Lonely Planet Writer

Blend your own wine at the Bahamas' first winery

In the midst of the sunny hustle and bustle of Nassau, one hotel is making an international name for itself as the unlikely wine hotspot of the Bahamas. Now it’s even opened the first winery in the country.

The Caribbean and wine; a great combination. Photo by Joe Schmelzer

Bahama Barrels is located in West Hill Street, an area of downtown Nassau full of historic buildings that has been slowly revitalised over recent years. It’s attached to the Graycliff Hotel but the winery itself is in a nearby former convent and church that was built in 1937, the oldest church in the Bahamas.

Due to the climate, the grapes are not grown on the archipelago itself but rather the winery blends grapes from different countries to create what the owners say is a “truly unique Bahamian experience”.

Nassau is a bustling, urban area of the Bahamas. Photo by dnaveh/Shutterstock

You can also get involved in the process by booking their very own wine blending course. In an hour, you’ll learn about growing grapes and get an overview of the winemaking process. The session will be led by a Californian winemaker with almost 20 years of experience who will help guide you through the nuances of winemaking and tasting. You’ll finish off by blending your very own bottle to bring home as a souvenir.

It’s fitting that the Bahamas’ only winery should be in Nassau. As the country’s only city, it provides a marked contrast to the idyllic relaxation hotspot that characterises the rest of the country.

Looking to take your palette on a journey? Check out Lonely Planet’s Wine Trails book.