Embark on our Rioja Study Tour with on site professional-level instruction
Rioja Wine Study Tour Highlights
The distinctive and storied wines of Rioja are arguably Spain’s best. No other region comes close to capturing the true spirit of Tempranillo. Though historic, Rioja is far from antiquated; this is a dynamic and vibrant wine growing region. Experience Rioja’s evolution firsthand as you enjoy exclusive cellar tastings and discover new trends under the tutelage of a noted expert and terrific instructor!
- Don’t miss an outstanding opportunity to get to know Spain’s most famous wine region
- Study key grape varieties from vine to glass, including Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo/Carinena
- Get to know burgeoning varieties such as Tempranillo Blanco and Maturana
- Visit famous producers and discover what makes Rioja wines age so well
- Meet daring and experimental producers and learn why they prefer not to participate in Rioja’s classification system.
- Visit single vineyards and taste what makes the wines so good
- Meet some of Rioja’s best winemakers and discuss traditional and modern winemaking methods
- Explore Rioja’s sub-regions and learn first-hand what makes them different from each other
- Enjoy meals of a lifetime as you discover what has made Spain a gastronomic destination
Your instructor & Guide: Sarah Jane Evans MW
- Award-winning wine writer and Master of Wine
- Joint-Chairman for Spanish wine and Sherry for the Decanter World Wine Awards
- Member of the Gran Orden de Caballeros de Vino for services to Spanish wine
Your Wine Tour Manager: Rachel Taylor
Assisting the instructor and making sure logistics run smoothly and that your needs are answered will be Rachel Taylor. Rachel's passion for wine has developed over many years living and working in France (Alsace and Burgundy), Chile and Spain, where she is now settled. In the Spanish Embassy Commercial Office in London, Rachel managed marketing and public relations for the Sherry Institute of Spain and collaborated on marketing projects with Wines from Spain. She holds the WSET Diploma.
Arrival Day | D
- Participants arrive independently and meet late afternoon in Bilbao.
- Transfer south to La Rioja and check into 4-star Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
- Enjoy a Welcome Dinner at the hotel’s fine restaurant.
Day 1 | B, L
- Drive to Haro to visit the great estates of the Barrio de La Estación (railway station district).
- Learn about Tempranillo at Bodegas Roda, and visit their remarkable underground caves.
- Visit Bodegas Muga, a traditional family winery with their own cooperage.
- Enjoy lunch of traditional specialties at the Muga estate.
- Afternoon visit to López de Heredía, the most famous of the traditional wineries, with the family.
- Return to the hotel for an evening on your own: dine in the hotel, or try one of the fine restaurants in town with our suggestions.
Credits picture: Conde de San Cristóbal Winery
Day 2 | B, L, D
- Start the day with an introductory visit to the best wine museum in the world, the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture.
- Vineyard visit with Miguel Angel Gregorio of Finca Allende. Talk about single vineyards, as well as white Rioja.
- Lunch at the ultra-modern winery of Baigorri, where you’ll also discover new varietals like Maturana.
- Visit the Eguren family, owners of Señorio de San Vicente and Sierra Cantabria. Discover the Tempranillo Peludo variety and the tradition of Carbonic Maceration.
- Enjoy another fine dinner at the hotel’s fine restaurant, matched with wines of La Rioja Alta.
Day 3 | B, L
- Visit Artadi in Laguardia, where Juan Carlos López de Lacalle has taken the step of leaving the denomination.
- Taste with Tom Puyaubert of Exopto wines, one of the leaders of the new generation. A ‘garage’ winery, literally. Tom is a former sales manager for a French barrel-maker, and we’ll talk to him about trends in oak and the different styles of oaked Riojas.
- Lunch today is at Hector Oribe restaurante.
- Visit the beautiful Contino estate with winemaker Jesús Madrazo, who specializes in Graciano.
- Move on to Logroño and check in to Hotel Marquès de Vallejo, ideally located in the city center.
- You have the evening free to enjoy tapas in the famous Calle Laurel near your hotel.
Day 4 | B, L, D
- Drive to Baron de Ley, the former monastery, with a range of varietal wines to explore. Discover the character of Rioja Baja.
- Visit Marquès de Vargas, where Javier Ausás, the former winemaker at Vega de Sicilia, now consults.
- Enjoy a gastronomic lunch at Michelin 1-star Venta Moncalvillo restaurante, matched with fine old Riojas.
- Visit Marques de Murrieta and the historic estate of Castillo Ygay, one of the oldest and most prestigious wineries in Rioja.
- Return to Logroño for a delicious dinner at Cachetero restaurante, paired with great Rioja wines.
Day 5 | B, L
- Visit the walled vineyard of the medieval castle of Castillo de Cuzcurrita, and taste through their Tempranillos.
- Another visit and tasting rounds out the week, at a great estate TBD.
- Return to Bilbao for a wonderful farewell lunch at Bistró Prêt À Porter, the more casual bistrot of 3-star Azurmendi restaurant.
- Late afternoon group transfer to Bilbao Airport and Bilbao-Abando train station. You may wish to extend your stay to visit this beautiful city with its many cultural sites of interest.
Legend for meals included in your tour: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
* Itinerary subject to change: every effort will be made to keep the itinerary as close as possible to what appears here; however, the final itinerary and estates/winemakers included may vary due to the harvest, wine producer schedules, availability and factors beyond our control. The wine estates visited during this trip will all be of the highest quality.
Your 5 Day, 5 Night Rioja Immersion Study Trip includes:
- Instruction throughout by Spanish wine expert Sarah Jane Evans, Master of Wine
- Deluxe, air-conditioned motor coach transportation throughout, with bottled water on-board
- 3 nights at 4-star Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, double occupancy
- 2 nights at 3-star Hotel Marquès de Vallejo in Logroño, double occupancy
- 3 gastronomic dinners with fine wines
- 5 gourmet lunches with fine wines, including one at a Michelin 1-star restaurant
- 5 buffet breakfasts
- Admission to the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture
- All professional-level tours and extensive tastings at top-quality wine producers
- All hotel and other taxes, and gratuities for included restaurants
Price per person, double occupancy: US$ 4,095.00
Single Supplement: US$ 295.00
Deposit upon reservation: US$ 1000.00 per person, per trip
Get US$ 150 off each additional trip you take!***
NOTE: There are a limited number of twin rooms available. Please let us know if you’d like to share a twin room with another participant to avoid the single supplement and pay the double occupancy price instead.
***After you have reserved your first Study Trip in 2017, you will receive a Discount of US$150 for each additional Study Trip you take in the same calendar year. This Discount will be deducted from the final balance payment for each additional Study Trip. You must pay in full for the first Study Trip you reserve to be eligible to receive the Discount for additional Study Trips.
Space is limited to 18participants, so reserve your space today!
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Enjoy memorable meals at Gastronomic restaurants and estates
PAST MEMBER WEBINAR: Rioja: Transforming Traditions in the Heart of Spain