Coined the Hamptons of South America, Jose Ignacio fuses both glamour and grit. Beat the crowds in early December or late February, and get prepped for ocean bliss, posh beach clubs, biking, wine and olive oil tastings, horse back riding, polo, boutique-hopping, and surfing.
– Bahia Vik. An oceanfront, art-centric hotel with incredible cuisine and a variety of room options.
– Estancia Vik. This Spanish colonial ranch is just minutes from the beach. Think countryside views—and the ideal complement to a beach stay at Bahia Vik.
– Or, book a private, beachside home fully serviced with a chef and housekeeping team.
– Wine tasting and vineyard dining is the order of the day here, with easy access to top regional vineyards.
– Garzon by Francis Mallman is worth the 40-minute scenic drive from Jose Ignacio. Source-to-fork fare and incredible seafood.
– The rustic-chic Narbona Wine Lodge is located in a historic Estancia. Sip wine from the vineyard and sample handcrafted cheese.
“Research” the friendly rivalry between Argentina and Uruguay on who has the best barbecue. Uruguayans claim their Parilla restaurants are tops.
– Cally Pirrung
– Jill Taylor
Portugal is defined by marvelous wine, unique culture, beautiful scenery, and a maritime past. The steep inclines of the city streets may mirror San Francisco, but upon entering a cupboard-sized Ginjinha Bar you’ll know you’re in Lisbon. Navigate a maze of medieval lanes, which reveal beautiful murals and ornate brickwork in public squares. And be forewarned: the addictive Pastéis de Belém is just one of Portugal’s tasty treasures.
Just an hour drive from Lisbon, Bombarral kisses the ocean; its climate perfectly primed for wine production. Considered the Napa Valley of Portugal, take a tour and tasting at Quinta do Sanguinhal winery. Discover 19th-century gardens, a restored distillery that produces brandy and grappa, and stone tanks where grapes were trodden with wooden presses from 1871.
To the spectacular medieval village of Serra de Marvao. Perched atop a rocky hillside at 3000 feet, the town’s narrow, cobble-stoned streets are lined with whitewashed houses and 13th-century castles. Continue north to the Serra da Estrela Natural Park and stay at the remote Casa das Penhas Douradas. Hike through pristine trails followed by a delectable meal paired with unbeatable views.
Your itinerary wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Porto! Explore this UNESCO World Heritage site by boat. Cruise the Douro River at sunset and find six iconic bridges. Port wine lodges beckon from the riverbanks, including Sandeman, Churchill’s, and Taylors.
To discover your own treasures in this diverse country, contact your favorite Jet Set Advisor.
Sonoma Valley should top any oenophile’s 2017 hit list. Located just an hour north of San Francisco, Sonoma Country stretches from the Pacific Coast to the Mayacamas Mountains—home to 400+ wineries. Compared to Napa, Sonoma’s vibe is more laid-back and intimate, with lower wine-tasting fees. And while Napa may be famous for its Cabernets and classic Bordeaux varietals, Sonoma vintners have staked their claim with the globe’s top Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
The food scene here is hot, hot, hot! As such, our curated, not-to-miss list of top Sonoma tables:
– SingleThread Farm in Healdsburg. Nestled on five acres between the Russian River and the historic San Lorenzo Ranch SingleThread, the property has a greenhouse, chicken coops, an heirloom fruit orchard, olive trees, beehives, and a cattle paddock all surrounded by vineyards.
– The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant. Source-to-fork takes on all new meaning here. You may bump into the farmer who grew your lettuce or persimmons, or you could be seated next to the guy who handcrafted your vino.
– Scopa. One of star vintner Helen Keplinger’s favorites, don’t miss winemaker Wednesdays.
Wellness rules in Sonoma. Discover organic produce, local farmer’s markets, and mushroom foraging, while amazing spas demand a serious reboot. Outdoor adventure includes cycling, hiking through old-growth redwoods, and kayaking the legendary Russian River.
Sonoma County has the same amount of wineries as Napa Valley but twice the amount of land. This means fewer crowds. We like to call it “wine country plus”—no over-commercialized wine experiences.
For your next wine country jaunt, contact Jill Taylor.
Photo Credit: The Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant