Long weekend wine tour Rioja

4 days
  • Visit 4 renowned, but very different top wine estates in Rioja
  • Enjoy superb tastings of table wines as guest of these estates, at traditional bodegas as well as impressively modern wineries, with striking architecture very connected with the landscape
  • Discover the joys of fine Rioja cuisine, modern as well as traditional
  • Enjoy the magnificent countryside of the Rioja, one of Spain’s most spectacular wine regions
  • Sojourn at an exclusive hotel on a wine estate, with majestic views of vineyards and mountains
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Rioja in Northern Spain is perhaps the country‘s most famous wine producing area, located in the province of the same name. The region has a centuries old tradition of wine making. With the arrival of French merchants in the late 19th century, Rojas’ name really took off, as the area gained expertise from Bordelaise winemakers, including their use of small oak barrels.

The wine region is divided into 3 vine growing areas, all producing rather different wines. In Rioja Baja, the Granacha grape variety thrives in warm, relatively low altitudes. Then there are the higher, cooler districts of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa, where the Tempranillo and Graciano grapes flourish. The majority of Riojas are red but some white are made too, the main white grape varieties are Viura and Malvasía

This is slowly becoming a modern wine region too;  an increased proportion of wine producers follow organic methods, and even some extremely successful natural wines are being  produced.  Additionaly,  quite a few wineries are decidedly modern too in terms of the architecture of their bodegas.

Rioja has some beautiful towns and villages. Places like Laguardia, Briones and Cenicero are charming historic hilltop settlements, overlooking the wide expanses of vineyards and forests, with high mountains as a dramatic backdrop. Logroño, around 300 kilometres from Madrid, is Rioja’s capital and economical centre as well as its largest city. It is a pleasant place, with a charming old town, the ‘casco antiguo’, the epicentre of a busy tapas scene with many ‘tabernas’ serving purely and perfectly local food and wines.

Also worth a detour is the wine town of Haro. This lively little place, set on the banks of the Ebro River, is the main town of Rioja Alta. Already in the 19th century Haro had become one of the most important wine cities in Spain, as many companies established their bodegas in or around the town. The old quarter of Haro is well preserved and quite charming, with an ornate Gothic church, labyrinthic stone streets, and tile-roofed houses with wrought-iron balconies.

When it comes to local gastronomy, this wine region has many simple but delicious treats. Rioja’s classic dishes incude slow-roasted lamb over vine prunings, conjonudo (chorizo with egg and red pepper served on bread) and patatas a la riojana (potatoes with chorizo). A staple too is the menestra de verduras, sauteed local spring vegetables mixed with diced serrano ham.

What to expect

With our 4 days Wine tour of Rioja you will enjoy succulent local food and great wine tastings at beautiful wineries. At the same time you would discover some of the most spectacular unspoiled European landscapes. This is a wonderful break for discerning travellers seeking fine wines, delectable cuisine and exclusive accommodation set in stunning countryside.

You will be staying an elegant and charming hotel-cum winery set in the middle of the most beautiful countryside of Rioja.

Built in a style inspired by early 20th century architecture, the building has an elegant structure, that respects its pastoral setting among vineyards, olive trees and pasture land.
The interior is spacious and light, both guest rooms and public spaces offer wonderful views to the surrounding landscape.

There are only 15 rooms. These rooms are very comfortable, with playful but calm furnishings. All rooms, each of which is air conditioned, have an outdoor terrace or balcony. From the hotel one can walk into the winery, which is seamlessly integrated with the reception area. The winery produces very good red wines.

There is a good restaurant as well as a pleasant intimate spa. The property is situated within a 1000 acre estate, with easy access to walking and mountain bike trails. Logroño, Riojas’ capital is just a short drive way. The major airports of Bilbao and Madrid are around 1 hours and a half respectively 4 hour’s drive 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
  • The minimum number of guests is two
  • Euro 185,- single room supplement

What is included:

  • 3 night accommodation excusive hotel/winery Rioja
  • 3 breakfasts
  • 1 tour & tasting at hotel/winery
  • 1 restaurant hotel/winery dinner Rioja – tasting menu including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 restaurant dinner Rioja – tasting menu including wines and soft drinks
  • 1 tour & tasting at a Rioja winery, in a small group
  • 2 excusive tours & tastings at 2 Rioja wineries, followed by tapas-style lunch – including wines and soft drinks

It may be to easiest to fly into Bilbao airport. The drive between Bilbao and Rioja/Logroño takes about one hour and a half. Alternatively you can also fly into Madrid Airport. The drive between Madrid and Rioja/ Logroño takes about four hours.

