A Sensual Tour Through Spain's Finest Vineyards & Wine Regions

A 12 day trip to Spain 
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Spain's landscape is a sensual feast, the eyes indulging in medieval towns as internationally revered wines excite the nose and tongue. As the reds tantalize and the whites leave crisp tones, you explore the country's eight world-famous wine regions. Exclusive tasting, boutique vineyards, private tours with the winemarkers: this vacation is handcrafted for connoisseurs and wine lovers, taking you from Madrid to Barcelona via the renowned valleys of Northeastern Spain.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Exterior view of Hotel Barosse by day. Photo: Courtesy Hotel Barosse
Exterior view of Hotel Barosse's private patio. Photo: courtesy Hotel Barosse
Exterior view of Hotel Barosse by night. Photo: courtesy Hotel Barosse
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Madrid, Toledo, Toro, Ruedo, Sardon del Duero, Burgos, Briones, Laguardia, Fuenmayor, Samaniego, San Vincente de la Sonsierra, Olite, Pamplona Hondarribia Getaria, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Guggenheim, Barcelona, Pacs del Penedes, Sitges, Gratallops, Falset, Park Guell, Sagrada Familia

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Madrid – Spectacular Wine Tasting Welcome Featuring the Best of Spain

Madrid's streets promise regal gastronomy. A palace shines with its odes to Renaissance beauty. Exclusive restaurants spill the scents of indulgence onto red painted squares, and one of Madrid's finest wine merchants offers a sublime welcome to the tastes of Spain. Sample nine vintage wines, each of them taken from a different region. A skilled technical guide talks you through the regions, providing an overview of Spain and setting you up for the next twelve days of tasting. Nine wines, and now nine gourmet courses as you sit down at Viridiana, a surreal restaurant that explores the beauty of food from all across the country.

What's Included: accommodation, transfers, tasting, nine course dinner at Viridiana

Day 2: Madrid – Exploring the Vino de Paga of Castile La Mancha

Central Spain is far from a wine grower's utopia. The arid plateau has a strange beauty, a kaleidoscope of yellows and reds dominating the horizon as you travel into Castile-La Mancha. Spain has more acres of wine grapes that anywhere in the world, a testament to their obsession with cultivating, regardless of the conditions. Over thousands of years, vineyards have excelled in creating something remarkable from a land less fertile. These are the Vino de Pago estates, classified to be on par with the finest wine regions in the country. Today you visit a succession of Castile-La Mancha's Vino de Paga vineyards, marveling at the almost mythical flavors that emerge from hard soil. Sample a complete range of grapes today, as well as the experimental cross-fertilization that has been forged over 3,000 years. The pace is leisurely and you return to Madrid in the early evening for a gala dinner at a 17th century restaurant serving historic banquets from a bygone era.

What's Included: accommodation, transfers, tasting at four wine estates, all meals

Day 3: Toro – The Emerging Vineyards of Rueda and Toro

The Duero River meanders across fertile plains and deserted castles, its waters are the secret behind North Central Spain's high elevation viticulture. Medieval towns cling to hilltops, the inhabitants mostly gone but the stone reminiscent of an ancient town. Just over an hour north of Madrid you reach the region of Rueda, where cooler climates forge an emergent hub for some of Spain's most exciting whites. Youthful and exuberant, two Rueda vineyards provide a modern start to the day's tasting. Toro is equally dependent on its cool evenings, specializing in Tempranillo with strong aromas. Tour the iconic fields of bush vines and sit down with the winemakers in two of the region's original bodegas. Oak aging is complimented by a lunch of roast lamb and a leisurely afternoon at a luxurious wine estate. You spend the evening on a wine farm in a converted boutique farmhouse, the tasting continuing well into the evening.

What's Included: accommodation, transfers, tasting at three wine estates, all meals

Day 4: Burgos – The World's Finest Reds in Ribera del Deuro Region

The valleys brighten as you continue north, vibrant greens descending across valleys peppered with historic villages. The boundary to Ribera del Duero isn't marked but it's immediately apparent, the slopes suddenly alive with continual bloom. Your first stop is Abadia Retuerta, where a 12th century monastery provides the setting for sampling the recently voted “Best Red in the World.” Another two VIP tasting sessions are included as you weave to Burgos, the town welcoming you with chimes from its Gothic cathedral. Almost exclusively Tempranillo, Ribera del Deuro strongly rivals La Rioja as Spain's most prestigious wine region. Expect strong oak flavors and wines that age exceptionally. All three of today's vineyards having a long standing history of reserving their produce for real wine connoisseurs. Burgos makes for a charming evening of exploration and your guide can recommend a selection of restaurants.

