From East Coast to West Coast (and we’re not talking about New York to LA or Brisbane to Perth) there are many great wine regions in Spain and Portugal.
Let us take you on a journey ….. a fascinating journey to experience just some of the great wine regions that Spain and Portugal offers – and all in the same vacation!
Heading out from Barcelona your wine journey starts with the Penedes Wine Region of Spain, famed as Cava country. Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine produced in the Traditional Method, as is Champagne. Cava was awarded it’s own D.O. (Denominación de Origin) or Wine Appellation in 1986 and, although there are a few Spanish wine regions that produce Cava, this is the main area of production – with over 90% of cava coming from Catalonia.
From here the Priorat Wine Region of Spain, where quality red wines, await you. While Spain has many DO’s or Wine Appellations, there are just 2 DOC’s “Qualified Appellation of Origin” and this is one.
Priorat is famous for its mineral-rich soil, slate (called licorella by the locals), which creates a unique humidity for the vines. Terraced hillsides of slate are common with very old vines of Garnacha and Cariñena, typically blended with small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to offer substantial, inky wines of distinct character and reputation.
Next stop is the La Rioja Wine Region of Spain, the other DOC Wine Region of Spain. Old and traditional on one hand and modernistic on the other. There is a heavy use of oak for long ageing here, which is the signature Rioja style, polished reds based mainly on Tempranillo but also Graciano and Garnacha blends.
Continuing West, your journey continues to the Ribera del Duero Wine Region of Spain. Here you will taste the more modern, full-bodied and slightly more rustic wines than Rioja, even though the two regions are close together. Ribera wines are mostly all Tempranillo, darker and more purple.
Crossing the border now you arrive to the beautiful Douro Valley in Portugal, considered one the most spectacular wine regions of the world with its characteristic terraced vineyards as the sloping hills meet the meandering river below. The famous port wine is made here at Quintas (estates) along a narrow river gorge that winds 100 miles through the mountain ranges and was once shipped downriver to the city of Porto in sail-boats called Rabelos, for ageing. Although famed as a producer of Port Wine, over the last few years the Douro wines have also grown in popularity.
Following the route of Port Wine, as the grape juice once did from the Douro, you arrive to Porto in Portugal, and Vila Nova de Gaia, famous for the Port Wine Lodges of historic port wine producers. Port houses have aged their wines in Vila Nova de Gaia for over three centuries and here, the ageing and blending of most of the world’s supply of Port wine takes place beneath a sea of red roofs emblazoned with some of the most famous names in wine-making.
Porto finds you at the end of your luxury private journey where you will have visited the very best wineries of Spain and Portugal with expert in-house guides, stayed in hand selected hotels and above all been able to make the most of the top wine tasting as your chauffeur takes the driving strain!
You may like to include other wine regions of Spain and Portugal in your Private Wine Tour and we can happily custom build your perfect wine tour based on your preferences. This is an idea for a route in our sample itinerary Wine Lovers Tour of Spain & Portugal . Contact us for pricing or to start custom building your Luxury Private Wine Tour.