March 2005 - Vol 11

VINTAGE SPAIN NEWSLETTER. Wine tasting tours in Spain

Our most exciting news this month is the announcement of the new tour led by the famous wine writer John Radford. We named the tour The New Spain Wine Tour, to celebrate his new published book "The New Spain". John is one of the most respected wine critics in the world and a recognized expert in Spanish wine. With his wonderful personality and our expertise in wine tours, this is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

We also feature an extraordinary winery: Costers del Siurana - Clos de l'Obac from the Priorat wine region. And we are doing a special in Wine Museums, to show you some interesting options that can be included in your wine vacation. As usual we have the scheduled tours for 2005 and our agenda for the rest of the season.

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September 18- 25. THE NEW SPAIN WINE TOUR WITH JOHN RADFORD - Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Toro, Cigales and Rueda

We are very pleased to announce our newest wine tour: The New Spain Wine Tour, designed and hosted by John Radford and Vintage Spain. John is one of the most respected wine critics in the world, an extraordinary wine writer, journalist and speaker and a recognized expert in Spanish wines. To celebrate the publication of his two new books, "The New Spain" and "The Wines from Rioja", we decided to organize a tour that reflects its spirit. It is a tour for wine lovers, to have a real life experience of what is going on in Spain now, with the privilege of being led by a wine expert like John Radford.

The tour includes seven days of wine touring. We will visit the wine regions of Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Toro, Rueda, and Cigales including some of the new independent wineries outside the Denomination of Origin system. John will personally pick the wineries to provide a good picture of the new Spain. Winery visits will be private and exclusive, led by wine makers and winery owners with the opportunity to have interesting and animated wine tastings and discussions with them. But the tour offers more than wine. Spanish culture, art and history will be appreciated during visits to selected sites. We’ll enjoy the famous Spanish gastronomy either in wineries or in traditional and modern restaurants. An optional cooking class will be offered. Plus there will be plenty of opportunities for shopping.

After starting in Madrid on September 18th we will spend two days in Rioja, two days in Burgos and Ribera del Duero, and the last three nights in Valladolid. The beautiful town of Valladolid will be our base for exploring Rueda and Toro. The tour will finish in Madrid on September 25th. Lodging will be either in four star hotels or hotels with special charm in winemaker towns of equivalent quality. Transport to and from other towns can be arranged.

The tour will be led by John Radford and Vintage Spain owner, Cristina Alonso. John's extraordinary wine knowledge, excellent sense of humor and wonderful personality, combined with Vintage Spain expertise in wine tours and Spanish culture are sure to make this tour the experience of a lifetime.

Space is very limited. Contact us for detailed information on the tour:

THE NEW SPAIN. New Edition. A Complete Guide to Contemporary Spanish Wine. Published by Mitchell Beazley, Sep 2004.
Witty, inspired text, comprehensive guide to the DO regions, plus Vinos de la Tierra and other wine-producing areas. Fabulous photographs; such stuff as vinous dreams are made on, including the new Spanish national wine law of 2003, new DOs and other wine areas, and fully updated bodega profiles for every region.

THE WINES OF RIOJA. Published by Mitchell Beazley Classic Wine Series, Nov 2004.
The first book devoted exclusively to the wines of Rioja since 1987, it covers the history, geography and development of the wines, soils, grapes and winemaking technology. Detailed profiles of more than 100 bodegas, some historic, some ultra-modern and some slightly unhinged. There’s a full list of all the bodegas in the region and a definitive translation of the current reglamento, at a time when regulation is changing radically in a ground-breaking move unprecedented anywhere else in Spain.


Costers del Siurana, better known for its most famous wine Clos de l’Obac, is one of the first and most prestigious wineries in the Priorat wine region. Founded in 1987 by Carles Pastrana and Mariona Jarque, it is one of the reasons for the renaissance of the D.O. Priorat, in a land where wine making has a very long tradition. They combined this tradition with modern technology to produce their excellent wines.

They also have a very good restaurant in Gratallops, El Celler de Gratallops, five minutes form the winery. And Carles Pastrana just published a new book, 12+1 The Friars Dozen: Thirteen Vintages of a Priorat Wine, about the Priorat region.

More information


The New Spain with John Radford- Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Toro, Cigales and Rueda, 7 nights. Sep 18-25

- Wine and Don Quixote. La Mancha and Toledo, 3 days/2nights. May 11-13.

