10 Mountain Retreats Taking Wine to New Heights

Enjoy fresh air and great wines at these resort restaurants, lodges and inns

10 Mountain Retreats Taking Wine to New Heights
Stunning mountain views, delicious food and great wine mingle at Alyeska Resort's Seven Glaciers restaurant. (Courtesy of Seven Glaciers)
Jan 6, 2023

Tucked among the mountains from North Carolina to California, these 10 restaurants are a wine lover’s destination getaway, whether you’re seeking a summer wilderness adventure or a snowy winter ski trip. So escape to these lodges for clear air, pristine views, delicious food and Wine Spectator Restaurant Award–winning wine programs.

This is just a small sampling of standout wine spots. For more wine-and-food destinations around the world, search all of Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Award–winning restaurants, including stellar après-ski restaurants, as well as all our Grand Award recipients.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!

Note: Opening hours and menus are subject to change as the industry continues to adjust to evolving regulations..


Blackberry Farm

1471 W. Millers Cove Road, Walland, Tenn.
Telephone (865) 984-8166
Website www.blackberryfarm.com
Grand Award

 People dining at Blackberry Farm, with a view into the kitchen in the background, exposed wooden beams and rafters along he ceiling, and round chandeliers hanging above
As its name suggests, Blackberry Farm features produce-focused cuisine in a stunning atmosphere. (Beall & Thomas)

Bringing luxury to the wilderness, Blackberry Farm represents the epitome of upscale Smoky Mountain elegance. The Grand Award winner offers an impressive 9,000 selections with strengths in California and France (especially Burgundy and the Rhône), as well as Italy, Spain, Australia, Germany, Oregon and Washington. Wine director Andy Chabot and sommelier Kelly Schmidt have propelled the program to excellence with a 155,000-bottle inventory. Enjoy these selections with dinner at the farm’s fine-dining restaurant, the Barn. Sourcing ingredients from the on-site farm, chef Cassidee Dabney crafts creative American-cuisine dishes like brown butter–poached trout and grilled hen of the woods mushrooms for the seasonal prix-fixe menu. Blackberry Farm also hosts wine and whisky tastings for guests, along with activities that take advantage of the gorgeous local scenery. With one of the largest wine lists among North American Grand Award winners, Blackberry Farm has made the Smoky Mountains a destination for luxury-seeking wine fans across the globe.


Cheyenne Club

The Farm at Brush Creek, 6065 Highway 130, Saratoga, Wyo.
Telephone (307) 327-5284
Website www.brushcreekranch.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 A dining room at Cheynne Club, with a bison trophy on the wall, wooden rafters and leatherbound chairs; large windows offer a view of mountains
At Cheyenne Club, expect dishes that take advantage of Wyoming’s regional bounty. (Nathan Kirkman)

Bordering the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, Cheyenne Club (part of the Farm at Brush Creek Ranch) offers a taste of 19th-century Wyoming, when well-heeled guests sought adventure and luxurious relaxation in the Equality State. Chef Drew Anderson sources ingredients, including Wagyu beef, from the ranch’s 20,000 acres of farmland, ranchland and greenhouses. Across the 2,550-label list, head sommelier Sydney Werry offers more than 500 grape varieties, with strengths in Bordeaux, Burgundy, Piedmont and Tuscany. Beyond sipping, guests can also tour the restaurant’s 30,000-bottle, temperature-controlled cellar. Adding to the atmosphere, Cheyenne Club’s team suggests men and women wear “ranch-style” and “Western-chic” apparel, respectively, so baseball caps and non-collared shirts are not permitted. Dress jeans and cowboy boots are, however, encouraged.


Madison’s Restaurant & Wine Garden

Old Edwards Inn and Spa, 445 Main St., Highlands, N.C.
Telephone (828) 787-2525
Website www.oldedwardsinn.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Guests dining in the outdoor space at Madison’s Restaurant & Wine Garden
The “Wine Garden” at Madison’s Restaurant & Wine Garden is open seasonally, in addition to indoor seating. (Courtesy of Madison’s Restaurant & Wine Garden)

Old Edwards Inn and Spa is set in the natural splendor of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Located on Main Street in the town of Highlands, the resort’s restaurant, Madison's Restaurant & Wine Garden, has held a Best of Award of Excellence since 2008, boasting 850 selections and an 18,000-bottle inventory curated by head sommelier Jared Lorenz. Lorenz also oversees the Wine Room, which doubles as a private dining room while housing verticals from celebrated châteaus like Haut-Brion and Mouton-Rothschild. There are also well-known California names like Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars to order alongside chef Chris Huerta’s menu of farm-to-table dishes, which can be enjoyed both indoors and outside on the inn’s wine garden patio, with views of the neighboring waterfall.


