The Vineyard Hotel is hardly a new phenomenon. You can find it near and far—Napa, Yarra, Douro, and beyond—which makes it all the more curious that France, that glorious beacon of fine winemaking from the Rhône Valley to Champagne, has managed to stay out of the game for so long. Perhaps the French, not entirely famous for their hospitality, simply figured if you had a place to crash, you’d almost certainly outstay your welcome. Lucky for us, however, the country’s best wine regions are finally coming around, opening up their doors and even fluffing a few pillows for the luxury traveler who wishes to linger longer.
Set amid the vine-flecked undulations of Épernay, the new Royal Champagne is a cork’s pop away from the region’s top vineyards—Dom Pérignon included. Opened last year, the hotel’s cup runneth over with wine-country extras: Its Michelin-starred Le Royal pairs pheasant and foie gras with the area’s best pours; its master sommelier arranges visits to private wineries, including impossible-to-get-into Billecart Salmon and Bollinger; and its owners even produce their own label, Leclerc Briant, which it stocks in the on-site cellar alongside bottles of Romanée Conti and Lafite-Rothschild.
Southeast of Bordeaux in Sauternes, a new stay among the vines has been born at Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey, a 17th-century estate that French cristallerie Maison Lalique has recently converted into an opulent hotel. There, among chandeliers and bespoke mirrors, guests have access to a deep cellar filled with an impressive collection of regional vintages that go back as far as 1893. The hotel’s humble mission is to introduce its visitors to Sauternes’s Premier Grand Cru Classés, including Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey’s own, encased, of course, in an engraved Lalique bottle.
Though the Côte d’Azur is flush with luxury resorts, Provence’s rosé vineyards have long been barren of worthy places to stay. The arrival of Villa La Coste at the Château La Coste winery in Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade finally gives us a reason to skip the commute from Marseille. A vast improvement on the simple hostelries nearby, the 28-suite retreat offers access to the château’s 600 acres of vines and well-received wines, plus a Francis Mallmann restaurant. A 15-minute drive away, Château de Fonscolombe has also opened on the grounds of the 300-year-old Domaine de Fonscolombe.