If you’re an oenophile looking for somewhere truly different to sip, then these five unusual wineries should be on your radar:

Matanzas Creek, California, United States 

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If you Google “idyllic wineries”, the chances are that Matanzas Creek in Sonoma, California, will appear near the top of the list. That’s thanks to the spectacular terraced lavender fields which surround it and make it a draw for photographers as much as oenophiles.

Visitors can sample its award-winning sustainably farmed Sauvignon Blanc or Merlot, maybe while enjoying a game of bocce ball – a little like an ancient Italian version of boules – before hitting the boutique for fragrant souvenirs and checking out the winery’s library of vintages.

Where: 6097 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, California 95404, US

Castello di Ama, Italy 

The region of Chianti needs no introduction to wine lovers and is dotted with picture-perfect wineries. One estate in particular, Castello di Ama, distinguishes itself through its history and wines, but also its remarkable contemporary art collection.

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Amid 110 hectares (270 acres) of vineyards and olive groves, across a property that the Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1773 said had “the most beautiful hills and valleys of all of Chianti”, visitors can explore works from global artists that were lucky to receive invitations to be inspired by the bucolic setting.

Legendary sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto are just two of those whose works feature in the estate’s ultimate mix of art and wine.

Where: Castello di Ama, Località Ama, 55, 53013 Gaiole In Chianti, Italy

S.C. Pannell, Australia

There’s an unexpected and defiantly rock n’ roll feel to S.C. Pannell winery in the McLaren Vale region of South Australia, an hour south of Adelaide. Winner of a wide range of awards, such Australian Winemaker of the Year – no mean feat – Steve Pannell is known for his brilliant, environmentally sustainable Shiraz and Grenache.

For visitors at the cellar door, it’s the definition of laid-back, with the tasting room feeling more like a rock club with its neon lights, dark interiors and soundtrack from The Foo Fighters and The Pixies.

Where: 60 Olivers Road, McLaren Vale, South Australia 

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Faja dos Padres, Madeira, Portugal 

Lost in the Atlantic Ocean, a two-hour flight from Lisbon, Madeira is a breathtakingly beautiful island with a storied wine history. Nowhere is that history more evident than the incredible vineyard at Faja Dos Padres which sits on the shoreline, at the foot of a vast cliff – and is accessible only via a cable car.

There are 13 hectares of sub-tropical gardens filled with incredible produce and wildflowers, but also Malvasia – or Malmsey – grapes, first planted in the 16th century. Remarkably, vines are planted right up to the shore, meaning that the spray from Atlantic waves helps to water them. A stunning location with stunning wines to match.  

Where: Estr. Padre Antônio Dinis Henrique 1, 9300-261 Quinta Grande, Madeira, Portugal

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Chateau Zegaani, Georgia 

Visitors are generally amazed to learn that the first country to produce wine – more than 8,000 years ago – was Georgia. The former Soviet republic is a beguiling destination at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, which has vintages to beat them all thanks to a remarkable winemaking process. Local grapes, along with skins, stalks, juice and more go into odd clay vessels known as qvevri, which are then sealed before being buried in the ground.

Chateau Zegaani is one of Georgia’s finest vineyards, dating from 1820. After a stroll in the beautiful grounds with snow-capped mountains on the horizon, try its excellent 2011 Mukuzani or its take on a local grape spirit called Pappri.

Where: Chateau Zegaani, 1 Al. Chavchavadze St, Zegaani 1514, Georgia

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