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Vintage Spain, the country’s leading wine and food tour company, has put together this fantastic tour to experience the best Spanish wines and food. Their tasting adventure features full reds of Ribera del Duero, fine wines from Rioja, and the refreshing white txacoli in the Basque country. Spending some time in Madrid will allow you to discover the vibrant capital of Spain, and San Sebastian will give you the opportunity to savor this foodie city, home of the pintxos or tapas and Michelin star restaurants.
During this tour, you will stay in some hotels in the heart of the regions on a double occupancy basis:
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.
Arrive in Madrid. You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to the hotel. Check in at the hotel. Group tapas tour for dinner. Your guide will take you for a visit of the historical part of Madrid and a tapas dinner with all food and drinks included. This will be an introduction to the city and also to Spanish food and wine.
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.
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.
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.
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. Hotel check in.
Enjoy tapas / pintxos tour for lunch.
Jorge has studied wine making at the local school, has worked in wineries in Spain and Portugal, and he is an official cultural and history guide.
During the tour, you will visit several wine makers and wineries around Spain.
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.
Madrid is the capital of Spain, the largest and one of the most interesting cities. You are invited to make the most of your stay in Madrid or just escape it for a day. Walk around Madrid and enjoy all the possibilities this European city offers you. Come and you will discover the modern, the ancient, and the monumental Madrid, with its museums, monuments, and of course, history. You will also enjoy its shops paradise, parks, places to enjoy music, theater or flamenco, bullfighting, and other leisure possibilities, without forgetting the wine and gastronomy culture.
Madrid has a wide offer of restaurants, where local, regional, and international cuisine is served. Who does not know its popular cocido? Madrid is also very popular for its typical bars and little stores. The local guides will take you to the significant tapas bars the capital has, where you could enjoy delicious wine and food. The most popular tapas are of mussel, squid, and especially the bravas, fried potatoes served with a red, thick, and spicy sauce.
You can also escape Madrid and have a one-day wine trip or short wine excursion to Ribera del Duero and Toledo or la Mancha. In these trips, you will experience all the aspects of wine, from the types of grapes and how to grow them, to the secrets of wine tasting. You will visit wineries and discover the art and gastronomy of the area.
The young region of Ribera del Duero is a reference for exceptional red wines. The wines produced in this region are among the finest in Spain. Already in the 12th century, the monks of Cluny were growing grapes along the river bank of Duero to produce wine. Ribera del Duero, in the heart of Castilla-León, is the old land of castillos or castles.
The vineyards are mostly concentrated in the north part of the Duero. Although the nowadays famous Ribera wine is red, from the native variety tinta fina or tinto del país, there are three other well-known wine varieties in the region, which are the white in Rueda, red in Toro, and claret and red in Cigales.
Wine is enjoyed in beautiful old towns like Burgos, Segovia, Peñaranda, Peñafiel or Pedraza, that will bring you back in time. Burgos, the old head of Castilla, has one of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals of Spain, and it is also a lively town, where shopping for local products and handcrafted items is as exciting as looking for the most fashionable stuff.
Segovia, with the cathedral, the Aqueduct and the Alcazar will show you the history of this country. In the monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, you can listen to the Gregorian chant of the monks. In a perfect combination of the old and the new, the famous castle (castillo) of Peñafiel is now the home of a newly opened wine museum.
There are so many bodegas in this area that deserve a visit and you will have a good selection. You can visit the famous underground bodegas in Aranda and the well-known modern wineries of Ribera. Aranda, like lots of towns in the region, is practically hollow underneath, since the bodegas were tunneled deep into the earth to help the temperature control and stability needed for wine storage. Although many fell into disuse, some have been recovered for visiting or for wine production.
Visiting an old wine cellar that have remained working since centuries ago and drinking a glass of wine with one of the owners is an unforgettable experience. The visit to Ribera del Duero won't be complete without the tasting of the famous roasted lamb. You can also go out an evening for the traditional Spanish tapas and wine.
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!
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 freshly caught fish of the day in the fisherman town of Getaria. A tapas tour in Madrid will help you discover the city and a pintxos tour in San Sebastian, and of course, you will taste the delicious olive oil and iberico ham, which are the jewels of Spanish gastronomy.
You will have plenty of opportunities to explore the area. Rutas de Vino - Vintage Spain offers extensions so you can add extra nights in Madrid, San Sebastian, and Barcelona. Please just send your inquiry if you are interested.
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