- Wine and Cava. Penedés and Priorat, 3 days/2 nights. June 21-23, September 7-9

- Wine tradition. Rioja, 4 days/3 nights. June 14-17, Sep 13-16

- Wine, Art and History. Ribera de Duero, 3days/2 nights. June 1-3, September 28-30

- Spanish Wine Experience - Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Toledo, 6 nights. June 6-12.

- Classical Wines, Rioja and Ribera, 4 days/3 nights. 17-20 May, 28 Jun-1 Jul, 30 Aug-2 Sep, 2-5 Oct

-One Day trips from Madrid (Ribera de Duero and La Mancha), from Barcelona (Wine and Cava in Penedés) and from Sevilla (Jerez o Sanlucar). All year upon request

2005 Schedule and itineraries
If you are interested in different dates, please let us know. Tours are open all year upon request.


Vintage Spain can help you attending any of these events

-March 16-18. I International Wine Conference Ribera del Duero. Peñaranda de Duero (Burgos)

-March 24-27. Easter Week Festivities in many Spanish towns, Sevilla, Granada, Valladolid, Toledo

-April 4-7, 2005. 19th Gourmet Club International Fair, Madrid

-April 21-24. 1st International Wine Tourism Show, "DestinoVino". Logroño (La Rioja)

-May 1-8, 2005. Jerez Horse Fair in Jerez de la Frontera.

- May 9-12, 2005. FENAVIN National Wine Fair in Ciudad Real.

- June 3-5, 2005. II International Wine Symposium in Marbella.

- June 20-23, 2005. FEGAMED II Mediterranean Gastronomic Fair in Malaga.

- 2005. Don Quixote IV Centenary


BIKE TOUR IN RIOJA with Hotel Villa de Abalos. April 22-24

NOTE: We would like for you to send us your contributions for the newsletter: description of wineries or wines you enjoy, articles about cities related to wine, interesting festivals and events, comments about tours you have enjoyed or not.



Wine museums or thematic centers are a good way to learn more about all aspects of wine: wine making, wine in history, art and culture, wine tasting, gastronomy and wine, etc. The places selected here are both entertaining and educational, and can be enjoyed by beginners and connoisseurs alike. There are fit for a large audience and they are a great addition for any wine tour.

Dinastia Vivanco Wine Culture Museum in Briones (Rioja)
Ctra N-232, Km 442. Briones. Tel. 902 320001
Opening hours: 10 am to 8 pm, June to September. 10 am to 6 pm October to May. Mondays and Christmas holidays closed. Reservations are required for visits, by email or phone.

This new and impressive Wine Culture Museum was inaugurated in June 2004. The remarkable building includes five exhibition rooms, the Foundation’s Documentation Centre, Conference Hall, Wine Tasting room, Restaurant, Café and Shop. More info

Villa Lucia Wine Thematic Center in Laguardia (Rioja alavesa)
Ctra Logroño s/n 01300. Laguardia. (Álava).
Tel: 945 600032
Opening hours: From Tuesday to Sunday 10:00am to 2.00 pm and 5.00pm to 8.00 pm. Mondays closed.

Villa Lucía is not a normal museum, it is a thematic center dedicated to wine. It is very entertaining for all wine lovers, a multimedia exhibition is designed to show all the secrets of wine making and wine tasting. The visit is fully interactive, and it even includes a virtual wine tasting. More info

Wine Museum in Haro (Rioja)
Avda. Bretón de los Herreros, 4. Tel: 941310547
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10.00 am to 2.00 pm and 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm. Sundays and holidays 10.00 am to 2.00 pm.
In the
Estación Enológica - Enologic Station of Haro

Wine Museum in the castle of Peñafiel (Ribera del Duero)
Castillo de Peñafiel. 47300 Peñafiel (Valladolid). Tel. 983 881199
Opening hours: October 1st until March 22nd, 11:30 am -2:00 pm, 4:00-7:00 p.m. March 22nd until September 30th, 11:00 am - 2:30 pm, 4:30-8:30 p.m.Closed on Mondays, except holidays.

The magnificent castle of Peñafiel is now home of the Museo Provincial del Vino. The museum shows all the aspects of the culture of wine, from the vineyard to the glass, including all the aspects of wine making, wine and gastronomy, wine tasting, etc. More info

Wine Museum in Valdepeñas (Valdepeñas - La Mancha)
Calle Princesa , 39. Valdepeñas (Ciudad Real). Tel. 926347927
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm and 5.00 pm to 7.00pm. Sundays and holidays from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm. Mondays closed.

VINTAGE SPAIN - RUTAS DE VINO · C/Burgos 9 4º B. 09200 Miranda de Ebro. Burgos. SPAIN -
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