This largely self-guided tour of Rioja, Spain's most famous wine region, begins in Haro, the region's capital. Transportation is provided by the client, who receives dossiers on the region and its wineries along with maps and driving directions. There is a guided visit to two different wineries to start with, followed by a gourmet wine-tasting lunch in a local restaurant. The tour's length depends on the client's pace, as do the costs.
Ribera del Duero Tour
This three-day tour of the prestigious Ribera del Duero region starts in Madrid with a limousine pick-up and proceeds north 2 hours to the wine region. Famous estates such as Abadia Retuerta, Emilio Moro and Pérez Pascuas are included in the visit. Burgos, with its 13th-century cathedral, is on the itinerary, as are charming restaurants featuring regional cuisine in charming restaurants. The tour concludes back in Madrid with a Spanish wine master class. Costs vary depending how many are in the party but start at between $750 and $1,500 a person for two people.
This tour of Galicia, the Atlantic coastal region in the northwest corner of Spain, starts in the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela, winds through the Rias Baixas wine region along the coast, then turns inland to sample regional culinary specialties. Superstar chefs Toñi Vicente and Robert Crespo demonstrate how they prepare the finest local ingredients with a modern twist. Tours are customized so that length and cost depend on the client's choices.
La Mancha Tour
See the food and wine that Don Quixote knew best with this trip through La Mancha. The three-day, two-night tour begins in Toledo with a visit to a winery and a tour of the city with Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions. Then it proceeds through La Mancha, with overnights in local hotels, visits to wineries and views of the famous windmills tilted at by Don Quixote. A visit to the wine museum of Valdepeñas is included as well as a tour of a manchego cheese factory. Local transport is provided.
This one-day excursion to Jerez de la Frontera, the home of sherry, starts in Seville, about 50 miles away. A drive through vineyards ends in one of the bodegas that fill the town like cathedrals. After a detailed tour including a complete explanation of the sherry-making process, there is a tutored tasting of the different styles of wine, including high-end wines. The tour finishes a meal of local dishes at a restaurant. Other single-day tours are available to Sanlúcar de Barrameda, a less well-known center of sherry production, as well as other sites producing famous Spanish ham and olive oils. The tours cost about $275 per person for two people and less if more people are in the party.
A Question of Taste
Article Written By Darrell Delamaide
Darrell Delamaide has written professionally for over three decades, having held staff positions with Dow Jones, International Herald Tribune, Institutional Investor, Bloomberg and AOL. He currently writes for publications including "MarketWatch," "Institutional Investor," "EnergyBiz" and "DSNews." A former Fulbright Scholar, Delamaide holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy from St. Louis University.