‘Horses and wine – what more could you want?!’
This is a statement we hear ALL the time here at Globetrotting! And for good reason: life truly doesn’t get much better than trotting through beautiful scenery for days on end, stopping in at cellar doors and restaurants to wine and dine to your heart’s content. It’s no wonder our horse riding holidays in wine regions are some of our most popular tours.
So we thought it was about time we rounded up the ultimate bucket list for those of you who, like us, are fuelled not just by delicious food and vino, but by horses and wanderlust. And don’t worry, there’s more to come! We’re constantly researching and testing new horse riding vacations around the world and our globetrotters have made it crystal clear that the more wine, the better!
Bordeaux Wine Trail
Among the best-known wine regions in the world is belle Bordeaux, and there is no better way to explore this ridiculously romantic place than from the back of a horse. This is definitely a holiday for the red wine lovers – over 90% of Bordeaux wines are made with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, which are believed to have originated in this part of France! The Bordeaux Wine Trail is a week-long immersion in Bordeaux’s history, culture and scenery. Starting in the north and riding south, you’ll traverse row upon row of vineyards, cobbled villages, ancient forests and dreamy meadows, pulling up to visit castles, restaurants and of course cellar doors. You’ll sample a HUGE variety of wines and feast on drool-worthy French cuisine.
The Margaret River Ride
Western Australia’s Margaret River region is famous for its distinctive Semillon-Sauvignon Blanc blends, complex Chardonnays and bold, perfumed reds. And our ride partners here are famed for their home-bred and educated Stock Horses, which you will have the privilege of riding from bush to beach to vineyard to polo field! There is a horse to suit every rider, whether you’re still learning to canter or you’re a dab hand at polo. Non-riders are also welcome, and will still get to partake in excursions to local attractions including St Margaret’s Vineyard, where you can sample wines including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Wine is also offered alongside your gourmet dinners and rumour has it a cocktail evening is on the cards, too!
The Grape Horse Adventure
The Barossa Valley is widely regarded as Australia’s supreme Shiraz region, but it also produces plenty of other full-bodied reds as well as excellent Riesling. This five-day itinerary encompasses the best of the Barossa’s food, wine and autumnal scenery, and it caters for all riding abilities, with the option to spend less time in the saddle should you feel a little sore. Your guides, Jen Clingly and Jeremy Ford, are legends among the Globetrotting community, and their string of Arabian and Arab-cross endurance horses, ridden bitless and barefoot, are equally beloved. The Barossa has a real sense of community, and the locals will delight in sharing the best of their wine and cuisine with you as you trit-trot through the valley.
The Shoalhaven Ride
About two hours south of Sydney lies The Shoalhaven, a place where bush, beach and farmland collide in the most divinely beautiful patchwork of scenery you can imagine. The region produces food and wine of especially high quality and impressive variety. Understandably, it’s here that Tiffany Gale decided to combine her three favourite things – horses, fine dining and world-class wine – into one epic horse riding holiday. This is truly a top-shelf ride, with luxury infused into every aspect of the itinerary. Each day combines rides through magnificent, quintessential Australian scenery with incredible off-the-horse experiences. There are only four guests per departure, making it an ideal getaway for couples and groups of friends.
Catalan Coast Trail
Spain is one of the biggest wine producing countries in the world, and this relaxed ride along the Catalan Coast includes plenty of it! Meandering point-to-point along rivers, mountains, wetlands, coastal cliffs, beaches, forests, farmland and vineyards, it’s a perfect snapshot of Catalan life. Each day is punctuated by a sublime lunch featuring fresh, regional cuisine, with wine to wash it down. After your afternoon siesta on day five, you’ll visit a local Bodega (winery) and learn all about Cava, Catalonia’s favourite sparking wine, before taste-testing the local vintage. You’ll also ride to a cellar door to enjoy a boutique wine tasting and scrumptious lunch, and spend two nights in a gorgeous country house nestled between vineyards.
This estancia-based ride in the Sierras Chicas mountains of Argentina sees you riding with the gauchos, playing the mounted games of sortjaa and polo, visiting local communities, moving herds of cattle and swimming in secret waterfalls. Argentina is best known for its Malbec, but many more red varieties are grown here with great results. Of the country’s white wines, the most popular is Torrontés, which has a tropical, floral taste. The local region of Córdoba produces both red and white wine and your host, Kevin, will introduce you to these in an informal wine tasting during your stay. As well as this, every one of your home-cooked, mouthwatering dinners will be served with some truly remarkable Argentine drops.
Here’s cheers to your next horseback adventure, globetrotters!
Are there any other wine regions where you’d like to ride? Let us know in the comments!