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Wine Vacations: Sipping in the Sun

Two weeks ago, I discussed corportate winery tours, so I thought it would be appropriate to follow that up with a post about how to add wine-tasting to your vacation.

Royal Hideaway Playacar, an all-inclusive resort on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is offering a $7,000 wine class to visitors as part of a luxury vacation package. The experience includes a private wine class with Royal Hideaway’s wine expert, Olivier Cramail, a bottle of the rare 1986 Pétrus, and a dinner for two on the beach – paired with the wine, of course. As part of the tour, Cramail will take the participants on a tour of the resort’s wine cellar, followed by instruction on the art of wine selection, pairing wine with meals and appreciating the subtle flavors of each wine. To book the $7,000 Wine Class, call 1-800-999-9182. For reservations at Royal Hideaway Playacar, call 1-800-999-9182 or visit www.occidentalhotels.com/royalhideaway.

Of course, you can also visit any number of resorts in wine regions around the world. Wine Hotels Collection has a directory of wine resorts in Argentina, Spain, France, Chile, Italy and South Africa, with plans to include Germany, Australia and New Zealand in the future.

In the U.S., http://www.resortsandlodges.com/ has a listing of California Wine Country resorts and lodges.

If you want to make your own wine travel trip, http://www.winetravelguides.com/ provides specialized guides for independent travelers, written by respected wine and travel writers with inside knowledge of their region.0020

For a very special wine travel experience, consider heading to the Niagara Icewine Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario in January. Celebrations of the famed Ontario icewine, which is made from frozen grapes harvested in the dead of winter, include gala evenings, ornate ice bars and winery tours. I’ll talk more about icewine later. In the meantime, enjoy your vacation -- if you're lucky enough to be taking one soon.

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“Wine Vacations: Sipping in the Sun”

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