What's Included: accommodation, transfers, tasting at three wine estates, breakfast, lunch

Day 5: Laguardia – Medieval Beauty and Tradition in La Rioja

Rioja excites the imagination of wine lovers, Spain's most famous region never failing to deliver distinct flavors. Journey into the region and vineyards seem to cover every square inch, row after row of vines emanating from whitewashed bodegas and pedestrianized villages. Like Ribera del Duero, Tempranillo is the prime grape, well aged in oak and often only released after eight to ten years. Finca Valpiedra makes for a classic overview of the region, the winemaker taking you through easy-drinking young wines to their Gran Reserva. Exploring the estate provides an idea of the soil and conditions which have made Rioja flourish.

While the Rioja region is internationally acclaimed, individual wineries work hard to produce a distinct taste. Graciano, Mazuelo, and Garnacha, are blended with Tempranillo, local secrets kept under hats and millions of bottles aging in underground city cellars. Two vastly different cellars epitomize the diversity. First, Remirez de Ganuza offers ultramodern experimentation in a town that screams of tradition. It's the hip and chic side to Rioja. Enjoy lunch in the evocative town square of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, before an aging farmhouse revels in its preservation of tradition, presenting incredibly full-bodied reds to complete the day's tasting. Completing today's portrayal of Rioja, descend below the streets of Laguardia to a maze of cellars illuminated by lanterns. You spend the night in this town of medieval musings.

What's Included: accommodation, transfers, tasting at three wine estates, breakfast, lunch

Day 6: Pamplona or Jaca – Experimental Flavors in the Unique Navarra Valley or the Historic Argonese Fort

The Navarra Valley delights in making an impression, its villages steeped in Roman chronicles and its castles standing like sentinels above the vineyards. Sandwiched between Rioja and the French Bordeaux region, Navarra's sun-drenched valleys are home to Spain's finest roses. After a leisurely morning your first stop combines Navarra's two specialties; enjoy suckling pig at a historic farmhouse as the best local Garnacha is tasted. Olite's almost mythical castle provides the backdrop to your second tasting, an experimental farm that's helping to transform the region's international image as a red wine producer. Then the luxury Mercedes rolls into Pamplona, the region's capital and a town that always elevates preconceptions of traditional Spain; tight streets of olive merchants, cobbled squares of endless al fresco terraces, narrow alleys leading to boutiques, and the etchings of history appearing around every corner. Your hotel is idyllically situated in the heart of the old town.

For a more intimate experience drive an hour east to the ancient mountain-side city of Jaca. Once the capital of the Aragón Empire during the 11th century, Jaca is renowned today for its stunning location and fantastic food. Explore the city’s unusually shaped fort and take in the impeccable views of the Pyrenees. Wander through the narrow cobblestone streets to a tree shaded plaza where you’ll dine on bison stuffed with foie gras, the restaurant’s specialty. Spend the night at Hotel Barrose, just outside of town, where comfort and relaxation are your only priority. The five uniquely decorated rooms come with exclusive access to a private spa. You will marvel at the breathtaking views of the Pyrenees from the outdoor jacuzzi. Couples will especially love Hotel Barrose’s romantic ambiance and superb service.

What's Included: accommodation, transfers, tasting at two wine estates, breakfast, lunch

Day 7: San Sebastian – Seafood and Tasting in Txacoli Wine Country

A coastline appears, controlling the horizon as you complete the journey to the northern most wine regions of Spain. Fishing villages hide beneath precipitous slopes, ocean waves come postcard perfect into elegant bays, and your morning's wine tasting brings a new taste to the vacation. Txacoli specializes in a very dry slightly fizzy white, one that's best enjoyed with the fresh seafood of the Basque Coast. A tiny winery offers the tasting before your lunch at Getaria, where seafood is grilled outside as delicately salty air comes off the waves. Continue to San Sebastian, a charming seaside town combining the glamor of royalty with the eternal tradition of Spain. The afternoon and evening is at your leisure.

What's Included: accommodation, transfers, tasting at one wine estate, breakfast, lunch

Day 8: Bilbao to Barcelona – Innovative Architecture and Coastal Pleasures

There's a break from vineyards today as the focus shifts from Northeastern Spain to the Mediterranean. Spend the morning in San Sebastian, resting at the beach or exploring the old part of town. Lunch is a special memory, served at the triple Michelin-Starred Akelarre, six courses paired with wine from across the northern valleys. In the afternoon you transfer to Bilbao with enough time to visit the highly unusual Guggenheim, a mass of twisted metal that's as famous as the artwork it contains. Then a late afternoon flight takes you to Barcelona, where a five-star palace hotel is situated amidst the city's indelible cityscape.

