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Medieval Times: 12 Castles to Visit in Wine Regions Around the World

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Have you ever toured a castle while sipping on a delicious glass of wine? Castle hopping in Europe can be quite the adventure, especially when they’re located in wine country. Sprawled atop hills, vineyards or overlooking charming middle age villages, medieval castles and ruins of yore spark the imagination in all of us. Spend the night in a Tuscan castle located in the Chianti region or learn about a 13th century German knight while sipping on local Riesling wines.

Located in the hearts of wine regions such as Italy, Spain, Tuscany, Austria and more, these preserved medieval castles —some credited as UNESCO World Heritage sites—not only stroke your curiosity of the past but also fill your soul with historic wines.

Here are 12 castles to visit in famed European wine regions.

Schloss Lieser

Lieser, Germany

Schloss Lieser / Alamy

This historic 19th century castle was the former home of German politician Eduard Puricelli and is nestled in the heart of the Mosel region—known for some of the finest white wines in the world—surrounded by vineyards with breathtaking views of the Mosel River. Acquired by the Marriott Hotel’s Autograph Collection, Schloss Lieser has been beautifully restored to its former glory as a luxury boutique hotel. Its furnished rooms have been redesigned to the popular romantic style of the time featuring antique chairs, tables and original portraits of German nobility.

The castle has experiences for guests of all ages with various amenities located on and off the grounds. Flora lovers can take a stroll through the elegant castle grounds, wine lovers can partake in a Riesling wine tasting session on the terrace or enjoy the villages along the Moselle River in a canoe or on a paddle board.

Burg Hornberg Castle

Neckarzimmern, Germany

Burg Hornberg / Alamy

Located along the romantic Neckertal (Neckar Valley), Hornberg Castle of knight Götz of Berlichingen, was once known for its long standing feuds with the Catholic diocese of Speyer. Today, this historic 11th century fortress serves as a boutique hotel and restaurant with repurposed tower rooms, suites and terraces that offer panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards located on the picturesque valley’s slopes.

This ancient castle is also a prominent vineyard and has a wine bar across from the gate entrance which doubles as a ticket office for castle tours. The combo wine store and museum offer a glimpse into the past as well as partake in sampling a wide variety of the local wines while browsing the winemaking equipment.

Residencia Real Castillo de Curiel

Ribera del Duero Madrid, Spain

Residencia Real Castillo de Curiel / Alamy
Ribera del Duero is not only home to Tempranillo, a single-varietal grape that accounts for more than half of the region’s vines, it’s also home to some of the oldest relics of Spanish history—royal castles. Castillo de Curiel is a 7th to 11th century fortress that sits on top of a rock on a hill in the heart of the Duero Valley.

Built as royal property for the various Castilian-Leonese Kings who once resided there, it later served as a prison for nobles and kings for nearly two centuries. Now fully restored as a luxury hotel complex, its historic charm with modern facilities attracts tourists seeking tastings of the local Spanish wines, vineyard hikes and horseback riding.