FOR MANY TRAVELERS, THERE’S NOTHING better than sitting back with a glass of wine and taking in the local scenery. And LGBTQ+ wine enthusiasts can find an array of interesting ways to enjoy fine wine with a rainbow twist.
California is a naturally popular place for wine lovers of every stripe. A company called Out in the Vineyard creates upscale itineraries and events in California’s wine country for LGBTQ+ travelers and their friends, including luxury hotel stays and exclusive winery tours. Its annual Gay Wine Weekend, in July in Sonoma, is complete with music, dancing, tastings, a Champagne brunch and a wine auction.
Accommodation options are extensive in Sonoma County; among those “TAG Approved,” indicating an LGBTQ+-friendly attitude, are the Applewood Inn & Spa in Guerneville, the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country and Hyatt Vineyard Creek Santa Rosa.
Across the Atlantic, wine enthusiasts can explore France’s famed product while staying at La Grande Maison, a bed-and-breakfast in the Loire Valley vineyards offering one- to three-day tours. And in Italy, travelers can sign up with Italy Gay Travels for a Foodies Tour that includes wine tasting.
South Africa’s wine country is another world-class destination with a decidedly progressive and welcoming vibe. Cape Town Gay Tours offers bespoke excursions, including a Winelands Tour that visits as many as four vineyards in one day, with a cellar tour, multiple wine tastings and stops in the scenic towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. For the most upscale experience, opt for helicopter transfers, allowing for sky-high views of one of South Africa’s most beautiful landscapes. Another South African company, Friends of Dorothy, offers a Yellow Brick Road Tour that focuses on the Cape Winelands as well, with lunch on a wine farm or at an award-winning restaurant where local varietals are a specialty.
South America should also be on the wish list for travelers longing for fine wine. In Argentina, Mendoza Gay Tours focuses on LGBTQ+-welcoming wineries in one of the Americas’ most famed wine regions. The company also provides insider travel tips and arrangements during Vendimia para Todos, a “gay harvest festival” that takes place the weekend after Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia, which celebrates the lives of those who work in the vineyards.
This summer, The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles began highly-anticipated enhancements. The property celebrates its 10th birthday next year and the renovations are the largest changes the property has ever seen. They impact the hotel lobby, all 123 guestrooms and suites, corridors and Club Lounge.
United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Seats on new JetBlue flights between New York City (JFK) and Georgetown (GEO), Guyana, are now available for purchase. The route takes off April 2, 2020, on the new Airbus A321neo aircraft. With a flight time of five hours from New York City, the route delivers intrepid travelers to what JetBlue calls “a playground for adventurists and modern-day explorers.” The route also serves the largest Guyanese American community in the United States, located in New York City.
Hawaiian Airlines will relaunch its service between the island of Maui (OGG) and Las Vegas (LAS) with flights set to begin in December.
British Airways launched a new in-flight entertainment channel in honor of its year-long centenary celebration. The new channel, christened Celebrate BA100, highlights the best of British in-flight entertainment.
An industry-first update to the award-winning Four Seasons app allows guests to plan travel more seamlessly. The app, completely overhauled, now includes a new trip planning itinerary feature that allows guests to easily customize their stay.