The following destinations offer the possibility of learning about Spanish wine its most visited and well known wine regions or D.O.s (Denominaciones de Origen or Wine Appellations.) We are talking of wine and cava from Penedés and the wines of the Rioja region. Within a relatively small area we can sample a wide variety of types of wine with distinctive tastes.
The route can be taken from point A to point B or vice versa, the following itineraray details the route from Penedés to La Rioja, visiting Aragón and Navarra to learn about its denominations. Barcelona airport is a good point from which to start the trip.
Barcelona – Huesca – Navarra – La Rioja
D.O. Penedés – D.O. Somontano – D.O. Navarra, Ribera Alta – D.O. Rioja
Departure from Barcelona or Castelladral
11:00 Arrival in Penedés
14:00 Lunch in Penedés
18:00 Depart Penedés
19:30 Arrival in Castelladral (overnight stay)
21:00 Dinner in Castelladral (overnight stay)
Our first visit is to Villafranca del Penedés. Lying in close proximity to the east of Barcelona, Penedés is the most visited wine and cava producing region in Spain. On this part of the trip you can choose from a wide range of guided visits as well as visits to wineries or vineyards. by bicycle, on foot and even by segway… museums, art and culture … wine tasting courses, wine and food matching, breakfasts… all at your disposition simply by visiting the following oficial web page of the wine región www.enoturismepenedes.cat/es.
You will not be left indifferent by our choice of high quality accomodation, in a rual setting, perfectly in keeping with the world of viticulture in which you will be immersed. For this we have chosen a stay in La Garriga de Castelladral, an authentic Catalan masía (large traditional country house) which has been converted into a hotel and restaurant. It is situated in Castelladral, aproximately 1 hour by road from Piera, the most northerly winery in the Penedés region. The town of Castelladral, which has been declared of cultural interest is located midway between the towns of Navàs and Súria. Castelladral´s harmonious, well ordered, yet welcoming streets are organised around the town´s main square. At one end of the this square we can find a scenic viewpoint from which we can appreciate the stunning views of the Bages region as well as the mountain of Montserrat. Among its monuments worthy of visiting we would highlight: The Romanesque Church of San Miguel, and the remains of the ancient medieval castle.
08:30 Breakfast in Castelladral
09:30 Depart Castelladral
12:00 Arrival in Somontano
14:00 Lunch in Somontano
18:00 Depart Somontano
20:15 Arrival Huesca (overnight stay)
21:00 Dinner in Huesca
Our second stop on the route of La Rioja, is in the wine region of Somontano, which nestles in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Somontano, lies in the north of the region of Aragón close to Huesca and is a charming stop on our route.
This region has had its title of D.O. since 1984. For more information and activities we recommend visiting its web page before or during of your stay. The historic complex of San Julián and Santa Lucía de Barbastro, the headquarters of this wine region is an ideal place to start as well as the tourist office in Barbastro where you can ask for suggestions as to which nearby wineries to visit in order to try the local wines. (red, white and rosé).
After visiting this fascinating region we will continue our journey in the direction of La Rioja, where we will find the Hotel Barosse, a marvellous rustic hotel of great quality located in Huesca.
11:00 Depart Somontano
12:00 Arrival inTudela
14:00 Lunch in Tudela
21:00 Dinner in Tudela (overnight stay)
Our next destination is Navarra where we will learn about the wine region, specifically the Ribera Baja. It is only a short distance (30 minutes) from Bárdenas Reales where we can find our accomodation at the Hotel Aire de Bárdenas.
At the centre of the Ribera Baja region lies the town of Tudela to the south of Navarra. We recommend this location as it is home to some of the most important wineries, as well as the main information office for this subzone of the region. Tempranillo is the dominant variety of grape (40%) accompanied by Garnacha (30%). As for white wines, here we can find the greatest concentration of Viura and Moscatel in the region. Tudela, founded in 802 B.C., is one of the most important cities of Islamic origin in both Spain and Europe. It is a city in which muslims, jews and mozarabs lived side by side, a cultural mix which is reflected in its monuments; the Ebro Bridge, the Cathedral of Santa María, the Church of Santa María Magdalena, the Palace of the Marqués de Huarte, the tower of Monreal, Plaza de los Fueros, etc.
10:00 Depart Tudela
11:00 Arrival Rioja
14:00 Lunch in Rioja
18:30 Depart Rioja
19:00 Arrival in Ezcaray (overnight stay)
21:00 Dinner in Ezcaray (overnight stay)
Once we have visited and enjoyed these regions, we move on to the oldest reconised wine growing region in Spain. La Rioja. www.vinoturismorioja.com In this wine region (D.O.C/Denominación de Origen Calificada) Rioja vineyards appear everywhere, but are more prevalent in some areas than others. Here we offer a short guide to visiting the vineyards of the Rioja: by car, countryside walks, from scenic viewpoints or visiting specific wineries. Another option is to use the services of an agency specialising in wine tourism.
– The Rioja Alavesa region is located to the north of the river Ebro, in the province of Álava. The most characteristic variety of wine is “vino joven” or young wine. These wines are made using a technique known as carbonic maceration. During carbonic maceration, an anaerobic environment is created by pumping carbon dioxide into a sealed container filled with whole grape clusters. The result is a variety if wines that are very fruity, fresh, and easy to drink. These wines do not undergo wood aging and are always drunk in the year of production. There are also many Gran Reserva wines (aged for a mínimum of 5 years). We recommend visiting the winery of Marqués de Riscal with its modernist building (hotel) designed by the American architect O’Gehry.
– La Rioja Baja: The lower Rioja region occupies the south-eastern part of the region and descends to 300 metres above sea-level. It is mainly situated in La Rioja, although also includes areas of Navarra. The lands of this region are the most suited to producing wines from the garnacha grape variety. Previously looked down upon for the easy oxidation of its wines and its lack of color this type of grape is regaining its importance as it has been heavily promoted in recent years.