What's Included: accommodation, transfers, breakfast, lunch

Day 9: Barcelona – Exclusive Cavas in the Winelands of Penedes

The Mediterranean coast doesn't have the same wine history as the Northeast but you couldn't guess it. Vines cling to steep terraces, filling the panorama as you travel through the Penedes region. Aromatic whites are the highlights, the likes of Macabeo and Parelleda revealing the modern facade of Spanish winemaking. Start at Pares Balta, sipping on exclusive cavas and a VIP menu of six whites, including their cult classic, Abiss. Penedes is a dynamic region, emerging from the shadows to rival the country's most historic wine destinations. Your second winery presents the variety of grapes found on its slopes, taking you from Xarel-lo to Merlot and the once forgotten Samso grape. A late banquet lunch is enjoyed beside the beach in Sitges, the duck specialty symbolic of the Penedes gastronomy. Return to Barcelona and the evening is at your leisure.

What's Included: accommodation, transfers, tasting at two wine estates, breakfast, lunch

Day 10: Barcelona – Boutique Cellars in the Mystical Priorat Wine Regions

Priorat appears like a wine lovers dream, steeped terraces of grapes interspersed with pastel colored farmhouses and an atmosphere of enchantment. It's a place of exclusivity and boutique tastes, the unusual soil and wide altitude range creating wines that are difficult to locate. Garnach and Carinena are the main grapes, grown in crumbling slate soil, and bottle aged to perfection. Priorat and Rioja are the only Spanish wine regions to be bestowed with the superior status of DOCa (Demoninacion de Origen Calificada), recognition of the consistent excellence of their vintages. It's also an acknowledgement of their contribution to the diversity of Spanish wine.

Journey through a series of hamlets, each inspiring originality with their pedestrianized streets and graceful churches. Falset hamlet is the setting for a gourmet lunch before a second Priorat farmhouse reveals a cellar of epic proportions. Hundreds of thousands of bottles fill the racks as the winemaker talks you through the collection. A sampling menu of aged vintages provides a fitting end to your exploration of Spain's wine regions. Return to Barcelona and the evening is free. The guide can make a number of excellent dinner recommendations.

What's Included: accommodation, transfers, tasting at two wine estates, breakfast, lunch

Day 11: Barcelona – Exploring Gaudi's City and a Final Evening of Tasting

The Park Guell appears like a blur, everything curved and blended in Gaudi's completed masterpiece. Wander through columns of impressionism, watch the tiles catch the morning sun, and spend a few hours admiring the panoramas of Barcelona below. The Sagrada Familia is a much bigger project, still under construction after 130 years yet already a World Heritage Site. Its spires ascend like a dream, each individual and marked by the weird and wonderful. Each side of the cathedral is vastly different, yet the disparate parts come together in a fairytale of exquisite mystery. Now step inside, the eyes unsure where to focus as everything seems surreal. Take your time and indulge: no world building can rival the artistic sublimity. Casa Mila completes your morning tour of Gaudi's work and the afternoon is at your leisure.

This evening, Barcelona's most exclusive wine merchant opens its doors for a VIP tasting session. The menu is partly designed by you, based on the samples from the last ten days. The merchant compliments your choices with wines from unknown regions of Spain, including a couple of renowned Sherries from Andalusia. Leaving a final impression of gastronomic Spain is Cinc Sentits (Five Senses, in English), a luxurious gourmet restaurant with just a handful of tables.

What's Included: accommodation, transfers, morning Barcelona tour, breakfast, dinner

Day 12: Barcelona – Departure

After a final luxury transfer, Barcelona twinkles beneath the wingtips and you're on the journey back home. Fortunately, crates of wine aren't clanking around in the Boeing. Throughout this journey, your guide will assist in packaging and sending all your purchases, ensuring the finest Spanish wine can be shared at home as it fills your cellar for years to come.

What's Included: transfers, breakfast

Price

Price 

Zicasso recommends the following guidelines for customized Spain tour packages, excluding international flights:

  • 5-star: USD $350 - $1,000+ per person per day
  • 4-star: Minimum USD $300 per person per day
  • 3-star: Minimum USD $250 per person per day

The customized package will include accommodations, airport
transfers and other transportation within Spain, guided tours or
activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during
your trip.

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on
final accommodation choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.