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For a wine lover, a wine tour of Spain & Portugal  is an easy way to experience the best wine regions of both countries. For us, the ideal Iberian wine route starts in Barcelona and ends in Porto or Lisbon. The cava cellars of Penedes and mythical reds of the Priorat wine region are highly accessible from Barcelona. Then from Priorat head to the source of Spanish red wine, the famous la Rioja. Just 3 hours away is the most exclusive wine region of Spain, Ribera del Duero, where the Tempranillo grape is king. From here, one crosses the border from Spain into Portugal, and enjoys the scenic beauty of the Douro Valley,  the most iconic wine region of Portugal. If you end your Spain & Portugal wine tour in Porto a visit to one of the many historic lodges along the Douro river with Port tastings is a must! Continuing to Lisbon, the undiscovered Vinho Verde and authentic rural Alentejo wine regions are mandatory stops.

For those wishing to experience the best of Spanish and Portuguese wine regions, we have carefully crafted our Wine Lovers Tour of Spain & Portugal. This 10 day wine tour covers the best regions of Spain & Portugal, the most interesting wineries and the most beautiful scenery.

Vinyes del celler Clos Figures, DOQ Priorat, darrera, el poble del Lloar, Gratallops, Priorat, Tarragona

Fly to Barcelona and start your wine trip in the Penedes Wine Region of Spain, famed as Cava country. Cava is a Spanish sparkling wine produced in the Traditional Method, just like Champagne. This Spanish bubbly was awarded it’s own D.O. (Wine Appellation) in 1986 and, although there are a few Spanish wine regions that produce Cava, the wine region of Penedes is the main area of production, over 90%. The Penedes wine region flagship grape variety is Xarel.lo making it the Penedes cava icon. Your visit to Penedes should include at least one of the spectacular modernist cava cellars as well as one of the emerging high- quality organic producers.

Your wine lovers tour continues to the Priorat Wine Region of Spain, where exceptional quality, red wines await you. These limited production reds are labelled DOC (Qualified Appellation of Origin) a denomination reserved to only Priorat and la Rioja. The Priorat wine region is famous for its mineral-rich soil and terraced hillsides of slate (called licorella by the locals), which create a unique humidity for the vines. Priorat wines blend the wine varietals of Garnacha and Cariñena and are substantial, inky wines of distinct character and reputation.

A not-to-be-missed stop is the Rioja Wine Region of Spain. Here we love to showcase the contrasts between historic and traditional wineries, some of them still making their own barrels and the sleek, modern cellars with amazing state-of -the-art wine-making techniques.  In the Rioja wine region there is a heavy use of oak for long ageing, which is the signature Rioja style, resulting in polished reds based mainly on Tempranillo but also Graciano and Garnacha blends. Bodegas Roda nave fermantación

Continuing west, you arrive to the Ribera del Duero Wine Region of Spain. Here you will taste the more modern, full-bodied and slightly more sophisticated single-vineyard wines at two of our favourite cellars. Part of Ribera del Duero wines’ uniqueness is due to Tinto Fino, the indigenous type of Tempranillo grape. The most mythical and inaccessible Spanish wineries are here, along the legendary Ribera del Duero Golden Mile and you will be lucky to visit one.

Crossing the border now you arrive to the beautiful Douro Valley wine region in Portugal, considered one the most spectacular wine regions of the world! Its characteristic terraced vineyards on the sloping hills meet the meandering river below. The in-vogue again Port wine is made here at various quintas (port wine cellars) along a narrow river gorge that winds 100 miles through the mountain ranges. Historically, Port wine was shipped downriver to the city of Porto for ageing, aboard sail-boats called Rabelos. Nowadays, the Douro Valley wine region of Portugal produces not only Port wines but also excellent reds mainly using the Touriga Nacional grape.

Douro Valley

 

Following the route of Port wine, as the grape juice once did from the Douro, you arrive to Porto 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.

If your Spain & Portugal wine tour is 10 days only, Porto is the perfect finale for this unique wine trip!  Take advantage of our expertise and let us take you to the very best wine regions and wineries of Spain and Portugal. We will ensure for you the best winery visits and wine tastings with expert in-house guides,  hand selected hotels and you will e able to make the most of your wine tastings as your chauffeur takes the driving strain!

