You’ll have a whole new outlook on wine tasting when you start scouting these stunning vineyards for your wedding ceremony spot. The best part? A vineyard wedding offers the perfect backdrop for photos with natural scenery that's so stunning you won’t want to ruin it by adding in any other greenery (meaning floral budgets can be used in an area equally as important—wine). While California may seem like the obvious option when it comes to a wine country wedding, all 50 states now boast at least one winery—even Alaska, which is home to a whopping eight. Whether you want to stay local or take your wedding on the road to a far-flung mountain lodge or medieval chateau, these six spots are sure to serve as the perfect inspiration for a wine-themed wedding escape.
At family-run Arista Winery in California’s Russian River Valley, there’s no bad view. That’s because each spot sitting on the 36-acre estate offers up prime vineyard vistas. Start in the tasting room with a pre-ceremony toast to get rid of any wedding-day jitters or gather the girls for bridal pics in the bamboo-covered Japanese garden. When it’s time for the ceremony itself, the 200-person pavilion is one of the top spots to tie the knot. Set on the western end of the estate, the pavilion opens up to a plum- and mulberry-tree-lined lawn with built-in fire pit and Adirondack chairs perfect for cozying up. Make s’mores once the sun sets for a DIY spin on the traditional dessert table. In the nearby Oak Grove, fairy lights frame the surrounding oak trees, which look out across the vineyards forming a magical setting for dinner and dancing under the stars.
Marilyn Monroe may have sung “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” but there’s one jeweler who knows this better than almost anyone: Laurence Graff. The Graff Diamonds founder applied the aesthetic of his haute jewelry to his winery and lodge that’s so spectacular. It’s rightfully dubbed the “Jewel of the Cape Winelands.” At the Delaire Graff Estate, each view is more Insta-worthy than the next. Bronze cheetah sculptures stand regally in the perfectly landscaped gardens (which the chef pulls from for the kitchen’s organic produce), with Stellenbosch Valley’s vineyards unfolding in the distance. Prep for the big day in the comfort of your private lodge (complete with heated plunge pool) before starting the Champagne-fueled fete in the gardens, moving on to a dinner party down in the 18-seat Vinoteque, where you’ll feast on fine South African cuisine paired with even finer wines sourced from the slopes of the Botmaskop mountain peak.
It’s hard not to feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale when you’re strolling around Chêne Bleu in Crestet, a Provençal village that, as its name suggests, sits on a crest along a mountain range. Husband and wife duo Nicole and Xavier spent nearly 13 years revamping and restoring the hilltop priory, built in the ninth century as a glass blowing workshop called La Verrière. Now the 350-acre domaine’s deluxe seven-room manor (complete with medieval-inspired frescoes and fireplaces) serves as the perfect home base to host up to 18 guests over the course of your wedding weekend (or week, for that matter). Take your pick of places to tie the knot, opting for ceremonies set in fields of lavender or on the winery rooftop garden. For a feast that’ll truly have you feeling like royalty, take the party indoors with a private chef-catered soiree in the stately Salle des Voûtes vaulted hall.
Champagne may be traditional for toasts, but Spanish bubbly, or Cava, is definitely just as celebratory, especially when you’re sipping it in the source. If you’re looking for “something old” to drink rather than wear on the big day, head to the oldest Cava family business in the country, Canvas Dodorníu, located just 30 minutes from Barcelona. These historic cellars are home to the first bottles of Spanish sparkling wine produced in the same style as French Champagne, with a legacy dating back to 1551. Exchange vows under the grandiose arches and dramatic chandeliers hanging from the vaulted ceiling of the stone-lined Sala Puig before moving to a space as equally spectacular: Cellar Gran. The former fermentation room is nestled under a Catalan vault, with impressive arches crowning the ceiling overhead and a stone staircase that is sure to offer a statement-making entrance to the after-party.
Originally a wedding gift to his wife, Gianna Masciarelli restored the 17th-century baronial mansion in 2004, adding a modern touch to some of the more medieval designs (think Driade chairs and Philippe Starck furnishings). Perched on a hill overlooking Abruzzo, Italy, the castle is surrounded by lush lawns, olive groves, and, of course, vineyards, which can be seen from the chateau’s 11 suites. For a room that can double as both a bridal and honeymoon suite, book the Superior Suite, a former granary lined with 18 windows opening up to sweeping 360-degree views from the Majella peak to the sea. Brides after a farm-to-table-focused affair can host an elegant, white-tablecloth dinner party in the olive grove or opt for a more casual, picnic-inspired party thrown right in the vineyard.
Half the fun of a destination wedding is that you can instantly get into honeymoon mode the second you say “I do.” Mix a wine-country wedding with a city stay in Santiago, Chile, cozying up in five-room bohemian boutique hotel Maison Italia before setting out to one of the country’s vineyard-covered valleys, Casablanca, just a 40-minute drive from the capital city. Tie the knot in the Viñamar vineyards before taking the party indoors, toasting in the winery with the estate’s own sparkling wine before celebrating with another one of Chile’s claims to fame: pisco sour cocktails. If you’re not ready for the festivities to end once the reception wraps up, turn the first part of your honeymoon into a buddymoon touring wine country together with your friends and family. Work off all that food and wine cycling through the Andean foothills before sitting down for another feast (this is South America, after all) with a Chilean-style barbecue at Viña San Pedro’s open-air quincho, sampling the best of the country’s cuisine while admiring majestic views of the mountains and Cachapoal Valley below.