Hola, Rioja

Private Journeys: The Basque Country & La Rioja

Hola, Rioja

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  • Frank Gehry's colorful roof at Marqués de Riscal winery

Rioja is one of those places where tradition and innovation coexist in a particularly pleasurable way. Old-school wineries here turn out some of the world's most elegant reds, while upstarts and experimenters energize the debate about what makes any wine great. Punchy architecture by Calatrava, Hadid, and Gehry abut ancient vines and timeless villages.

This has long been one of Spain's most favored grape-growing regions. When you see and feel the landscape you'll begin to know why. The vineyards are nestled between high mountain ranges that pull warm Mediterranean weather up against cool Atlantic breezes. We'll set you up to sample the best of both old and new styles being produced here.

Another thing not to be missed: some lush corners of this countryside are dedicated to amazing vegetable gardening. The food adventures here, at old-fashioned grills out near the vineyards and in homey kitchens in quaint towns are some of the best parts of local life. You'll enjoy an evening tapas crawl featuring Logroño's best bars in the company of a charming guide.

  • 2 nights in a modern 4-star hotel, set pleasingly into a charming village
  • A visit and tasting at a fabled historic winery in Haro, Rioja Alta
  • A visit and tasting at a prize-winning sustainability-focused winery in Rioja Alavesa
  • Transportation and guiding for an evening tapas tour in food-loving Logroño
  • All breakfasts, 2 tastings, and the tapas dinner
  • Advice on a great mix of restaurants to explore on your own, from rustic to refined (and reservations, if needed)
  • Your rental car and route plan for this easy 3-day loop from Bilbao or San Sebastián (Other starting points are possible. And you can upgrade to a car service if you prefer)