Destination: La Rioja, Spain
Date: Spring or Autumn, dates to be mutually arranged for customised parties
Duration: 6 days
Cost: £795 each for two-persons sharing - around 24 persons
Single supplement including single cabin: app £150
We've been running this immensely successful tour for the past fiften years and have decided to continue with it revise it slightly for 2013 with a different hotel and a new selection of bodegas with the exeption of Remelluri which will always be on our visiting list. We are happy to make revisions for private groups which have, maybe, visited some of the bodegas we feature.
If you are new to Rioja then you'll like the friendly atmosphere of the region which is typically Spanish and quite un-touristy. At the bodegas you'll have the opportunity to sample, and buy at the very advantageous prices, some really excellent wines from famous and less well known producers. Good food is a very important part of this tour and if you've always thought of Spanish cuisine as paella and tortilla you're in for a pleasant surprise.
Example six-day tour - Brittany Ferries now offer destinations/arrivals from both Plymouth and Portsmouth - both Ports can easily be accommodated with times and customised itineraries suitably arranged. We also drive to agreed/arranged Pick-up Points
We sail from Plymouth to Santander at 1600 on a Sunday and once we are at sea, Stephen will be presenting a tutored tasting of some of the wines we will meet in Spain followed by dinner in the ship's excellent main restaurant.
Reaching Santander at 1230 (local time) on the second day, we drive southwards and into La Rioja for our first tasting at Bodegas Corral on the St James Way in Navarette just outside Logroño.
We then continue into the city to check into the boutique 3 Star Hotel Marques de Vallejo which is situated in the old quarter near to the city centre and conveniently, shops and banks. We stay here for three nights. Dinner tonight is at a nearby Entrevinos a lovely modern Tapas Restaurant with plenty of gastronomic supprises!
On Tuesday we drive to Haro for a visit and taste at the fabled R Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia, the oldest bodega in Haro. The family-controlled wines made here are steeped in tradition and history. From here we now drive to Bodegas Remelluri, an historic monastic estate, just outside the town where we inspect their museum and historic winery before having a lengthy tasting lunch overlooking the vineyards.
In the late afternoon (if we have time!) we visit the charming hilltop town of La Guardia on the way back to Logroño where you can catch up with your shopping and sightseeing or a cool beer! In the evening Stephen will show you the famous street of tapas bars, Calle Laurel.
We set off on Wednesday and drive to Bodegas LAN to see one of the most modern bodegas elaborating excellent long-lived wines with great breeding. After our tasting we head for Haro and the new bodega of Martinez Laquesta where we will vist and taste their classical style of Tintos.
Next to Casalareina for a leisurly (late) lunch at La Vieja Bodega We then return to Logroño for shopping and later a last chance to enjoy the delights of Calle Laurel.
We leave early after breakfast on Thursday and drive to Bilbao and park outside the outstanding Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art. Entrance to the exhibition is included. Later that afernoon we drive to the port of Bilbao to catch an afternoon sailing to England. Dinner on board this evening.
The ship docks in Portsmouth on Friday - Please note this WineHoliday can be customised with sailings from both Plymouth and Portsmouth - whatever suits the clients agreed requirements
The cost includes ferry crossing with 2-berth cabin each way. All travel by executive coach; three nights' accommodation in 3* hotel with buffet breakfast; one dinner, two lunches; excursions and visits as described; tasting and dinner on first night on board ; services of Stephen Barrett as Tour Manager and Wine Tutor. The itinerary may be subject to change due to harvest priority.
We are also more than happy to offer our Heritage and Wine Tours where we split the tour to include some of the wonderful Heritage sites in and around Rioja.