7-days customized tour over the best wine production regions in Spain;  Ribera del Duero DO,  Toro DO, Rueda DO, Rioja DO.4-star accomodation, wine-tasting and gourmet dining, sightseeing, SPA-relaxation.

DAY 1

Arrival to Madrid- Barajas airport ( MAD).

The awaiting bus/minivan will be taking us to Castilla-Leon region.

 First wine production region to visit will be Ribera del Duero—true star of the Spanish winemaking.

Ribera del Duero has received its DO (Denominacion de Origen) status in 1982. DO Ribera del Duero produces mainly red wines of the high quality aging beautifully in the bottle.  Literally, Ribera del Duero means the bank of the Duero river, which flows all the way to the north of Portugal through the Spanish lowlands. The vineyards of Ribera del Duero region are located at a rather high elevation of 700-800 m over the sea level.
Tempranillo is the main variety of Ribera del Duero, which is transforming into top-quality complex red wines.  Upon our arrival to Ribera del Duero will be visiting the Museum of Wine located in the Xth century Castillo de Penafiel over the top of the hill. The magnificent view from the top of the hill, where the Castillo is located, will let us see almost all the region with its vineyards and bodegas ( wineries).

At the foot of the hill the renowned Protos winery is situated. Protos winery is an award-winning enterprise since 1927. The winery actually consists of the 2 buildings—the old one, preserved for the tours and events, and the fully functioning new wine-production unit, located in the designer-made ultra-modern facility.

Our visit will include the visit to the old winery and the caves, originally used for the  aging of the wine, comprehensive explanation of the wine-production process back in the old days and nowadays, the walk through the tunnel uniting the old winery with the new one, passing by the dormitory of the  aging wine bottles, some of which being rare and unique. At the end of the tour we will be tasting 3 wines: 2 of the classic Protos reds and 1 tender white wine from the Protos owned Rueda DO vineyards.

Following the wine-tasting will be moving to the traditional Castilian restaurant for the lunch (not included in the basic price).

Transfer to  Valladolid. Accomodation at the hotel el Coloqio de los Perros****(center of the city).

Free time.

Optional: tapas-tours over the local tapas-bars, dinner.                                                                                         

On the 2nd day of our journey will be visiting another winemaking region–DO Toro, producing fruit-bomb-like complex Castilian red wines from the very old vines, rose wines and some white wines. The region is located a bit to the south-west from the Ribera deal Duero region in about 40 km from the border with Portugal.

On our way to DO Toro will visit the town of Tordesillias, famous for the 1494 Treaty of Tordecillias, signed here by the King of Aragon Ferdinand II, Queen of Castilla Isabella I, John Prince of Asturias, and the King of Portugal John II. The subject of the agreement referred the to the division of the trading and colonizing rights for all the lands to be newly discovered in the world between the Spain and Portugal to the exclusion of other European nations.

While in DO Toro we will be visiting the Bodega Liberalia winery. This is a traditional winery where the host will offer us a tour over the facilities and the wine-tasting, accompanied by the professional sommelier explanation.
Our next stop will be Divina Proporcion winery.  The 5-course lunch menu accompanied by the wines of the bodega will be proudly presented by the hosts to the guests.

After the lunch will be heading to Castillo de la Mota— one of the most beautiful castle not only of in Spain, but in all Europe. Castillo de la Mota is named after the hill, over which it is situated. La Mota hill is dominating the Castilian Plato, and since early times was used as a guarding forpost to protect the settlements of the area.  The first encounters date the XIIIth century, when Alfonso III has ordered to build a castle surrounded by the moat.  The castle was built over the remains of the old Moorish palace which stood here two centuries before the castle was erected.

 

Return to the hotel in Valladolid.

Free time.

We are leaving Valladolid and head to Rueda DO, the natural reserve offering all the necessary conditions for the high quality wine production. DO Rueda specialization is tender and crispy white wines produced from Verdejo grapes variety.

 

The aromatic bouquet of the Verdejo based wines is truly unique.  Verdejo gives attractive fruity bouquet with tender mineral and herbal notes. At its best Verdejo showcases lemon and lime notes, with the tint of herbs and minerals, and its sharp acidity makes it compelling with tapas, light seafood, fish dishes and white meat. In the majority of the cases Verdejos are best unadultered and unoaked, meant to be consumed when young.

We will visit Yllera winery, the signature of the Rueda DO. We will visit the Thread of Ariadne wine museum and the bodega itself. We will taste Yllera wines and then follow to the Yllera restaurant for the lunch.

Transfer to Logrono (Rioja region). Accommodation at the Hotel Los Bracos**** at the very center of the town.

