Barcelona, for 5 nights, is the beginning of the trip with many vineyards nearby, some of the best food in all of Europe and jaw-dropping art. From Barcelona we go to the heart of Rioja—” With its beautiful rolling landscapes, medieval hamlets and exquisite wines, La Rioja is Spain’s Tuscany.” The trip ends with just a couple days in Madrid, BUT…there is an optional add-on: Porto, Portugal. For those who are interested, we would fly from Madrid to Porto and not only include the famous Porto wines, but also a wine cruise along the Duoro River.
David Collins is an award-winning winemaker and will lead this Spain Trip, the third in a series of European wine trips. David is co-owner and winemaker at Big Cork Vineyards in Rohrersville, MD. He carefully crafts and blends each of the wines available at Big Cork. What a treat to have him join us our this wine trip to Spain!
Depart U.S. Today make your way to the airport and prepare for your international flight to Barcelona.
Arrive Barcelona: Upon arrival, gather your luggage, go through customs, and meet your driver who will transfer you to your perfectly located Hotel Advance in the beautiful Eixample district.
Private Orientation Tour: After you check-in and have lunch, meet your driver/guide for a tour to orient you to your neighborhood and to the most important and historic sights.
Welcome Reception: After the tour, we’ll gather for a reception to get acquainted. Afterwards, perhaps you would enjoy strolling the Passeig de Gràcia, one of the major avenues in Barcelona (Catalunya) and one of its most important shopping and business areas.
Discover Wines of Priorat: This morning we will meet our driver/guide for a full day of exploring wine of Spain. We will visit 2 wineries and find a charming place for leisurely lunch.
The remote, rocky hills of the Priorat wine region are the birthplace of intense, minerally reds that many wine writers and collectors consider to be Spain’s most elite wines.
Freedom Day: This is a full day to explore independently. Perhaps you would enjoy some of the amazing sites of Catalunya, such as:
- Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudí
- Parc Guell by Antonio Gaudí
- Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudí
- Boqueria Market
- Quarters of Old Town
Travel to Catalunya’s Penedes Region: After breakfast, we will head to the Penedes region to visit a high-end wine estate, learn about the native Catalan grape varietals, and taste more wines and cavas. Penedes is known for producing the very popular Spanish version of champagne called Cava, and both red and white wines.
Travel Day: This morning after breakfast, meet your driver for a 5 hour private transfer to La Rioja. Check in to the charming Parador de Santo Domingo de la Calzada, situated beside the banks of the Oja River. Enjoy meals in this area, pairing La Rioja’s excellent wines with Basque cuisine and the traditional cooking skills of Castile and Aragon.
Food & Wine Day: As we travel to a winery and the wine museum in Elciego, take in the beautiful landscape & amazing views of Basque country: castles, vineyards, mountains & the valleys of the Ebro river.
Discover the Wines of Arganda: This morning after breakfast, we will venture to an area outside the capital city. Vinos de Madrid is a Spanish Designation of Origin located in the southern part of the region. Divided into three sub-zones, we will visit Arganda, where the soil here contains clay and lime over granite subsoil, and is known for grape varieties Tempranillo, Airen and Malvar. There will be ample time to explore and have lunch on your own. We will return to Madrid and enjoy the evening at leisure.
If you like wine, great food and a passion for travel, you are going to LOVE this trip to Spain. David Collins, winemaker for Big Cork Vineyards, will be escorting and educating. You can expect spectacular scenery, really, really good food, and some of the best wines in the world!
I love talking travel and can’t wait to talk to you!