Rioja Gourmet Wine Escape

Rioja Gourmet Wine Escape
3 days/ 2 nights. Visiting: Rioja. Optional Bilbao and/or San Sebastián extension 
Three days to experience the most famous Spanish wine region where you can find an incredible wine tradition with the most impressive architecture and of course, very good food. If you have more time we suggest you combine Rioja with the Basque country just one hour drive. 

Highlights: 2 nights lodging in Rioja, guided wine tours, traditional Riojan food and modern gastronomy, tapas tour, winery visits combining modern and tradition, and Wine Culture Museum.

Summary

If you only have three days and you want to experience the most famous Spanish wine region where you can find and incredible wine tradition with the most impressive architecture and of course, very good food, Rioja is your place. This Gourmet Wine Break will give you a good experience in Riojan wines, while showing some of the landmarks of Riojan history and art. And of course the trip will include a guided tour and tasting in the most different wineries, old, modern, artisan, etc, to get a broad understanding of Rioja wines without worrying about drinking and driving. A natural extension is Bilbao, just one hour drive, with the famous Guggenheim museum that can be included or San Sebastian, just one hour and a half, a food paradise with a beautiful beach. You can start from Madrid, Bilbao or any other place.

Included: Accommodation in double room with breakfast in suggested hotels, for 2 nights. Comfortable transport and bilingual Spanish/English speaking tour assistant with knowledge about wine and the area for the days of the tour, 3 days. Winery visits with wine tasting, and monument entrance fees, as per itinerary. Meals as per itinerary with wine, 3 lunches. We can have more or less meals included. Tour information and detailed itinerary. Taxes

If you want more information about this tour, or you want us to customize the tour for you please contact us.

NOTES:

  • Wineries will be selected depending on availability and your personal preferences, we can always try to include the ones you prefer
  • Usually you will taste a minimum of two or three wines on each winery; more extensive tastings can be included.
  • Although this is a private tour we do not guarantee that the winery visit will be just for your group unless specifically requested. Please let us know if you prefer to have a private tour and tasting.
  • Please keep in mind that Sunday is the worse day to visit wineries, Saturday is not great either but better than Sunday. However, we could arrange for a tour those days as well.
  • If you have a specific budget let us know, we can consider it.
  • These  tours can be done starting with 2 people.
  • If for any reason any given establishment is not available during the dates requested, we will change the winery, hotel or restaurant for a different one within the same category and level of service.
Itinerary

Legend: L – Lunch, D – Dinner, H – Hotel, B - Breakfast. We can always customize the program for you

Day 1: Pick up in Bilbao or San Sebastian and drive Rioja. Overnight in Rioja (H, L, WV)
Pick up at Bilbao airport or San Sebastian and drive to Rioja (Bilbao - Rioja, 1h and 30 min) to arrive in time for a winery visit and lunch. A traditional Riojan lunch will give you more opportunities to taste the wonderful Riojan wines. We will have lunch in a winery or in a restaurant. Winery can be a small family winery producing very high quality updated style wines or one of the modern wineries in Rioja designed by famous architects, where wine is made using the most advanced technologies.
After lunch we will visit the medieval walled village of Laguardia (13th century) and its church. Under the stone paved streets and homes of Laguardia it is full of old subterranean bodegas, 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. Visit an artisan subterranean winery with underground cellars and taste the wine produce there. Hotel checking and dinner on your own. Suggestions will be provided for activities and/or restaurant reservations.

Day 2. Rioja Wine. Overnight in Rioja. (H, B, L, WV)
Today, your guide will pick you up to visit two Riojan wineries, enjoying the breathtaking views of the Riojan vineyards. We will arrange a traditional winery and a modern one to appreciate the contrast. The tradition of Rioja is very well represented by these centenary wineries, which keep in their cemeteries bottles from the time of their founders. We always try to select different wineries so you get a nice contrast between them and it will give you a very good idea of the present of Rioja wine. You will also have a wine and tapas lunch in Laurel Street in Logroño, with talk on its history, Rioja and its wine culture. After lunch you can visit the Wine Culture Museum Dinastia Vivanco in Briones www.dinastiavivanco.com, and have a traditional lunch there. The museum is situated in the heart of the vineyards adjacent to their Bodega in Briones, a unique and historic location in the Rioja Alta, on the outskirts of Sierra Cantabria. This is one of the largest wine museums in the world. Visit the town of Briones.

Day 3: Wine Culture, and vineyard experience or Monasteries in Rioja. (B, L, WV)
Vineyard experience. Visit the vineyards and participate in the viticulture labors with an expert. After the vineyard you will head to our traditional winery (so called bodega de cosechero), in the same village, to understand the fermentation of wine and winemaking in general. You will later on descend to the 16th century cellar, dug in natural stone, where you will taste wine directly from the barrels (with the appropriate explanations). Finally, each member of the group will bottle his own bottle of wine, that he will carry back home personalized on the label. Lunch. Transfer to San Sebastian or Bilbao or continue your trip

Extension:
BILBAO: where you can visit the Guggenheim Museum designed by the architect Frank O. Gehry before going to Rioja. Or you can spend one night in this vibrant town.
SAN SEBASTIAN: After the intensive food and wine tour, drive to San Sebastian, spend one or two nights and enjoy its food, relax by the beach and drive along the Basque coast.
NAVARRA: Visit some of the wineries of the less know region of Navarra

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES DURING THE TOUR:
RIOJA: horse back riding, hiking, biking, golf, SPA, balloon ride, etc
SAN SEBASTIAN. Cooking class and tapas dinner

Map

Approximate driving times:

Bilbao – San Sebastian: aprox 1h
San Sebastian – Rioja: aprox 2h
Rioja – Bilbao: aprox 1 h 30 min

 

PROPOSED LODGING:
Charming hotel: Hospedería Los Parajes en Laguardia,
http://www.hospederiadelosparajes.com. Beautiful hotel in the center of Laguardia. You can select a normal room or one with jacuzzi inside
Real luxury: Hotel Marqués de Riscal in Elciego *****. It is the new hotel designed by Frank Ghery in the winery of Marques de Riscal http://www.marquesderiscal.com. It belongs to the chain Starwood Luxury Collection. http://www.starwoodhotels.com.