After some rest, we will have a sightseeing tour over the historic part of Logrono. Following it, we will tour the local bar-street of Laureno and taste the local pincho snacks (food and drink is not included in the basic price).

DO Rioja is the most famous and flourishing winemaking region of Spain.  For a lot of wine lovers Rioja is a synonym of the Spanish wine. The region is located in the north-east of Spain on the bank of the Ebro river valley. The smallest autonomous region of Spain surprises us with its scenic views, flora and fauna.

Rioja consists of 7 beautiful valleys fully covered by the vineyards, crossed and cut by the small rivers. The kind of location explains the unique microclimate: the mountains protect the vine from the cold winds, numerous rivers add necessary humidity to protect the vine from freezing.

From the hotel in Logrono we will move into the heart of the winemaking region. The first stop is famous Roda winery. Bodegas Roda aims to produce its wine preserving all the natural traits of Tempranillo, Graciano and Garnacho grapes, and the personality of the terroir.  In 1991 the owners has brought up the idea of the construction of the modern winemaking facility instead of the existing one. In 2001 the construction of the fully functioning highly technological winery was accomplished. The symbol of the winery is a Thistle flower– the symbol of the strong and enduring plant, typical for the local landscape, and keeping it freshness long time after it has been picked. This is symbolic to the red wines produced by the Bodega Roda. After the visit to the bodega we will taste the renowned wines.
The next bodega to visit is Vivanco and it’s wine museum. We will taste the wines and follow to the restaurant of the bodega for the lunch. The hosts offer special “wine cooking” menu, where the dishes are specially chosen to set off the bouquet of the wine and vice versa.

Transfer to La Guardia. accommodation at the Spa hotel Villa La Guardia****.

After some rest we offer sightseeing tour over the medieval town-castle of La Guardia, founded by the Navarra Crown back in the Xth century.

Rest at the hotel, spa and the swimming pool.

Today we are heading to the famous Bodega Marques de Riscal, designed by one of the best modern architects Franck O.Gehry.  We will taste the wines and have lunch at the bodega restaurant.

In the afternoon we will visit Bilbao, the largest and the most avant-gardist city of the region.
Transfer to Bilbao. Фccommodation at the Hotel Abando**** in the heart of Bilbao.

Walking sightseeing tour of the city of the modern culture and architecture. You will learn the myths and legends of the Basque Country, dive deep into the customs and traditions of the mysterious people of the Iberian peninsula. You will see the beautiful Belle Époque palaces of Bilbao, and of course the miracle of the XXI century architecture– Guggenheim Modern Art Museum.

Free time and rest.

Free day in Bilbao.

You can enjoy strolling the streets of the old town, visit Guggenheim Museum on your own, or visit shopping outlets and boutiques offering exquisite collections of the Spanish and internationally appraised designers.

Itinerary ideas:

Guggenheim museum & the Puppy.

Casco Viejo (old town) & El Arenal Cathedral

Zubizurri-White Bridge

Basilica de Begona

Jado SquareDelegation Palace

Palacio de Chavarri

Statue of Ramon Rubial Cavia

Plaza la Salve & la Salve bridge

Boat trip on the River Nervion

We will leave Bilbao and head to the most famous spanish winemaking región—la  Rioja Altа. We will visit Lopez de Eredia Vina Tondonia winery, also known as the Wine Cathedral. The old winery resembles Aquitanian style building with a nice tower dominating the main building.

Following the visit to Lopez De Eredia winery we will head to the village of Samaniego  at the foot of the Sierra Cantabria mountains.  Bodegas BAIGORRI, the next stop on our way, represents the glass cube structure, perfectly inscribed into the emblematic landscape of Rioja Alavesa.  Baigori produces trophy-winning wines, such as PREMIOS CINVE 2014 Trofeo Gran Oro BAIGORRI Garnacha, Wine Decanter and Wine Advocate awarded wines. After the visit to the winery, we will be offered 3-course tasting-menu lunch with the selection of the best wines.

After the lunch we will stop in Burgos and take a walking tour over the city.  Castillo de Burgos—the glorious castle which gave the name to the province of Castilla.  The Catholic Kings used Burgos for centuries as their main residence.  Christopher Columbus was recieved here by Isabelle I and Fernando II of Aragon after the return from his first voyage.

Transfer to Segovia. Accomodation at the hotel.

Segovia is a beautiful city—part of the UNESCO cultural heritage. During our short evening sightseeing tour we will see  Alcazar Royal Palace, the Roman aqueduct, late-gothic Cathedral of Segovia and many more.

Check-out from the hotel in Segovia and the departure to Madrid Airport. Return flight

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