There are many direct flights to Bilbao 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.

In order to get to the various wineries taking part in the tour, you may wish to rent a car or arrange for a private car service. Kindly note the pricing on our website does not include transportation, since it the cost is largely dependent on the number of people requiring such service. But of course we would be happy to organize a bespoke car service or rent a car on your behalf. If you would like Paladares Travel to assist you, please let us know.

Day 1 (Thursday)
  • Arrival at the hotel/winery (on Thursday, or any other day, in consultation with Paladares Travel).
  • After checking in, there will be a tour of the winery followed by a comparative wine tasting and dinner. At the hotel’s restaurant tasty country dishes from local products like cold cured meats, game and wild mushrooms will be served. All dishes will be paired with the wines from the estate.
Day 2 (Friday)
  • Buffet breakfast
  • Visit to one of Rioja’s most emblematic bodegas in Haro in the Rioja Alta sub region. This is one of the oldest wineries in the region, and one of the few that continues to produce high quality, classic blends of Tempranillo wines aged in American oak barrels. Wines are full, with mature and lingering fruit, in harmony with oak.
  • The tour, in a small group, will take you through the charming century old winery, including its spectacular cellars excavated in the rocks, which at the end open up to the vineyards in the Ebro valley. It will followed by tasting of the signature wines of the winery.
  • Lunch on your own – perhaps you would like to explore the attractive old centre of Haro, which has an abundance of pleasant taverns and restaurants.
  • Dinner at a one the best local places to eat, a Michelin-starred restaurant at short distance of your hotel. The food of the restaurant is inspired by Riojan culinary heritage – the chef works with seasonal locally harvested ingredients, prepared in a simple but sophisticated way. There will also be excellent meat based dishes, and wonderful fresh fish from the port of Bilbao may be served too.
Day 3 (Saturday)
  • Buffet breakfast
  • Visit to one of the Riojas’ best modern wineries on the border between Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. Relatively rare for Rioja, this is a single-estate vineyard, whereby all vineyards are owned or controlled by the “estate” winery. This finca (estate) has a wonderful location, on a ridge above the meandering Ebro river. Walking around the main winery building allows for spectacular views of the river and vineyard landscape. The elegant winery itself is relatively new, tastefully at one with the landscape. The use of traditional Rioja colours and material gives the building a timeless feel.
  • Wines are really good to outstanding, with the Reservas characterized by concentrated black fruit, herbs and vegetal as well smoky notes. After a comparative wine tasting, a light lunch will be served indoors or outdoors, weather permitting and depending on your choice. For an outdoors lunch you will be given you a generously filled picnic basket. This will allow you to enjoy the bucolic landscape surrounding the winery on your own, whilst having an alfresco lunch.
  • After lunch, return to the hotel, with more time to relax and enjoy the splendid surroundings.
  • In the evening dinner is on your own.
Day 4 (Sunday)
  • Buffet breakfast
  • Today a visit to a wonderful winery in again a different wine growing area, just on the border with Rioja Alavesa, already in the province of Navarra. This is a top winery, situated in a valley formed by the last slopes of the Pyrenees mountains. It is owned by one of the oldest wine producers in Spain, which has been producing highly rated wines for generations. You will be surprised how the wines made with the same grapes in different ‘terroir’ can be rather different from the ones tasted the previous days.
  • The winery lies peacefully among its vines, which are cultivated in an organic manner. It is a lovely historic place with a beautiful manor house and chapel typical for the region. The estate with its century’s old historic buildings also contains a beautiful modern wine making operation constructed with eco-friendly materials. The new addition was designed by a famous Spanish architect, but not to make an iconic architectural statement, but to create a building as an integral part of the landscape.
  • The wines here are elegant and seductive. Young red wines offer crispness and freshness with bright fruit and a warm, spicy finish. Aged wines are silky, with notes of red fruit, spices and a long concentrated fish. These wines regularly receive high accolades from domestic and international wine journalists.  An exclusive tour of the finca will be followed by a light lunch, accompanied by a cross section of the signature wines of the estate.
  • After lunch the program ends.
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