Manzanita

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, 13031 Ritz-Carlton Highlands Court, Truckee, Calif.
Telephone (530) 562-3050
Website www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/california/lake-tahoe/dining/manzanita
Best of Award of Excellence

 Outdoor tables, trees and heaters at Manzanita’s terrace
France and California form the core of Manzanita’s nearly 2,000-label wine program. (Don Riddle)

Well-known for its crystal blue waters and Olympic-level skiing, California’s Lake Tahoe is also home to the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, in Truckee. At this ski-in/ski-out resort, guests can move off the slopes and right into the dining room of Best of Award of Excellence winner Manzanita. Beverage director Sean Pantazi has assembled nearly 250 wines, which are kept in a glass case in the main dining room. Burgundy, France and California are the main focus, including leading producers like Ridge and Orin Swift. These are paired with a regional menu from chef Ernesto Alvarado, which includes dishes like white fish ceviche, a pastrami-style cauliflower steak and lobster and crab pasta. At the table, guests are treated to a picturesque view of skiers on nearby slopes.


Seven Glaciers

Alyeska Resort, 1000 Arlberg Ave., Girdwood, Alaska
Telephone (907) 754-2237
Website www.alyeskaresort.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 A table set with glasses and a bottle of wine at Seven Glaciers, with a window view of glaciers
Sip great wine at Seven Glaciers while gazing at the restaurant’s namesakes. (Courtesy of Seven Glaciers)

Perched atop majestic Mount Alyeska, Alyeska Resort’s Seven Glaciers is a remote fine-dining destination with both stunning views and wines. Working with nearly 700 labels, wine director Kristin Walton offers bottles from Bordeaux, Champagne, Italy and California, to name just a few. There are also large-format bottles from leading producers, such as Burgundy's Louis Latour and California sparkling star Roederer Estate, and a rotating list of gems available by the glass via a Coravin system. With modern flair, chef Christ Hensel highlights Alaska's produce, seafood, wild game and foraged ingredients for the prix-fixe, farm-to-table menu. This includes dishes like Kodiak weathervane scallop bisque topped with caviar, Cook Inlet salmon basted in Champagne butter and bison filet mignon with potato pavé.


Triple Creek Ranch

5551 W. Fork Road, Darby, Mont.
Telephone (406) 821-4231
Website www.triplecreekranch.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Leather chairs and a bar at Triple Creek Ranch, near a round wooden table, a rustic wood sculpture, a deer trophy hanging on the wooden wall and a cellar of wine bottles
Fine dining is just one of many activities to experience before retiring to the luxury accommodations at Triple Creek Ranch. (Pam Voth)

In the Bitterroot Range of the Montana Rocky Mountains, Triple Creek Ranch is a collection of twenty-five private cabins with beautiful scenery and an innovative food-and-wine program. The dinner menu, led by chef Jacob Leatherman, changes nightly, and because the resort is all-inclusive, a selection of wines is complimentary, in addition to the reserve bottles that are available for purchase. The resort’s restaurant has held a Best of Award of Excellence since 2012 (and an Award of Excellence for seven years before that) and offers nearly 650 wine selections with an emphasis on California, France (particularly Burgundy) and Italy, as well as bottles from Austria, Germany, Spain and beyond. Wine director Matt Shaw oversees the cellar, which diners can tour during private wine tastings in the glass-encased wine room. Discerning guests will enjoy Triple Creek’s Vintner Event Weekends, which feature producers like Chateau Montelena and Chappellet. The Ranch also offers an exclusive five-course chef’s table experience, as well drinks on its rooftop bar.


The View

Mirror Lake Inn, 77 Mirror Lake Dr., Lake Placid, N.Y.
Telephone (518) 523-2544
Website www.mirrorlakeinn.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 Two tables by a window overlooking the water at the View
The View is located in the family-owned Mirror Lake Inn, a winter sports destination with Olympic ties. (Courtesy of the View)

The View serves an American-cuisine menu with an impressive wine list on the shore of Mirror Lake. Located at the Mirror Lake Inn, the restaurant has held a Best of Award of Excellence since 2018 (after holding an Award of Excellence for 18 years) for its 500-selection list overseen by sommelier Caleb Smith. The list’s strengths are in California, France, Italy and New York, with an impressive selection of local Finger Lakes picks to complement dishes like Hudson Valley foie gras, risotto fritters and beef filet with Pinot Noir glace. Much of chef Curtiss Hemm’s menu features seasonal ingredients from nearby Adirondack farmers. Before sitting down to the table, work up an appetite skiing, skating, hiking the Adirondack High Peaks or golfing on a neighboring course. Mirror Lake Inn has long been associated with sports since Lake Placid first hosted the winter Olympics in 1932. This means guests can walk in the footsteps of champions who have graced the Mirror Lake Inn grounds, including the owners’ son, Andrew Weibrecht, a two-time Olympic skier and medalist.


Deer Mountain Inn

Deer Mountain Inn, 790 Country Route 25, Tannersville, N.Y.
Telephone (518) 589-6268
Website www.deermountaininn.com/
Award of Excellence

 Three people sitting on couches at Deer Mountain Inn, in front of a stone fireplace and a deer trophy hanging over it
Deer Mountain Inn offers guests a rustic atmosphere for enjoying top-notch dining. (Courtesy of Deer Mountain Inn)

Earning an Award of Excellence in 2022, Deer Mountain Inn is a classic, yet luxurious hunting lodge in New York’s Catskill Mountains, with everything guests need to relax and recharge. Built in the 1880s, the Arts and Crafts–style inn was previously, among other things, the estate of a Depression-era gangster. Today, its main-floor restaurant welcomes travelers and locals to enjoy executive chef Corwin Kave’s cuisine; one page of the menu is dedicated to Kave’s dishes, while the other is a tribute to the restaurant’s local suppliers of maple syrup, soy sauce, sweet cream butter and other ingredients. Wine director Gregory Windrem’s list is largely focused on California, Italy, Burgundy and Champagne, with more than 450 selections in the cellar. Guests looking for just a glass can choose from the likes of northern Italy's Elena Walch and New Zealand's Kumeu River.


The Reluctant Panther Inn and Restaurant

17-39 West Road, Manchester Village, Vt.
Telephone (802) 362-2568
Website www.reluctantpanther.com
Award of Excellence

 Set tables and leather chairs at the Reluctant Panther, with a painting of a red barn on the wall, a coffered ceiling and round lighting fixtures hanging above; bottles of Champagne and other wine are on a table in the background
Take shelter from the Vermont cold at the Reluctant Panther, while enjoying one of nearly 150 wines on the list. (Courtesy of the Reluctant Panther Inn and Restaurant)

Wood-burning fireplaces, antique furniture and a lakeside porch create a tranquil setting at the Reluctant Panther Inn. The inn's restaurant has held an Award of Excellence since 2008, with a wine list focused on California, and many bottles priced less than $100. Wine director Matthew Mandino’s 145-label list offers a wide range of styles, spotlighting Chardonnays from Sonoma, Oregon and Burgundy. Golden State Cabernets, Merlots, Pinot Noirs and Zinfandels form the bulk of the reds, including bottles from Opus One, Spottswoode and Frog's Leap. Chef Sigal Rocklin sources ingredients from local producers for the seasonal, American-cuisine menu, which includes dishes like lobster and brie fondue, ale-braised short ribs, pistachio-stuffed lamb loin and seared black sea bass. The restaurant is surrounded by historic, sightseer-friendly houses dating to the 1700s, and the area offers many outdoor activities, like cross-country skiing at the Viking Nordic Center.


Trapp Family Lodge Dining Room

Trapp Family Lodge, 700 Trapp Hill Road, Stowe, Vt.
Telephone (800) 826-7000
Website www.trappfamily.com
Award of Excellence

 People dining outside at Trapp Family Lodge, with mountains in the background
Trapp Family Lodge recalls the alpine joy of Austria. (Courtesy of Trapp Family Lodge)

In the Venn diagram of restaurants for wine lovers, trail trekkers and movie buffs, Vermont’s Trapp Family Lodge is smack dab in the middle. This lodge is owned by the current generation of the famous von Trapps, the Austrian family featured in the classic film The Sound of Music. After touring the U.S. in the 1940s, they were drawn to the area for its picturesque mountains. By the following decade, the family turned their home into a resort, whose dining room has held an Award of Excellence since 1989. Wine director Michael Keene oversees the 250-label list, with a strong focus on selections from France and California, including verticals from Diamond Creek and Beaulieu Vineyard. Whether indoors or out on the main patio that overlooks the 2,500-acre property, diners can tuck into chef Brian O’Neil’s seasonal dishes, such as wiener schnitzel with spaetzle and maple-glazed duck leg confit. Alternatively, relax at the von Trapps’ kaffeehouse with Austrian-style baked goods and coffee, or head to the bierhall for a pint after a day of hiking Mount Mansfield.

Edited by Emma Grant and Julia Larson


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