Ribera del Duero & Rioja Wine Tour

Rioja & Ribera del Duero

This trip Is ideal for wine professionals and connoisseurs alike who want to delve into the wines and the wineries in the Ribera del Duero and the Rioja regions. The trip highlights the wines with exclusive tastings of the best wines at each estate. With immersive private visits and extended tastings at wineries, as well as guided wine-tasting meals at Michelin starred restaurants, this is a wine connoisseur’s and a gourmand’s dream trip. The food in both regions plays a central role on this wine trip, from traditional regional cuisine (think roast lamb cooked over grapevine clippings in Ribera and pintxos-covered bars in Rioja) to elegant Michelin star dinners. 

For decades, both in Spain and abroad, Spanish red wine has brought to mind two wine-producing regions: Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Many of Spain’s most famous and highly ranked wines are from these two regions: Vega Sicilia, Pingus, Mauro and Aalto in the Ribera del Duero; and Muga, Marqués de Murrieta, Contador and Rioja Alta in the Rioja are among the names known across the wine world and whose wines consistently receive 90+ points from critics. Although both regions produce wine from Tempranillo, a grape native to Spain, the terroir and climate differences make Riojas bright and fruity while Riberas are concentrated and powerful.

Wines of Rioja & Ribera del Duero

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.

The high-altitude Ribera del Duero region north of Madrid is centered on the Duero River where the iconic wineries–Vega Sicilia, Pingus, etc–are located. The altitude and  extreme continental climate help to build structured elegant and often bold wines, made almost entirely from Tempranillo (known here as Tinta del País or Tinto Fino). These wines benefit from aging, especially the reservas and gran reservas. A better match for the hearty local cuisine than Ribera wines would be hard to come by. Top recommended dishes are roast baby lamb, hearty stews and sheep’s milk cheeses. Ribera is not only about the well known wines favored by the critics and wine enthusiasts. New players have entered the field, typically smaller wineries, whose innovative practices in the field and in the bodega are expanding on the flavors of Ribera del Duero wines. 

Rioja-Artadi-el-pison-vineyard.jpg

La Rioja

Iconic wines

Ribera del Duero & Rioja Wine Tour

7 days / 6 nights

Ribera del duero – 3 nights  |  La rioja – 3 nights


HIGHLIGHTS

  • Winemaker-led tastings in prestigious Ribera del Duero wineries

  • Follow the enologist through barrel-tasting deep in a 16th-century wine cellar

  • Taste 90+ point Ribera del Duero wines paired with the local cuisine

  • Relax in your hotel before dinner at the on-site Michelin starred restaurant in a 12th-century former monastery

  • Watch artisan coopers at work in a 100+ year old Rioja winery

  • Lose track of time during a food and wine fueled pintxos crawl on the mythical Calle Laurel in Logroño, Rioja

  • Local wine-expert guides for all winery tours

ALL TRIPS INCLUDE

  • Private expert professional guides

  • Exclusive private tours and visits

  • Experiences with local insiders such as chefs, winemakers, artisans, and artists

  • Luxury hotels and accommodations

  • Restaurant and wine concierge services for meals and wine tastings

  • Premium wine tastings at all wineries

  • Recommendations and reservations for restaurants in all locations

  • Private chauffeur-driven air-conditioned transportation

  • Airport and train station transfers

  • Expert travel advice and support before and during your trip



Ribera del Duero & Rioja Wine Tour

Day 1: Ribera del Duero 

  • Arrive in Ribera del Duero wine country from Madrid

  • Immerse yourself in Ribera del Duero wines with a visit and tasting of single-varietal wines

  • Pair wines with a wood-fire roasted baby lamb lunch

  • Check into your luxury estate hotel

  • Overnight in Ribera del Duero

Day 2: Ribera del Duero

  • Visit an estate winery whose extensive land holdings date back to the time of the Christian Reconquest in the 12th century. 

  • After a drive through the vineyards in a four-wheel drive vehicle, enjoy barrel tasting in the winery. 

  • Discover Valladolid’s tapas scene during a tapas tour with your guide 

  • Overnight in Ribera del Duero

Day 3: Ribera del Duero

  • Private visit and tasting at a winery that makes just two carefully crafted wines, awarded 90+ points from Wine Advocate and Stephen Tanzer

  • Traditional Castilian lunch in a village restaurant

  • Visit a small family-owned winery that produces traditional-style Tempranillo and Garnacha wines

  • Dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant in a 12th-century former monastery

  • Overnight in Ribera del Duero

Day 4: Rioja

  • After a stop in historic Burgos have lunch in a Michelin starred chef’s casual restaurant. 

  • Visit one of Rioja’s preeminent historic wineries making classic aged wines using Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo. A special treat will be seeing their barrel-making artists in action. 

  • Enjoy traditional tapas before wine tasting at the wine bars in Barrio de la Estación.

  • Overnight in Rioja

Day 5: Rioja

  • Start the day with an exclusive private tasting with a winemaker who specializes in old-vine single-plot wines

  • Take a walk through vineyards and taste wines accompanied by light tapas

  • Drive up to a hilltop castle for a 360º view over the Ebro River Valley

  • Enjoy a Michelin star wine-pairing dinner

  • Overnight in Rioja

Day 6: Rioja

  • Visit a boutique winery making one of the best white Riojas available! 

  • Enjoy a guided hike through vineyards

  • Ramble along emblematic Calle Laurel on a pintxos tour guided by a local expert

  • Overnight in Rioja

Day 7: Departure

  • Private transfer to the San Sebastián or Bilbao airport for your outward trip.r to the San Sebastián or Bilbao airport for departure


EPICUREAN SELECT | PRIVATE LUXURY TOUR EXTENSIONS

  • Taste through top wines at a private Ribera del Duero wine tasting with a Spanish Master of Wine.

  • Explore medieval Riojan villages, churches and monasteries with an expert guide.

  • Spend a morning tasting and shopping with a private wine concierge to fill your cellar back home. Shipping included.

  • Visit an artisan olive oil mill in the Rioja and learn to taste the liquid gold.

  • En route from Madrid surrender to an hours-long cochinillo–roast suckling pig– lunch in Segovia beneath the Roman aqueduct.

  • Blend your own wine, design your own wine label and ship the wine home.

  • 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. 

  • Extend your trip with art and culture filled days in Madrid.

  • Travel to San Sebastián and Bilbao from the Rioja where you can have private Basque cooking classes, taste fresh grilled fish in a fishing port and hike along the green hills bordering the Atlantic.