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Tupungato, Argentina


Why should I go there?

Tupungato is a breathtaking city located east of the Andes mountains and 40 minutes south of Mendoza. It is known for it's stunning vistas (views), intimate estancias (ranches) and family-owned bodegas (wineries). To make your trip especially memorable, hire a guide to show you what the area has to offer: dining in a quaint backyard restaurant, tour of the local fish farms, zip-lining over cannons. And at the end of the day when back at the ranch, enjoy sipping on a glass of local wine while panning up at the most stunning sky of stars. And if you're lucky, do so with a handsome gaucho (cowboy) by your side. De nada.


How do I get there?

Nearest Airport: Governor Francisco Gabrielli International Airport (MDZ)

Transportation: You can arrange transportation through the ranch or rent a car. If the driver stops for gas, he will ask you to get out of the car. Don't freak out like I did. You are not being robbed or kidnapped, the gas there is just extremely flammable. #safetyfirst

 

Where should I stay?

Estancia La Alejandra What I love about this place is that they can arrange everything if you want them to, from transportation to meals to activities. They also added in some things I didn't even ask for. The hotel is private and rooms are comfortable. It's unlike anywhere else I've even been.  


What should I do ?

Horseback ride along the Andes with your own private gaucho. He will teach your to herd the wild horses and lasso the babies (and in my experience, it involved yelling profanities but don't worry the horses don't speak English). Zip-line upside down over cannons. Hike the Andes. Learn to cook the local dishes. Taste the wine. Then taste some more. Other activities and where to book.


What should I eat?

Forget about Whole Foods. The ranch has a private chef who prepares meals using fresh produce and meat from the land. There are also a few neighboring boutique restaurants that provide intimate settings and seasonally crafted cuisine.


Wine scene

Zorzal Wines. Meet the winemakers, stomp some grapes and taste through some Malbecs. Tours are private and by appointment only.  As long as you have eyes and taste buds, you should be able to enjoy it, but knowing a little Spanish also helps.


 
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Cuenca, Spain


Why should I go there?

Its off the beaten path, but pretty easy to get to. The culture of this historical town is truly unique. If you are lazy though, this is not for you. There is a lot of walking, particularly up and down steep winding hills. If you're up for it, your backside will thank you.

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How do I get there?

Nearest Airport: Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD)

Transportation:Take a 2.5 hour bus from Mendez Alvaro bus station in Madrid. I know you're thinking, "oy a bus in a foreign country?" But its cheaper than a train and really not half bad. Book using Avanza.

 

Where to stay

Unless you meet a hunky Spaniard, there is not really a reason to stay the night. Go for the day, then head back to Madrid or Valencia.


Where to eat

There is a row of restaurants in the newer part of time which have outdoor seating. Be aware while eating, there may be a stray cat or two at your feet . I actually enjoyed this, but if you're not a cat person, perhaps avoid this area and try for a remote restaurant tucked away in the hills. If you want to splurge, try Ars Natura. Yummm


What to do

Cross the big red bridge. The whole time, you'll think you're about to fall to your death, but don't worry, you won't. Plus the Casas Colgadas (hanging houses) are on the other side. And they have apparently been there since the 15th century. Inside there is a small modern art museum... culture bonus. It's the perfect size so you can get through it in an hour without having to take a sitting nap on one of the benches.


Wine scene

While there aren't wineries in Cuenca, there are tons around Spain so the wine is delicious. So at the end of the day, reward yourself with a glass of wine. Then get a bottle to drink on the bus ride back.


SIP this!

 
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Gavi-Piedmont, Italy


 

Why should I go there?

It is the quintessential wine escape paired with a bit of luxury. Good place to suggest as a family vacation so you're parents can foot the bill. Also a nice escape from the everyday hell of work and easy to tack onto an Italy trip.

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How to get there

Nearest Airport: Milan Malpensa International Airport (MXP), or the local airport, Caselle Airport (TRN)

Transportation: It's about a 2.5 hour drive from the Milan. You'll need to rent a car. It's mostly a highway drive so why not try stick shift. #nobigdeal

 

Where to stay

Villa Sparina Resort "L'Ostelliere" is at the winery. It's a nice mix of modern and old feel. If you're into your fitness, they have yoga, personal trainers, bike rentals, hiking and more. My hubby def didn't partake in any of this.

Where to eat

La Gallina. It's like a 30 second walk from the hotel. Perfect if you're planning on stumbling home. However the food is so good, you'll probably need someone to wheel barrel you back to your room.

What to do

Visit the fortress for a hint of history.

If there in the fall, go truffle hunting. We missed out on this #sadface

I usually hate tours, but take a tour of something. Lots to choose from.. castle, wineries, churches. #somuchculture

The wine stuff

I could go on and on. Since you are staying right on the winery, take the time to learn about the grapes, harvest, and wine making process. And of course drink lots of wine. When you return home, you will be ordering nothing but Gavi de Gavi while your friends sit and sip Pinot Grigio. You 1, them 0.


SIP this!

 
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Saint Emilion, France


 

Why should I go there?

Because it's cute. Really cute. You'll feel like Amy Adams in a rom com where she ends up breaking off her engagement because she falls in

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Maybe don't wear heals here though (not even wedges) because you'll probably fall trying to walk up the cobblestone hills like I did. #notsexy

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How do I get there?

Nearest Airport: Bordeaux–Mérignac Airport (BOD)

Transportation: We drove from Bordeaux but apparently there is a 45 minute train you can take if you don't have a car.

 

Where should I stay?

I didn't stay overnight. If you do stay, the town is so small one night is probably enough. However, I decided I wanted to live here.

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What if I get hungry?

Eat something. This town isn't limited to baguettes with cheese so venture out like we did and get pizza and beer. Thank you Pizzeria de la Tour Du Roy.


How will I fill my day?

Wander, wander, wander.

Finish your day with a bottle of wine at the Le Medieval (right at the entrance to town) then pay some kid a Euro to climb to the top of the Monolithic Church.


Can you tell me about the wine please?

Drink it all. Literally everything. The choices are endless and it all is good. You can also visit the cute wine shops. Sneak into the vineyards.


SIP this!

 
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Greve - Chianti, Italy


 

Why should I go here?

To drink wine, see the butcher and buy antiques.

How do I get there?

Nearest Airport: Florence Airport, Peretola (FLR) or Pisa International Airport (PSA)

Transportation: About 40 minutes from either airport. Have to rent a car, mostly highways then small-town roads when closer to the winery. #easypeasy

 

Where to stay

Fattoria Vitccio (a winery!) One of the most peaceful places on earth. Small and intimate (has 4 apartment-style rooms). Located right on the winery. It's like you're part of the family and after the first day there, you will be. Has a pool overlooking the hills of tuscany. Soak in the rays while throwing back some wine.  

What if I want to venture out for a meal?

Take the car and head to La Cantinetta Di Passignano.

What to do

Visit butcher

Hike/Bike

 

And the wine...


SIPthis!

 
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Prague, Czech Republic


 

Why go there

You really only need a few days here to see the whole city. Then tack on another European city.


How to get there

Nearest Airport:

Transportation:

Walk and wander. Taxis are available to.

 

Where to stay

Not to brag, but I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental.  Granted my work at the time foot the bill. You won't get a boutique experience there, but it's definitely stunning and the service is impeccable.


Where to eat

Overall the food in Prague is terrible.  However


What to do

Wander.  Visit the castle. Check out the riske little shops and activities


Winery to visit

There is actually a tiny winery right in the heart of the city.  You can just walk right up to the plants and see the grapes close up. No tour necessary. Adorable restaurant overlooks it. 


SIP this!

 
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Koh Samui, Thailand


 

Why go there

Based on the pictures, do I really need to say more?

View from bed...

View from bed...


How to get there

Nearest Airport: Samui Airport (USM)

Transportation: Fly from Bangkok. Arrange a car to pick you up from the airport and take you to the resort. You don't really need a car while you are there.

 

Where to stay

Six Senses Samui


Where to eat



What to do

Spa. Beach. Day trip to National Park.


Wine Scene


SIP this!