You may like to include other wine regions of Spain and Portugal in your private wine tour, for example the up and coming Vinho Verde in northern Portugal and the rural, quaint and very authentic Alentejo wine region, half way between Andalucia and Lisbon. Just let us know and we can happily custom build your perfect wine tour based on your preferences. If you are looking for an ideal for the best route, have a look at our sample itinerary  Wine Lovers Tour of Spain & Portugal . Contact us for pricing or to start custom building your perfect wine tour of Spain and Portugal!

Our Gourmand Breaks DO the Vineyards series is covering some of the great Wine Regions of Spain.

Quality Spanish wines are classified using a system based on the “Denominación de Origen” or “DO”, designated origin, which determines where each wine has been produced. Spanish wine laws created the “DO” system in 1932 and it was later revised in 1970. In addition to the “DO” system in Spain there is also the Denominación de Origen Calificada “DOCa” or “DOQ” in Catalan, a status for DOs that have a consistent track record for quality. There are currently only two DOCa/DOQ regions in Spain: Rioja and Priorat.

Rioja stampLocated partly within the Basque country, Rioja  DOCa  Wine Region of Spain is perhaps best known for red wines and the Tempranillo grape. The Rioja Spanish Wine DO Ca region’s red wines cover many different styles from young wines through to more sophisticated wines which are capable of many years of cellaring – proving the versatility of Tempranillo. Some producers also offer white wines, including some fine barrel-fermented and oak-aged styles and rosés.  The best known of the Spanish wine DO regions, Rioja Spanish Wine DOCa carefully preserves its wine styles but interestingly there are some modern trends which are starting to show through.

Rioja Spanish DOCa wines are mainly aged according to strict specifications and not released until they are considered to be ready to be drunk, which is unique to this part of the wine world. Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva, the various ageing categories are indicated on the back label of each bottle. With an indication often given of other grapes which may have been utilised in the blend.   For example, Tempranillo is supported by Graciano, Garnacha and Mazuelo depending on the producer and even Cabernet Sauvignon occasionally. More especially in barrel aged wines, this gives Rioja Spanish Wine DOCa region wines their very distinctive style.  Not all Rioja Spanish Wine DOCa region wines follow the traditional age classifications and indeed some modern types of wines have more focus on a specific vineyard, reflecting the strong interest among producers to offer wines with distinctive local character.

tempranillo grape

The first Spanish Rioja bodegas date from 1870-1890 but the region expanded dramatically and established its reputation at home and abroad during the 20th century. The early years of this century has a new wave of modern architecture appearing on the landscape and also for new cellars many metres under ground.  Wineries/Cellars designed by famous architects such as Santiago Calatrava and Frank Gehry now stand next to those with an historic background, making Rioja Spanish Wine DOCa region an incredible place to visit for wine, food, spectacular scenery and architecture.

The main towns on Rioja’s wine routes include Haro, Labastida, Cenicero and Elciego, which all have a concentration of wineries with tours and tastings available.

Rioja Spanish Wine DOCa Region Principal Red Grape Varieties: Tempranillo (approximately 80% of all varieties planted), Graciano, Garnacha, Mazuelo. Other authorised red varieties: Maturana Tinta

Rioja Spanish Wine DOCa Region Principal White Grape Varieties: Viura, Malvasía, Garnacha Blanca. Other authorised white varieties: Maturana Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, Turruntés, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo

rioja cork

If you love Wine you can’t miss the Wine Regions of Spain!

Join us on a Private Wine Tour of Spain like our Wine Lovers Tour of Spain of Portugal to explore the Ribera del Duero, La Rioja, Priorat and Penedes Wine Regions of Spain and enjoy expert  guided visits to some fantastic wineries and taste some great Spanish wines.

Just some of the wineries you might visit in the La Rioja DOCa Wine Region of Spain are:
  • Marques de Murrieta 
  • Miguel Merino
  • Ysios
  • Roda
  • Torre de Oña

 

More from our Gourmand Breaks DO the Wine Regions of Spain:

If you love Wine then don’t miss our series on the Wine Regions of Spain.  Our Gourmand Breaks DO the Vineyards series is covering some of the great Wine Regions of Spain, like our previous posts of the Ribera del Duero, Bierzo and Cava DO Wine Regions. New Year is just around the corner, and the sparkling Spanish Wine of Cava will feature in many meals on New Years Eve. The majority of Cava is produced in the Penedès area of Catalonia, a D.O wine region in itself that produces some great Spanish Wines. The Penedès DO Wine Region of Spain spans the provinces of Barcelona and Tarragona in the region of Catalonia.

