Rioja

La Rioja–an obligatory pilgrimage for any wine enthusiast–may be Spain’s quintessential wine region known for classic Tempranillo-based wines. The wine region evokes images of pristine medieval villages, stellar local products enlivening the cuisine, and traditional old-world Rioja wines. Beneath this classic exterior the Rioja has a bevy of innovative winemakers producing world-class wines enhancing the wine region's caché. Your private winery visits and wine tastings, often with the bodega owners or the winemakers, will allow you to experience the heart and soul of the region. Your lunches and dinners will be at chef-owned restaurants focused on contemporary cuisine or on age-old traditional fare. Prepare yourself for charming hotels, dramatic scenery, hilltop castles, delicious food, and of course stellar red and, surprisingly, white wines.

Lingering over leisurely meals accompanied by the best wines of the region you will find yourself thinking that you have found the perfect food and wine escape.

Inspiration

  • Visit modern architect-designed and traditional family-owned wineries.
  • Visit underground wine cellars in Laguardia. Underneath this lovely Rioja village the medieval cellars are ideal places for wine-tasting.
  • Relax in luxury or boutique village hotels
  • Dress for dinner– Dine at one of the region's Michelin-starred restaurants.
  • Taste bite-sized Basque tapas on a pintxos tour 
  • Visit Unesco World Heritage Yuso and Suso monasteries and hear stories about the beginnings of the Spanish language.
  • Harvest the grapes followed by a country lunch in the vineyard.

Rioja Trips

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Change is in the air in Rioja. …You will meet an encouraging new generation of Rioja producers starting their own bodegas.
— Sarah Jane Evans MW