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This tour offers a gourmet overview of central and southern Spain, allowing you to see, taste, and breathe the wonders the country has to offer. You will visit wonderfully diverse landscapes in Castile and Leon, Extremadura, and Andalucia, beginning and ending the trip in Madrid. You will experience tastings of top-class wines from established winemakers, as well as visits to what is considered the best new wineries in the region.
During this holiday, you will be staying for two nights at the fashionable five-star Palacio de Tepa, Madrid, two nights at the historic four-star Palacio de Castellanos, Salamanca, one night at a former 14th-century palace, the four-star Parador, Caceres, and two nights at the four-star Vincci La Rábida, Seville.
This amazing trip is hosted by Joanna Wivell whose insider knowledge offers an inside track on how to taste the very best of Spain, underpinned by many years uncovering the heart and soul of Iberia. The love of wine and the stories surrounding it is one of the key elements of this trip. You will experience tastings of top-class wines from established winemakers as well as visits to what is considered the best new wineries in the region.
This trip starts from Palacio de Tepa in Madrid. The route takes you through the bustling streets of the historic center as you visit both the classic and the new wave Madrid tapas bars, introducing a range of wines and dishes from across Spain combining great tapas with the cultural insight of tapas hopping, giving an overview to the Spanish culture and an introduction to Madrid.
Head for the medieval walled town of Avila, to the private estancia of one of Spain’s most famous winemakers, Alejandro Fernandez. Lunch at Dehesa La Granja is a selection of local products from the estate, cheese, ham, olive oil, tempranillo jelly and suckling lamb, all accompanied by Alejandro’s wines. Dehesa La Granja is top winemaker at Alejandro Fernandez’s country estate near Toro. You will depart for Salamanca and check in to the hotel for the next two nights, the Palacio de Castellanos.
Leave for the rugged terrain of Arribes to visit British winemaker Charlotte Allen. You will enjoy a tour and tasting and lunch in her wine cellar. After lunch, you will take a boat cruise along the Douro River, where the very steep gorges create a dramatic and hushed environment. Free evening in Salamanca.
After breakfast, you will leave Salamanca for a short drive south to Guijuelo. The first stop is Simon Martin, a producer of the finest jamón Iberico since 1907 and 2012 winner of the best jamón in Spain. You will have a tasting of a range of Simon Martin’s jamon, chorizo, and salchichon. On to Mogarraz to visit La Zorra, a fine winery followed by lunch in the restaurant that owns the bodega. La Zorra produces quality wines from the Rufete grape (93 Parker points). After lunch, you will go to Extremadura and the historic walled city of Caceres and stay at the Parador.
Drive to Merida for a tour of the old Roman city. It is southwards for visit and lunch at the Santa Marina winery. Santa Marina is spectacularly situated on the site of an old Roman vineyard in Extremadura (91 Parker). Onward, to the majestic city of Seville at the hotel for the next two nights, Vinnci La Rabida. Orientation walk before free evening.
Leave the home of sherry, the town of Jerez de la Frontera. The first visit is to Lustau, producers of highly rated sherries since 1896. Lustau is known for its “Almacenista” tradition of bottling sherries from small family bodegas in the region and its Solera Reserva range. Visit and tasting at Fernando de Castilla, owned by Jan Pettersen, hailed as one of the champions in the region for producing wines in keeping with the old-fashioned style.
Visit the Flamenco Museum. After a short tour of the museum for an introduction to the roots of flamenco, you will sit down to see a performance of this fascinating art. You will then enjoy Jabugo ham tasting and dinner at the historic Taberna del Alabadero.
Take the high-speed AVE back to Madrid. After a gourmet picnic lunch on the train, you will check back into the Palacio de Tepa and have an afternoon to explore Madrid. The last night dinner is a lavish introduction to modern Spanish gastronomy at the elegant two-star Michelin restaurant El Club Allard.
This is the end of the tour.
After working in a television in the U.K., Joanna traveled extensively for two years in Asia and Latin America where she always sought the hidden treasures. She eventually moved to Spain in 1999 to produce programs for the TV lifestyle channel. In 2004, she set up Insider’s Madrid providing tailored tours of the capital and the cities around it for families and private groups, and subsequently offering behind-the-scenes travel experiences through her pan-Spanish company Corazón Travel. Joanna started working with Iberian Wine Tours in 2013.
This holiday will take place in Spain. Beginning and ending in Madrid, you will visit wonderfully diverse landscapes in Castile and Leon, Extremadura, and Andalusia.
Spain has more land under vine than any other country and has a rich and varied wine history.
During this holiday, you will be served daily breakfasts, six lunches, and six dinners along with wine. For other meals, you are free to make your own plans.
Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport
Transfer not provided
Please book your flights to arrive at Madrid Airport (MAD). Transfers by taxi are 30 EUR flat fee to the city center.
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