San Sebastián & La Rioja Food & Wine Tour

Immerse yourself in northern Spanish Basque food and wine! A culinary paradise, the Basque region boasts stellar traditional cuisine, pintxos bars, private cooking societies, Michelin star restaurants and artisanal products–Idiazabal cheese, anchovies, hard cider and Txakoli. And Rioja shines as Spain’s preeminent wine region.

This is a true wine and food lover’s tour. The Rioja is Spain’s best-known wine region, both in Spain and around the world. Full bodied reds are the main event, but the rare and exquisite whites can’t be missed. You’ll visit a selection of the best producers while crisscrossing the stunning countryside, with vineyards and villages pressed against the mountains. Head north to the Basque Country’s seaside symbol: San Sebastian. Long a popular summer destination for Spain’s elite, San Sebastian has come to be the capital of Basque cuisine. Sporting 18 Michelin stars in a city of less than a quarter of a million, it was the center of New Basque Cuisine starting in the 1970s. Traditional Basque cuisine is on display at the many pintxos bars, product-focused restaurants, and fraternal txoko gastronomic clubs.

The beautiful Rioja region is bordered by the dramatic Sierra de Cantabria mountains to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda to the south. These ranges protect the Rioja from the extreme continentality of central Spain and the moisture and storms of the Atlantic. The Ebro river runs through the region, and many premier wines, such as López de Heredia, Muga, Roda, and La Rioja Alta, are made from vineyards lining its banks. Others take advantage of the high altitude offered by the nearby mountain ranges. Tempranillo is the predominant red grape variety grown here, although many Rioja reds contain small amounts of other grapes. The grape varieties allowed for red Rioja wines include Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo; the varieties allowed for white wines include Viura, Malvasia and Garnacha Blanca. Rioja has increasingly produced barrel-aged white wines to critical acclaim.

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La Rioja

Dramatic backdrop for the wines

San Sebastián & Rioja Food & Wine Tour

7 days / 6 nights

La Rioja – 4 nights  |  San Sebastián – 2 nights



HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit the medieval villages of the Rioja

  • Taste wine in an underground wine cellar

  • Go wine-bar hopping to the most famous Rioja wineries in Barrio de la Estación

  • Leisurely Spanish-style wine pairing lunch at a Michelin starred restaurant

  • Taste artisan Basque products at the family caserío of a traditional charcuterie producer

  • Market shopping in San Sebastián with a chef who then cooks you dinner

  • Explore Riojan and Basque pintxos with local guides



San Sebastián & Rioja Food & Wine Tour

Day 1: Rioja 

  • Explore the underground wine cellars beneath medieval Laguardia

  • Rub elbows with local winemakers at the Rioja’s best modern restaurant

  • Exclusive private tasting at a winery specialized in single-plot wines made from old vines

  • Check into your Relais & Châteaux hotel with an on-site 2 Michelin starred restaurant

  • Overnight in Rioja


Day 2: Rioja

  • Visit a winery where time seems to have stopped–in 1900!–known for long bottle ageing in the cellar before release

  • Relax Spanish style during a leisurely Michelin starred lunch

  • Go wine-bar hopping to the most famous Rioja wineries in Barrio de la Estación. Once you’ve had you fill of wine, walk along the Ebro River to your hotel

  • Wine-pairing dinner in the hotel

  • Overnight in Rioja


Day 3: Rioja

  • Private visit and tasting at a winery in a 19th-century calado–wine cellar dug underground

  • Private winery lunch on the terrace overlooking the Ebro River

  • Explore the preserved medieval villages of Rioja Alavesa.

  • Take in the panoramic views from the the Davalillo Castle

  • Traditional Rioja dinner prepared by a Michelin starred chef.

  • Overnight in Rioja

Day 4: Rioja

  • Your lunch will be tapas and wine in the vineyards of a charming historic winery

  • Guided pintxos tour dinner in Logroño with a local expert.

  • Overnight in Rioja

Day 5: San Sebastián

  • On your way to San Sebastián stop at a charcuterie farm where a rare breed of Basque pig is raised. You’ll have a tasting of their products accompanied by local wines. 

  • Once in San Sebastián stroll along La Concha beach–one of Europe’s finest.

  • Drive up to Monte Igueldo for views over San Sebastián.

  • Dinner at an emblematic 3 Michelin starred restaurant overlooking the Bay of Biscay.

  • Overnight in San Sebastián

Day 6: San Sebastián

  • Join a Michelin starred chef at a local market to buy ingredients. Return to his restaurant for tailor-made dinner prepared using the ingredients you bought.

  • Pintxos tour lunch in the old town of San Sebastián

  • Free afternoon in San Sebastián

  • Overnight in San Sebastián

Day 7: Departure

  • Private transfer to the San Sebastián or Bilbao airport for departure


EPICUREAN SELECT | PRIVATE LUXURY TOUR EXTENSIONS

  • Stay in Barcelona for a few days before the trip, and take the train to Logroño in the Rioja to start your wine touring.

  • Allow a professional sommelier to guide you through an exclusive wine-tasting session to learn about Rioja grapes and terroir.

  • Visit the Rioja winery whose top wine received 100 points from Wine Advocate. Enjoy a private tasting of their wines in their hyper-modern winery. 

  • Visit the workshop of an early 20th-century luxury wool blanket producer. Hand-dyed and hand-woven in Mohair, Cashmere, Alpaca and lamb’s wool, the blankets are offered by luxury home goods designers.

  • Take a day trip to Navarra. Visit a winery with a private art gallery. Then it’s on to lunch in Pamplona.

  • Visit the Bárdenas Reales in Navarra, the desert region where scenes from Game of Thrones were filmed.

  • Sail out into La Concha Bay and have a Rioja and Txakoli wine tasting on the boat.

  • Join a winemaker for lunch in his private winery dining room.

  • Taste through Rioja wines with the sommelier  before a wine-pairing dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant.

  • Enjoy a private cooking class or lunch in a member’s only Basque Gastronomic Club.

  • Have a private tour of the Frank Gehry-designed Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

  • Add on one or two days of winery visits in nearby Ribera del Duero wine region before traveling on to Madrid.

  • Hop over the border from San Sebastián into the French Basque Country and spend time in Saint Jean de Luz and Biarritz. 


Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world.
— Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon