A gourmet route between Madrid and Barcelona to taste the wines of Spain
Spain is the land of good wine, and that's why we propose a trip between two large cities that is led by wine. The itinerary and the areas surrounding the two cities include important wine routes where you will be able to taste prestigious wines such as those from La Rioja and la Ribera del Duero.
Duration: we recommend at least a week to get to know one or two areas and have enough time to enjoy the pleasures of the wine.
The wines from Madrid are a pleasant surprise for many tourists. You can easily learn about them by visiting the wineries or taking part in their themed tours, wine tasting or picnics in the vineyard. There are also various cultural itineraries that cover the history of wine in the region, from the wine from Roman times, to wines of religious orders such as Cistercians and Santiago, and the wine in Goya’s works. Find out more on the Madrid wine tourism website.
CASTILLA Y LEON
Main cities to visit and how to get there: Burgos, Segovia, Valladolid, Soria, Aranda de Duero (Burgos) and Peñafiel (Valladolid). They are all close to Madrid. Valladolid is about an hour from Madrid by train and the other cities are less than two and a half hours from Madrid by car. Ribera del Duero wine route: One of its peculiarities is its underground wineries, which can be visited in Aranda de Duero and Peñafiel, for example. At the latter you can visit the Museum of Wine which is located in the famous medieval castle. Some of the many activities organised by the wineries include a wine tasting under the stars, a hot air balloon ride over the vineyards, horse riding and wine-related treatments in the spas. The most typical wines on this route are the strong and well-structured reds. Rueda wine route: the wineries on this route cover the evolution of the wine culture with tours of underground galleries of medieval and modern wineries. The white and young wines are its most notable. The wine harvest festival (September) and the Verdejo La Seca festival (April) are a couple of great events to discover the wine-producing tradition and wines from the region.
LA RIOJA AND THE BASQUE COUNTRY
Main cities to visit and how to get there: Logroño (La Rioja), Vitoria and Laguardia (Álava, Basque Country), and Haro (La Rioja). These cities are four hours from Madrid and five from Barcelona by car. So, a good option is to fly to Bilbao or Zaragoza airport (there is also a high-speed train connection with Madrid and Barcelona). Rioja Alta wine route: several century-old wineries, renowned restaurants and impressive vineyard landscapes in the mountains of Sierra de Cantabria and Sierra de la Demanda are added attractions to enjoy with the prestigious wines of La Rioja. The Wine Sensory Centre in San Asensio and the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture in Briones (both in La Rioja) are also interesting places to visit. Rioja Alavesa wine route: this region stands out for the avant-garde architecture of its wineries. Marqués de Riscal (in Elciego and designed by Frank Gehry), Ysios (in Laguardia, by Santiago Calatrava) and Viña Real (also in Laguardia, by Philippe Maziéres) are must-sees. The Valdelana winery (in Elciego) is also interesting as it includes a museum, a chapel and a “Tunnel of senses”.
Main cities to visit and how to get there: Zaragoza is the local transport hub for the region and is only an hour and a half by car from the Somontano route, with villages such as Barbastro and Alquézar (both in Huesca). Somontano wine route: the wines are fruity with ruby reds and fresh-tasting whites. The region has great natural beauty and is at the foot of the Pyrenees. August and November are good months to visit, to see the Somontano Wine Festival and the Somontano Wine Tasting Festival (both in Barbastro), alongside many wine-related activities. Another option is to take the Somontano Wine Bus (leaving from Zaragoza and Huesca) with tours of the wineries. As well as wine tastings, many wineries offer ATV, Segway and horse riding tours of the vineyards. An unusual sight in the region is the “Tibet del Alto Aragón”, a small Buddhist temple in the town of Panillo.
Main cities to visit and how to get there: you can reach the Penedès Wine and Cava Route from Barcelona in just 45 minutes by car (the towns include Sant Sadurní d’Anoia and Vilafranca del Penedès). The closest vineyards to Barcelona are about 25 minutes away. Penedès wine and cava route: cava is an excellent sparkling wine with a long history in Catalonia. Most of the other wines are young but of high quality, notable for their bouquet.The available activities include balloon trips over the vineyards; tours on electric bicycle or on horseback; stargazing nights with live music, astronomy and wine and food pairings; chill-out sessions among the vines... There are also three very interesting wine-related tours: the Cava Interpretation Centre in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia; the Wine Culture Museum of Catalonia in Villafranca del Penedès; and the Iberian archaeological site of Font de la Canya, which reveals the origins of the Penedès vine. In Barcelona: there are various original ways you can enjoy wine in the city. For example, pairings on board a sailing boat which departs from Port Olímpic or a wine tasting from the heights of the Colón viewing point, right in the city centre.
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