The DO of Penedès Wine Region of Spain is where Spain’s modern-day wine-making revolution started. By the 1970’s stainless steel tanks had been adopted here and the area began to develop in wine terms with similar dynamism to the nearby city of Barcelona.  The area stretches from the coast to the higher altitudes inland and it features an array of hillsides, coves and valleys providing a rich choice of terroirs for the viticulturalist and winemaker.  Penedès divides into three areas. The lowest “baix-Penedès” (0-250m) is home to the white Cava grapes Macabeo, Xarello and Parellada. In the middle “mitja-Penedès” (250-500m) Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon perform well as do the Cava trio. The highest “alt-Penedès” (500-800m), taking in some of the highest vineyards in Europe, is where Chardonnay and other cool climate varieties are grown as well as the finest Parellada grapes.

The Roman influence in the Penedès led to the cultivation of different red varieties, imported by the Phoenicians and Greeks from the Middle East and Egypt. But the real evolution of the vine and the winemaking in the Penedès took place in the 6th Century AD, because the heart of Mediterranean wine culture was centred in the Penedès. The via Augusta, which crossed the Penedès, from the puente del Diablo [Devil’s Bridge] to the Arco de Berà [Arch of Berà] was the centre for the wine selling.

The well placed geographical position of the Penedès converted this land into an important production area, increasing its prestige in time both in the production of white and red wines. Despite the fact that red wines were more highly prized than whites, as happened all over the Mediterranean, it was said that the white wines were the better offer to Bacchus. The production of quality wines continued until the Middle Ages, the Arab invasion was of no benefit to the cultivation of vines in certain areas of the Penedès, but the period of domination was not very long and vines continued to be grown in the region.

A factor which contributed in a decisive manner to the continuation of the vine in Catalonia was the need, from the poorest of parishes to the richest monastery, (basically those of the Cistercian and Benedictine orders) to have wine available for holding mass. The old white varieties that are more acidic were used for distilling and making brandy. One century later, overproduction affected the Penedès and for this reason many varieties were eliminated in order to plant vines of higher quality. The technique used in the distillation process was very similar to that currently in use. The first brandies were distilled in the 14th Century, following the secret formulae of Arnau de vilanova. The varieties were distilled in copper stills and followed a process of ageing over a long period in oak casks.  At the end of the 19th Century, specifically in 1872, the “sparkling wine of the Penedès” came to life. After the catastrophe caused by phylloxera, the renewal of the vines allowed for important evolution, as right from the very start cavas of very high quality were made that in a very short period of time were conquering very large markets. During this century cava has kept up this quality tendency supported by the wine growing sector.

Xarel.lo grapes

White grapes dominate the D.O Penedes wine production; there is a slight downward trend in the volumes produced for Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada and an upward trend for Chardonnay and other aromatic white varieties. Red varieties are increasingly favoured, especially Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Merlot while the ancient traditional variety Samsó is enjoying a renaissance.  The Consejo Regulador of Penedès has recently introduced the classification “Vino Dulce de Frío”, an ice wine equivalent. This natural sweet wine can be made from a wide variety of grapes including Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, authorised Moscatel varieties and Riesling.

The D.O. Penedès Wine Region of Spain is noted for its excellent white wines, fresh, fruity and with moderate alcohol content, while its reds are soft, with velvety texture and character. The Penedès rosé wines are fragrant and fruity. There are some outstanding sparkling wines, with intense and persistent aromas. The flagship grape variety of this region, which stands out among the 18 authorized varieties, is Xarel.lo making it the icon of the Penedès Denominació d’Origen. The 2010 vintage has been clearly marked by the weather. The rain fall on the 20th August forced an early start to the vintage, making the selection of grapes in the vineyard key to the quality of the wines of the D.O. Penedès the last year. Of one thing wecan be very sure, and that is that the raw materials – the grapes – brought into the cellars during the 2010 harvest were of a very good quality.

