A wine lover’s yachting bucket list
For many, a luxury yacht charter wouldn’t be complete without the superb food and fine wine experience. But for wine connoisseurs or oenophiles, there is an abundance of special privileges to enhance your yacht charter even further.
From historical vineyard tours to guided tastings with the very best noses in the business, the YACHTZOO charter team highlights some great opportunities to add a splash of wine to your superyacht charter.
BLENDING CULTURE & WINE
For centuries, the Cistercian monks of Abbaye de Lérins on Saint Honorat have been cultivating vines on this small, peaceful island a few miles off Cannes. The first settlement of the monks took place around 400AD, over 1,500 years ago, and it is thought that there has been a vineyard at the abbey virtually since that time.
Today, the vines cover just eight hectares of this island, and over the last 15 years, the monks have focused their attention on producing high-quality wines, including syrah.
Private tours of the abbey and vineyard can be arranged by YACHTZOO, and the island is located just a short tender ride from anchorages and marinas in the surrounding popular cruising grounds between the Cap d’Antibes and Cannes.
HAVE THE PREMIER CRU COME TO YOU
Talk with your YACHTZOO charter broker about organising a private wine tasting during your yacht charter, where an expert will guide you through a number of different varieties, enabling you to try new and exciting wines while learning about the intricacies of the different flavours. Couple this with a specially paired dinner from the chef and you have the perfect evening on board.
CREATE A PERSONAL WINE
With over 400 wineries populating the fertile soil of the Napa Valley, California, there is a huge variety of exciting ways to explore your love of wine. If you are exploring San Francisco by yacht, take a helicopter ride over the famous bay and head north-east to the heart of America’s wine country.
For the more daring wine lovers, the Ravenswood Winery offers blending seminars where you can experiment with zinfandel, petite sirah and carignane to create your own personalised bottle of wine.
Head to the Palmaz Vineyards where you can marvel at their gravity-flow and gravity-finish subterranean winery, the Cave. This remarkable feat of engineering allows a glimpse into the future of wine production, all the while producing world-class vintages.
A NEW WORLD TREASURE HUNT
No yacht-charter bucket list for wine lovers would be complete without mention of the southern hemisphere’s ‘Classic New Zealand Wine Trail’. The Trail traces a route ideally enjoyed by yacht from Napier on the North Island, heading down to Wellington and across the Cook Strait to finish in Blenheim on the South Island, a short cruise from the stunning waters of Queen Charlotte Sound (Totaranui).
Covering 80 per cent of the country’s wine production, the journey is a taste-bud tour of Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa, Wellington and Marlborough. While in Wellington, be sure to take a helicopter over to Martinborough Vineyard, owned by American entrepreneur Bill Foley, to try one of New Zealand’s most prized wines: the Marie Zelie Reserve Pinot Noir 2010, which is so scarce that is can only be bought at the vineyard itself.