Ever popular, ever successful, our wine tour programme would not be complete without a visit to La Rioja where quality and value go hand in hand. Over the years we have tried to ring the changes so that it appeals to those who love the region and once again we’re trying a completely new format.
You may ask why the triangular ferry route. It’s because of the schedule and the timings of the ferry. It’s not ideal but the best we can do to maximise the time available in Spain.
Sunday - We pick up as shown below and sail from Plymouth at 1545. We have dinner together this evening as the ship sails through the English Channel.
Monday - We reach Santander at 1215 and after disembarkation we head south to La Rioja. Our first tasting will be at Bodegas Corral at Navarrete. We continue to Logroño check in to the central Hotel Marques de Vallejo in the Old Quarter where we stay for seven nights. Dinner will be at a nearby restaurant and afterwards you’ll be able to explore the famous Calle Laurel.
Tuesday - We travel to Rioja Alavesa to visit Bodegas Baigorri in Sameniego. This modern winery stretches 7 stories underground and after our visit we have lunch on the premises. From here we drive into Haro for a little sightseeing before we visit the oldest bodega in Rioja, Lopez de Heredia where we can taste their iconic Viña Tondonia wines. After our visit we return to Logroño for a free evening and another opportunity to wander around Calle Laurel.
Wednesday - We head northwards again to visit the La Sonsierra area with our first tasting at Hacienda Lopez de Haro and Bodegas Classica, noted for their fine white wines. We have lunch at the Bodega and in the afternoon we’ll travel to Bodegas Palacio at La Guardia which makes, amongst others, the excellent Glorioso Rioja. After our tour, one of their experts will demonstrate how the wines are blended.
Thursday - We return to the La Guardia region to visit Bodegas Viña Real, part of the CVNE group. We’ll tour the winery and enjoy their Gourmet Tasting Course. Lunch time will be free to sightsee in La Guardia, the charming hilltop town before we travel to Bodegas Casa Primicia housed in the town’s oldest building. We return to Logroño and dinner this evening is at El Cachetero in Calle Laurel presided over by its talented Basque Chef.
Friday - Today we travel east to Rioja Baja and the large and important co-operative at Aldeanueva. We visit two of their newer wineries where they make the better wines. After visiting Vina Herminia we move on to Fincas de Azabache for a tasting and lunch in their restaurant. The afternoon sees us travelling a short distance to the very modern and classy Bodegas Manzanos Azagra. Although situated in the Navarra region its wines fall into the Rioja DOCa. The evening is free in Logrono
Saturday - This morning we’re travelling north again to Haro to visit an old favourite in his new setting, Martinez Lacuesta. Our lunch will be at another old favourite, La Vieja Bodega in Cassalreina. Our final port of call be the wine complex of Dinastia Vivanco. By this evening we will have tasted in all four regions of the Rioja DOCa; Alta, Alavesa, Baja and Navarra!
Sunday - Today we are going to have a free day and we’ll drive along the Pilgrim’s Way to the impressive city of Burgos. This is home to the famous cathedral where El Cid is interred and its grand main square is very impressive. You’ll enjoy a stroll in the Old Quarter before we return to Logroño and have dinner at a nearby restaurant.
Monday - We leave the hotel and make our way back to the Santander. We’ll call in at the local hypermarket and then pause for our final moments in the Sardinero district before catch the 1515 sailing to England. Dinner is at the Le Flora Restaurant this evening.
Tuesday - We continue taking advantage of the sea airs. The ship arrives in Portsmouth at 1415 and after disembarkation the coach returns to the original pick up points.
Cost includes: ferry crossing with cabin, two breakfasts & dinners on board, seven nights’ 3* hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast in Spain; all visits & tastings as described; four lunches & three dinners, Tour Escort.
Single supplement - (Room & cabin) £280
Pick up points : Warwick-Bristol-Exeter-Newton Abbot-Plymouth ( with a Feeder from Portsmouth)
Shipboard options; 4-berth cabin for 2 persons - £90 per cabin(return)
4-berth cabin for 2 persons with porthole - £140 per cabin (return)
Cost includes: ferry crossing with cabin, two breakfasts & dinners on board, two nights’ 3* hotel accommodation with buffet breakfast in Spain; all visits & tastings as described; two lunches & one dinner, Tour Escort.