Penedes Spanish Wine DO Principal white grapes: Macabeo, Xarel-lo, Parellada, Subirat-Parent (Malvasía Riojana) and Chardonnay. Others: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Chenin Blanc and Muscatel varieties (Muscat d’Alexandrie and Frontignan)

Penedes Spanish Wine DO Principal red grapes: Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha Tinta, Cariñena, Monastrell, Samsó and Merlot. Others: Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Syrah

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If you love Wine you can’t miss the Wine Regions of Spain!

Join us on a Private Wine Tour of Spain like our Wine Lovers Tour of Spain and Portugal to explore the Ribera del Duero, La Rioja, Priorat and Penedes Wine Regions of Spain and enjoy expert  guided visits to some fantastic wineries and taste some great Spanish wines.

 

Just some of the wineries you might visit in the Penedes Wine Region of Spain are:

  • Pares Balta
  • Jean Leon
  • MasTinell
  • Mas Comtal

 

More from our Gourmand Breaks DO the Wine Regions of Spain:

 

Our Gourmand Breaks DO the Vineyards series is covering some of the great Wine Regions of Spain like our previous posts of the Ribera del Duero and Bierzo DO Wine Regions.

With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time to introduce some bubbles and the Cava D.O region of Spain. Cava is a sparkling Spanish wine that is permitted to be produced in various wine regions, however the majority is produced in the Penedès area of Catalonia.

Quality Spanish wines are classified, using a system called the “Denominación de Origen” or “D.O.”, which in English translates as “designated origin”, to determine where they were produced. Spanish wine laws first created the “D.O.” system in 1932 and each “denominación” D.O. has its corresponding regional regulatory council or “Consejo Regulador”. The Cava Denominación de Origen (D.O.) was officially recognized in 1986.

Because of its immense impact on the culture and economy of Catalonia, Cava (Spanish sparkling wine) has its own Destination of Origin (D.O.). Cava comes in four variations: brut, dry, semi-dry and sweet. This celebrative libation—made from Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo grapes—is usually served in a glass flute to highlight the bubbles sparkling upward.

Cava holds a special place in the hearts of Catalans because it represents the viticultural renaissance Catalonia had in the mid-19th century. A phylloxera epidemic had previously wiped out almost all the region’s vineyards—many of which had been growing grapes for centuries. But when the microbiological research of Louis Pasteur was used both to overcome this epidemic and enable control of the second fermentation for sparkling wines, Catalonia’s vineyard culture was revived. The joy of this revival can also be seen in the great care some of the most popular Modernist architects put into new wine cellars, like the one at Codorniu by Puig i Cadafalch.

Cava originated in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia with the research and experimentations of people like the Raventós family, who still own Codorniu cava. Sant Sadurní d’Anoia still produces 75 percent of the 200 million bottles made every year in Catalonia. This is also where Cava Week is held in the beginning of October, complete with a Cava Queen, her speech and a train to tour different cellars.

Sant Sadurní d’Anoia and its surrounding areas in the Penedés region are ideal for cava production because its soils are calcareous and permeable to water while the typical Mediterranean climate offers many sunny days during mild winters and not excessively warm summers.

Cava DO Wine Region of Spain White Grape Varieties: Mostly Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo, but in a few areas Chardonnay, Subirat Parent, Malvasia Riojana

Cava DO Wine Region of Spain Rosé Grape Varietes: Garnacha Tinta, Monastrell, Trepat, Pinot Noir

 

If you love Sparkling Wine you can’t miss the Cava Wine Region of Spain! To learn more about the cava-making process join us on a private wine tour including the Cava DO Wine Region of Spain: Private Luxury Wine Tours

 

Just some fantastic Cava Wineries in Spain you could be visiting :

  • Agustí Torelló Mata
  • Codorníu
  • Albet i Noya
  • Gramona
  • Segura Viudas

 

More of our Gourmand Breaks DO the Wine Regions of Spain:

Penedès is one the richest wine regions of Spain and is primarily known for its wines and cavas.  Although small, this Spanish wine region is full of surprises, and  even though the key elements that have molded the Penedès area are Grapes and Wine, the character of the region is also shaped by its history, nature, gastronomy and it’s dynamic people.

