Long weekend wine tour Ribera del Duero

4 days
SpainRibera del Duero Wine Region
  • Visit 3 exclusive top wine estates in Ribera del Duero, one of Spain’s most prominent wine regions just 2 hours’ drive from Madrid
  • Enjoy tasting great wines in evocative places, as guest of these wine estates
  • Discover the joys of fine regional Castilian cuisine, modern as well as traditional
  • Enjoy the unspoiled bucolic countryside of Ribera del Duero
  • Explore the wonderful cityscape of the historic and authentic towns in Castllia
  • Sojourn in an elegant hotel in a charming Castilian town, in the heart of Ribera del Duero
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The Ribera del Duero wine region is one of Spain’s most renowned wine regions. The high quality of the predominantly red wines the region produces has been widely recognised internationally: Ribera del Duero has an enviable reputation as a producer of premium red wines.

Ribera del Duero lies in the Castilla y León province, in the northwest of the country. This is considered the heartland of Spain. During the 15th century the rulers of Castilla y León were the driving force for the unification with other regions, as a result Spain was created as a single political entity.

Castilla y León lies on a plateau accentuated by forested hills, at 700-1000m above sea level. The lower land is given over to growing grain, olives, and grapes. The Duero river runs across Castilla y León and continues into Portugal. In Spain the Duero provides picturesque scenery, whilst downstream, across the border in Portugal, the landscape evolves into a dramatic natural scenery: the Douro Valley wine region.

Close to the vineyards of Ribera del Duero there are magnificent historic cities like Valladolid and Burgos, both former capitals of Spain, before the capital was moved to Madrid. There are also notable lesser known towns in Castilia like Zamora, Palencia, Burgo de Osma, and specifically in the center of Ribera del Duero the towns of Peñafiel and Peñaranda del Duero. These places possess a wealth of art and architecture, reminding us of the glory days of old Castilia. The main pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela crosses Castilla y León, hence numerous churches and monasteries dot the landscape. Last but not least, imposing castles mark the landscape and dominate many of the towns, a living reminder that this land too represented the border territory between the Christians and the Moors.

The main wine regions of Castilla y León are Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Toro. Some of Spain’s internationally most celebrated red wines come from the demarcated Ribera del Duero region, relatively unknown outside of Spain until the last decade. The picturesque rolling hills of the countryside here are marked with vineyards where the Tempranillo grape dominates, in a soil of limestone, clay and marl. Some wineries use other grape types, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and the white Albillo Mayor.

The more traditional wineries in Ribera del Duero produce powerful and complex Tempranillo red wines, aged in French oak. Often these wines can mature over a long period of time. Other less traditionally inclined producers are successful too, with wines of greater freshness and less oak, with perhaps a greater sense of place. In summary, wines of high quality abound in Ribera del Duero, both in a traditional as a more modern style.

There is great food to be had in this region too, it is a joy to sample delicacies paired with fine Ribera del Duero wines. Both succulent roast suckling pig as well as sweet nutty Iberico ham are everywhere. And as there are lots of sheep, it may not be a surprise that nearly every restaurant will have a tasty dish of slow–roasted lamb on its menu. Vegetables like lentils and chickpeas are important in Castilian cookery too, where they are often prepared with chorizo. In this region, there are creamy and cured quality cheeses. Among these, the Villalón from Valladolid is deservedly famous.

What to expect

With our 4 days Wine tour of Ribera del Duero you would discover great wines at beautiful wineries, and enjoy succulent local food. At the same time you would get acquainted with the rather unspoiled Castilian landscape, which has a timeless beauty. This is a wonderful break for discerning travellers seeking fine wines, delectable cuisine and exclusive accommodation, in a charming Castilian wine town.

You will be staying 3 nights at a charming boutique hotel in the picturesque town of Peñafiel, the main hub for the Ribera del Duero wine trade.

The hotel has been carved out of a gracious and spacious former flour mill, dating back to the early 20th century. The beautiful building has been extensively restored and turned into an intimate and exclusive hotel. There are around 30 very comfortable rooms, each of which is tastefully furnished and is air conditioned. Public spaces in the building have an open and elegant atmosphere.

There is a good restaurant, and a wine bar – the hotel is co-owned by one of the regions’ leading wine producers. There is also an elegant garden, as well as a spa and a gym.

The hotel has a quiet location in Peñafiel, the historic centre is an easy 10 minute walk. Valladolid is about 60 km away.

Dates 2022:

  • Please note this wine tour is available throughout the year, except the month of August.

The price for a 4 days (3 nights) gastronomic break:

  • Euro 675,- per person
  • Euro 195 – single room supplement
  • The minimum number of guests is two

What is included:

  • 3 night’s accommodation excusive hotel Ribera del Duero
  • 3 breakfasts
  • 1 restaurant dinner Ribera del Duero – tasting menu including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 restaurant dinner Ribera del Duero – three-course menu including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 tour & tasting at a Ribera del Duero winery, followed by lunch – tasting menu including wines and soft drinks
  • 2 tours & tastings at two Ribera del Duero wineries – followed by tapas style lunch including wines and soft drinks

It may be to easiest to fly into Madrid airport. The drive between Madrid and Ribera del Duero takes about two hours.

