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4 Days Classical Wines and Basque Country Wine Tour in Spain

Essence Wine and Culinary Vacations Spain

With this fantastic tour, you will experience the best Spanish wines and food. The tasting adventure features full reds of Ribera del Duero, fine wines from Rioja, and the refreshing white txacoli in the Basque Country. A carefully selected diversity of the best estates are offered for you to truly discover the essence and variety of Spanish wine country. Come and enjoy Spain's rich cultural history, flavorful food, and hospitality!

Meet the instructors

Jorge
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Highlights

  • Taste some wine and olive oil in prestigious Roda state
  • Visit a txacoli winery in Getaria to taste Basque Country white wine
  • Visit an exclusive boutique winery in Rioja and enjoy a tasting session
  • Visit the modern boutique winery of Legaris, with a totally different philosophy
  • Try the roasted lamb in a wood fired oven with Ribera del Duero wines
  • Visit Dinastía Vivanco Wine Museum and Guggenheim Museum
  • 3 nights accommodation

Styles


4 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: Spanish, English
The maximum participants in the group is 12
Airport transfer available:
Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (US$57 per person)
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Accommodation

During this tour, you will stay in some hotels in the heart of the regions on a double occupancy basis:

  • Night 1: the luxurious 5-star Hotel Monasterio de Valbuena and Spa - a charming luxury hotel in the Golden Mile of Ribera
  • Night 2 and 3: the modern 4-star Hotel Viura in Rioja, an architectural dream in the heart of Rioja, or Hotel Villa de Laguardia with oil and wine spa, depending on the dates

Program

Winery estates

Rutas de Vino - Vintage Spain have carefully selected a diversity of the best estates to truly discover the essence and variety of Spanish wine country. Visit family owned, traditional, and boutique wineries, historic medieval cellars, and modern architecture masterpieces. You will be welcomed by winery owners, winemakers, and friends in the area.

In Ribera, you will meet the families of Torremilanos and Valsotillo (both part of the pioneers who founded the Denomination of Origin), visit spectacular Portia by Norman Foster, and boutique winery Legaris. And have a special tasting of small producers in the underground cellar of Bodega Don Carlos.

Rioja experiences are all unique. Find tradition in iconic Muga, and see the contrast with the modern high tech of Baigorri. Meet the winemaker of exclusive Valenciso winery, a hidden gem in Rioja. Taste Roda prestigious red wines and olive oil. And visit Dinastia Vivanco, one of the best wine museums in the world.

Daily itinerary

Day 1 - Monday: Ribera de Duero

  • Meal plan: lunch, and 3 winery visits
  • Overnight: 4-star Hotel Monasterio de Valbuena in Ribera del Duero

You will be picked up in Madrid at 9.30 a.m. and driven to Ribera del Duero (about 2 hours). Visit Valsotillo winery, a family-owned winery with cellars from the 16th century. Taste the different wines produced enjoying the company of one of the owners. After this traditional state prepare to be surprised by Portia, the masterpiece of British architect Norman Foster, visit and lunch at the winery.

Enjoy the typical meal from Ribera del Duero, roasted lamb in a wood fired oven with Portia wines. Follow the Duero river towards Peñafiel, where you will explore the town and its magnificent castle from the 11th century. Visit the modern boutique winery of Legaris, with a total different philosophy. Stop in Bodega Don Carlos in Aranda de Duero, Vintage Spain's favorite wine shop, for a special tasting of small wine producers in a medieval cellar. Check in your chateaux wine hotel and dinner on your own.

Day 2 - Tuesday: Burgos and Rioja

  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and 1 winery visit
  • Overnight: Rioja

After breakfast, visit the castle of Peñafiel from the XI century. Drive to Burgos where you will visit the famous cathedral, World Heritage monument by UNESCO. Our Lady of Burgos sums up Gothic architecture in all its beauty. Wine paired tapas lunch around Burgos famous Plaza Mayor or in a winery in Rioja.

Drive to Rioja to visit Amaren, an exclusive boutique winery that makes some of the most elegant wines in the area. The winemaker will personally host you. Visit the medieval walled town of Laguardia (13th century). Under their stone paved streets, it is full of old subterranean bodegas, and over them there are many historic monuments and sites. Check in your hotel with time to enjoy the spa. Dinner will be on your own.

Day 3 - Wednesday: Traditional Rioja

  • Meal plan: breakfast, lunch, and 3 winery visits
  • Overnight: Rioja

Visit the iconic Muga winery, where you can experience the tradition in Rioja winemaking. Walk in the bodega quarter in Haro and taste some wine and olive oil in prestigious Roda state. If time permits, you can also stop in Lopez Heredia to try 10-year old white wines, a living history of Rioja. Next stop is Baigorri, a high tech winery with a beautiful dining room overlooking the vineyards.

Lunch in Baigorri will be a five-course gourmet meal paired with Baigorri wines. After lunch, visit the Wine Culture Museum Dinastía Vivanco in Briones, beautifully located in Rioja Alta. Even a short visit is worth it for any wine lover since it is considered one of the best wine museums in the world. Dinner will be on your own.

Day 4 - Thursday: Basque country: Bilbao and San Sebastian

  • Meal plan: breakfast and lunch

After breakfast, drive to Bilbao (1 hour and 30 minutes) to visit the famous Guggenheim Museum designed by architect Frank Gehry. This unique museum is probably one of the best modern buildings in Spain, and represents architecture at its best. Enjoy lunch with txacoli, a very interesting tart white wine produced only in the Basque country. Lunch will be the fresh catch fish of the day cooked over a coal barbecue in one of the port restaurants overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Continue to San Sebastian.

Included excursions

  • Discover txacoli wine in Elkano winery
  • Enjoy Guggenheim Museum
  • Explore medieval walled town of Laguardia
  • Head to Peñafiel
  • Marvel at the beauty of the Lady of Burgos Cathedral
  • Portia winery visit
  • See the Wine Culture Museum Dinastía Vivanco
  • Stop by Bodega Don Carlos in Aranda de Duero
  • Stop by Baigorri, a high-tech winery
  • Torremilanos winery visit
  • Tour to bodega quarter in Haro
  • Visit modern boutique winery of Legaris
  • Visit olive oil maker in Roda state
  • Visit the iconic Muga winery
  • Visit Valenciso, an exclusive boutique winery
  • Visit Valsotillo winery, a family-owned winery with cellars from the 16th century

Instructors

Jorge

Location

During the tour, you will visit several wine makers and wineries around Spain.

Basque Country

Basque Country is part of the green Spain, extremely pretty, with green rolling hills, beautiful beaches, fisherman towns, and extraordinary food. San Sebastian and Bilbao with the Guggenheim Museum are probably the best known cities in Basque Country. San Sebastian is famous for its gastronomy, from tapas bars to Michelin-starred restaurants.

This is one of the towns in the world with more Michelin stars, home of the new creative Spanish cuisine, without forgetting the traditional food based mainly in seasonal product. Pintxos are the combination of both in miniature cooking and Bilbao has one of the most impressive modern buildings in Spain. The Guggenheim Museum build by Frank Ghery, right by the river has made Bilbao an architecture lover destination.

Fisherman towns are a pleasure to visit and walk around, like Getaria, the birth place of Juan Sebastian Elcano, and the fashion designer Balenciaga, that now hosts his museum, or Hondarribia with an impressive fortress that has beautiful views of both Spanish and French coast. It is also close to the French coast, Biarritz and San Juan de Luz, that can give you a peek of good French living.

While there is only Txacoli wine in this region, a white wine with fresh high acidity, it is very close to Rioja, the most well known wine region in Spain, and you can always do a wine tour from there.

Rioja

La Rioja is one of the most prestigious and well-known of all the Spanish wine regions. The most traditional and modern wineries can be found here. La Rioja is divided in three sub-zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja. The most famous wineries or bodegas are located in the first two. There is a good selection from the wineries of Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta. If time permits, you could also visit at least one winery from the nearby Navarra region.

You will find very different bodegas in Rioja. Discover a bodega built in a farm that was part of a medieval monastery and still makes its wine in the most traditional way, then another one that employs state of the art wine technology, and also visit one of the oldest in Rioja among others.

Enjoy a typical Spanish lunch in a bodega where sarmientos (dry grape vine branches) are used to roast the meat, giving it a unique and delicious flavor. Open your senses and prepare to learn in the new interactive thematic center dedicated to wine in Laguardia, Villa Lucia, or the New Museum of Wine Culture Dinastia Vivanco.

Art and history are well represented in the Human Heritage monastery complex of Suso and Yuso in San Millán de la Cogolla (10th century village), where the Spanish language (castellano) was born, and in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a small medieval town very important for the pilgrims in their way to Santiago.

A stroll through arcade streets will allow you to admire the noble stone mansions with their coats of arms. The cathedral is famous because of its beauty and its legend of the cock and hen. Enjoy a walk in the walled village of Laguardia (13th century walls), capital of Rioja Alavesa.

Underneath the stone paved streets and homes of Laguardia, there is a maze of underground cellars and over them, there are many historic monuments and sites, like the Gothic facade of Santa Maria de los Reyes church from the 14th century. Logroño, the capital of Rioja is a modern and historic town with a great architectural and artistic heritage, where one can also find multiple shopping opportunities.

Since Bilbao is very close to Rioja, it is easy to visit the famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao designed by architect Frank Gehry. One day can be dedicated to the Spanish tradition of wine and tapas. Tapas are small dishes that you have in bars or casual restaurants instead of a formal meal. The old part of Haro or Logroño are great for this!

Food

Dishes you will dine on are based on Spanish tradition and local products. You will have roasted lamb in Ribera, a 5-course meal with Rioja specialties paired with wine, tapas lunch in Burgos, and fresh catch fish of the day in the fisherman town of Getaria. And of course, you will enjoy olive oil and iberico ham, which are the jewels of Spanish gastronomy.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

You will have plenty of opportunities to explore the area. Take tapas tour in Madrid for 70 EUR. You can also extend the tour to include San Sebastian. Please send your inquiry for further information.

What's included

  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast at the hotel
  • Meals as per itinerary with wine, including 4 lunches
  • 6 winery visits with wine tasting
  • Visit Dinastía Vivanco Museum and Guggeheim Museum
  • Bilingual Spanish / English expert tour assistant during the tour for 4 days

What's not included

  • Additional activities
  • Additional hotel expenses
  • Additional meals
  • Airfare
  • Airport transfer to San Sebastian airport (50 EUR)
  • Laundry services
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD). Transfer from Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD) and to San Sebastián Airport (EAS) is available upon request. The cost is 50 EUR for each transfer.

Airport: Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport Airport transfer available: Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (US$57 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 20 days before arrival.
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