Penedes Wine Country, Spain

The Penedès scenery is full of vineyards, bodegas, quaint Catalan masia farmhouses and small villages and towns with a great history.  One of our favorite Penedès villages is Sant Martí Sarroca, an ancient settlement.  This lovely Penedès village, with its tiny houses and cobbled streets huddled around a great rock, offers uninterrupted views of the Penedès vineyards with the Montserrat mountains as a backdrop.  Apart from the magnificent views, an atmospheric 10th Century castle and the beautiful Romanesque church of Santa Maria stand proudly at the top of the hill. There are some small restaurants in the village where you can enjoy a good local lunch accompanied by good Penedès wine and, of course, the fantastic views.

Sant Martí Sarroca, Penedes

The Penedès locals are open and friendly with a  love of showing off their land.  There are not many Penedès residents who cannot identify which grape is on the vine or prepare the correct glasses for wine-tasting. They know the wineries like their own families and are always delighted to give you insider tips on what’s hot in the Penedès air at the moment.

There are over 150 bodegas in the Penedès wine region of Spain producing a diversity of wines.  The trained vines of the Penedès vineyards enable the grapes to have more exposure to the sun which enables them to ripen better.  The Montserrat mountains protect the Penedès from the North Winds, so with the Mediterranean climate, warm soft temperatures and little rain, it is the perfect place for the Chardonnay, Macabeu, Xarel.lo, Cabernet and Merlot grapes to grow, among many others.

The Penedès area is a big producer of White Wine, a good part of this being cava, as in the 20th century the revolution for Catalan sparkling wine  changed the way of everyday life and habits here in Penedès wine country. Today, the traditional white wines are light, aromatic and happy, with the local variety of Xarel.lo adding personality to the wine, and the sparklers and rosés are fragrant and persistent with an intense aroma.

Even though the white grape varieties dominate in Penedès, a host of well-made red wines are now notably on the rise in production and defend their place with a balanced, silky and aromatic body.  However, in the category of reds, Penedès have yet to catch up with their illustrious neighbor Priorat.

With the multitude of wine cellars, either famous mass marketers or discreet  local sellers, Penedès is a great region to learn of traditional wine-making methods along with new technologies, organic practices and innovative ideas. Proud of their world class wines, many bodegas in Penedès open their doors and invite you to tour their premises to view their beloved vineyards and vast cellars, and, of course, to taste their craved results.

Early Spring in Penedès sees the vines ooze with sap, which is a sure sign that new shoots are ready to grow.  In Spring and Summer the vines are alive with green leaves.  Harvesting will occur in late summer and in early Winter the pruning will begin.

 

Discover this great Spanish wine region of Penedès while on one of our private wine tours. Our fantastic  Luxury Grand Wine Tour of Spain and France  includes not only the Penedès Wine Region of Spain, but also the wine regions of Ribera del Duero, La Rioja, Bordeaux (France),  Emporda and Priorat as well as the cities of Madrid, San Sebastian and Barcelona.

Not only is the Empordà region of Spain a beautiful and fascinating place to visit with Medieval Girona, Besalú, Pals and Peratallada, not to mention gorgeous picture-postcard seaside villages, but it also offers some unique and very exciting young wineries.  Led by wine specialists and oenologists, who prefer to grow their grapes on an ecological  basis, some fine wines are now being created from Empordà vineyards and they are well worth a visit.

Emporda Spanish Wine

One such Empordà winery is Terra Remota lying under the mountains, close to the border of France.  Nothing less than “great wine” is the goal of this winery owner and his team.  Lying long and low on a plateau embellished with hillocks in the shadow of the Pyrenees,  is the raw concrete “bodega” designed by Spanish architects Pépe Cortés & Nacho Ferrer.  It is recently built, but in time will surely hide itself entirely in its natural surroundings. This ecologically run vineyard and their fine wines have gained a fabulous reputation, having resided on the Wine Lists of more than one Michelin 3 starred restaurant!

You can really enjoy something very special after a visit to this Empordà winery;  take a lazy short walk through the vineyards to the picnic area, where you can put your feet up and lounge in the shade of the tall trees on the sun beds provided. Having selected the wine of your choice beforehand, everything will be delivered to you at the picnic area – local cheese, ham, pate, tomato, grapes and bread, a feast for two. With the sun filtering through the tree tops, take time out to breathe in the fresh mountain air as you sip your delicious coffee at the end of a truly relaxed picnic.