There are many direct flights to Madrid from cities in Europe. For trans-Atlantic flights, it may be easiest to connect in Lisbon, Porto or Barcelona. Alternatively you can fly directly into Madrid. Booking early can be very advantageous. Paladares Travel does not offer flights, we suggest that you book these directly with one of the many companies offering such services.One of the best ways to explore the wine regions of Ribera del Duero is to self-drive. In larger cities like Mardrid or Valladolid a car is not necessary, these places are best explored by walking or using public transport. Of course we would be happy rent a car on your behalf, or to organize a bespoke car service for local transfers and other transport needs. If you wish you can also have the program fully escorted by an English, as well as Spanish speaking guide.

Day 1 Thursday

Please find below an outline of the wine tour. Our itinerary can be altered to suit your flight schedule and duration desired.

  • Arrival and check-in at your hotel in Ribera del Duero wine region; this is an exclusive hotel centrally located in situated in Peñafiel, the main town of Ribera del Duero – it is around 2 hour’s drive from Madrid.
  • Dinner at the atmospheric restaurant of you hotel. Here traditional Castilian cuisine is reinterpreted; the food is light and refined. You may enjoy dishes like roasted red peppers with Iberian ham, veal on the griddle “a la plancha” with wild asparagus, or braised Iberian pork cheeks served over wild mushrooms.
  • The food will be paired with the wines from two top Ribera del Duero wine estates, which are linked to your hotel: the owners of the hotel co-own these two estates. White wines are fresh and aromatic, the red wines are velvety and substantial with good blue fruit.
Day 2 Friday
  • Buffet breakfast.
  • Visit to one of the Ribera del Duero’s best wine estates in the northern part of the Ribera del Duero appellation. A short route winding through vineyards and umbrella pines brings you to a winery set in a traditional Castilian setting, in the highest part of the Duero valley – the vineyards lie at 850 to 950 metres above sea level.

    Here a local family aims to produce wines that express their terroir strongly, through an organic approach in the vineyard. The soils in which the vines are grown range from limestone in the high parts to sandy and pebbly, as the land slopes down to lower altitudes. With this diversity of soil types, in which the Tempranillo grape expresses different characteristics, the wines acquire a complex range of flavours. The table wines of this bodega are very good. Think lightly oaked Tempranillo wines with wonderful fruit for the younger wines. The Reserva wines have a lot of black and red fruit, with spices like vanilla and cinnamon. Wines have deservedly been awarded high marks from magazines like Decanter and Wine Spectator.

    There will be a tour of the vineyard and the winery. It will be followed by a rustic country tapas-style lunch, paired with various signature wines from the estate.

  • Return to the hotel, with time to relax and enjoy the surroundings – perhaps you would like to visit the grand castle of Peñafiel, or explore the charming town of Peñaranda del Duero.
  • Dinner at a charming local restaurant in Peñafiel, on the banks of the Douro river, at easy walking distance from your hotel. Here the chef prepares quality rustic food with a strong emphasis on dishes from the region, like roast lamb or a game on the spit. The wine list is extensive, focussing on wines of the Ribera del Duero region.
Day 3 Saturday
  • Buffet breakfast.
  • Visit to another excellent winery. The estate is located in the centre of Ribera del Duero, an easy 15 minutes’ drive from your hotel. The winery is beautifully set in the middle of fifty hectares among of its own Tempranillo vineyards. This is a modern winery, tastefully designed in a calm, understated way. It contains an excellent modern wine making operation. There is also a good restaurant, and an inviting rooftop terrace with great views over the Ribera del Duero countryside. The wines are made here with less wood than commonly used in Ribera del Duero, generating clean, fresh wines with pure fruit and a hint of spice – these are considered to be among the best modern-style wines of Ribera del Duero. There are nice rosé wines too, a rarity in this wine region.

    The tour of the winery will be followed by a wine tasting of their signature wines. Then there will be a light tasting lunch in the restaurant of the winery, with wines specifically chosen to complement the food.

  • Return to the hotel, with more time to relax and enjoy the surroundings.
  • Dinner on your own – in the centre of Penafiel, a short stroll from the hotel, there are quite a few authentic and friendly family-run restaurants offering good Castilian food.
Day 4 Sunday
  • Buffet breakfast.
  • Check-out of the hotel.
  • Tour, tasting and lunch at another marvellous family owned Ribera del Duero winery, an easy 20 minutes’ drive from your hotel. Here top wines are created in again a rather different way than at the previous wineries you visited The winery is centrally located among the vines, which cover around 200 ha. The grapes cultivated are Albillo Mayor and Tempranillo. Vineyard age ranges from 12 to over 40 years old and the vines are very low yielding. The root stock even has graft cuttings from a vineyard of indigenous vines of over 100 years old. All grapes here are harvested by hand, in small crates.
  • Wines are kept and aged in cellars carved out of a small mountain, in keeping with centuries old traditions. The whole winery has a natural, constant temperature of 12ºc, due to the fact that it is indeed buried under ground. Wines are released when they have reached a great harmony and balance. The Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva wines produced here receive frequently high accolades from domestic and international wine journalists. Walking through the winding maze-like cellars in the mountain is an amazing experience. On top of the cellars there is a charming Castilian tasting room, allowing wonderful views of the countryside. Here you will taste a cross-section of the wines, accompanied by excellent local tapas, serving as a light lunch.
  • After the lunch our program ends.
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