors in town.

Source: www.bostonmagazine.com