Mas Estela – Not only do they produce high rated wines, but the location of this Empordà winery is sublime. It is tucked into a valley within the Cap de Creus natural park and is only 3 kms from the Mediterranean sea, with it’s moderating influence, and near to the charming village of Selva de Mar.

The family came here in 1988 and bought a large ruin with some 50 hectares of valley and scrub land with steep slopes on either side. Having rebuilt their house, they planted the terraces with varieties such as syrah, monastrell and garnatxa gris to complement the garnatxa, cariñena and muscat which already existed.

This organic Empordà vineyard  also applies bio-dynamic principles by looking at the cycles of the moon to interact with the soil, to know when to work on the vines or add natural fertilizer. This means that the environment is not polluted by any type of chemical and as such the whole variety and diversity of organic, insect and wildlife is preserved and encouraged creating a truly healthy environment.

Mas Oller – Carlos Esteva is a pioneer in creating quality wines in Spain.  He started making wines in the Penedès Wine Region at Can Ràfols dels Caus Estate, near Barcelona.  In the seventies he was the first to introduce the Merlot grape variety to Spain and his GRAN CAUS Tinto 1984, a wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot aged in French oak barrels, was a completely new concept in Spain. Also, his white wines are unique.

Mas Oller

With the Mas Oller project, Carlos decided to rescue the Empordà family estate from oblivion and asked his old friend, Peter Schoonbrood, a Dutch expat, to set up the concept for the new winery and the wines.  In the year 2000 he decided to plant vines to produce new, prestigious, high-quality wines.  Some wine was made from the young vines in the earlier vintages and was sold locally.  Now, the Empordà vines have reached the right age for achieving the desired concentration of fruit.  The first wines were launched in April 2009 and the response since then has been extremely positive.

* La VinyetaA small Empordà vineyard and olive farm situated at the heart of the beautiful Emporda wine D.O region. It is a young, dynamic, family company, run by the enthusiastic oenologist Josep Serra and his wife that is the fruit of much effort and ambition. In 2002 they purchased two excellent old Carignan and Grenache vineyards, aged between 50 and 75 years. From that moment on, more and more vines were planted, up to the present 30 hectares.

La Vinyeta

The project was consolidated in 2006 with the construction of the winery and the making of the first wines. In 2009, La Vinyeta became one of the first wineries to adopt Integrated Production, an environment-friendly cultivation system. This is the context in which the wines of La Vinyeta are born.

Their signature wines (Heus, Llavors and Punt i Apart) are structured as if they were part of a unique story.

  • “Once upon a time” for the Heus label, the freshest and youngest of their wines; which is produced in red, white and rosé varieties.
  • “Then” for  Llavors, which suggests evolution after spending six months in oak casks.
  • The story is completed with the distinct Punt i Apart  “new paragraph”; La Vinyeta’s flagship wine, and our definite favorite, which stays 13 months in oak casks.

 

Besides their great tasting Empordà wines, another aspect that sets La Vinyeta apart from other wineries is their superb design. The work of Lluís Serra, Josep’s brother, has been recognized for its originality in their packaging, logo design and the naming of their products. Every detail of their concept is well thought out and has a reason for being there, from start to finish, as the story goes.

 

Enjoy visits to some of these, and other, wineries in the Empordà region of Spain on one of our  Private Wine Tours custom designed just for you

Because we want to combine both the experience of a day at an authentic Spanish winery with a gourmet cooking class (meanwhile tasting some delicious Spanish wines!) then we are excited to bring you the news that one of our favorite chefs at Gourmand Breaks is now offering cooking lessons from a fabulous bright kitchen overlooking the vineyards of one the most fantastic wineries in the area. Read more

In the last two decades, contemporary architecture has staged a thrilling encounter with the unlikely world of viticulture. Originating in California’s Napa Valley, the earliest of these winery designs were brash and postmodern, selfstyled “temples to wine” that created a thriving tourist market around California’s vineyards. But in recent years, innovation has turned West, flourishing as a modern form of branding amongst the ancient Spanish wineries of northern Spain.

Read more

Distinguished American wine writer Robert Parker has become the only wine critic to be awarded Spain’s Gran Cruz al Merito Civil.

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