Enjoy wine tasting at two popular vineyards in Rioja
Enjoy wine tasting at two popular vineyards in Rioja

Private Rioja History & Wine Experience, San Sebastián

Savor tastings at two famous Rioja wineries, including Marques del Riscal, and visit medieval Laguardia on this private day trip.

Overview

Visit two of Rioja's famous wineries and the historic town of Laguardia on this private day trip from San Sebastián. You'll start by visiting the Marques del Riscal winery, an architectural marvel, followed by a trip to a 15th-century estate with underground wine caves. At each vineyard, you'll enjoy a wine-tasting session with an expert guide. Conclude your journey with more wine and pintxos (small Spanish dishes) in the medieval town of Laguardia before returning to San Sebastián.

Highlights

  • Learn about Rioja's rich winemaking history and how to taste its delicious varietals
  • Tour Marques del Riscal winery, designed by famed architect Frank Gehry
  • Discover one of the oldest wine estates in the area, featuring underground wine cellars 
  • Enjoy pintxos and more local wine in medieval Laguardia

Know before you go

Duration
8.5 hours
Recommended for
All ages
Group
Private
Food & Drink
Tastings at two wineries plus three pintxos and three wines as a light lunch.

What you'll do

Your journey to Rioja, one of Spain's most famous wine regions, begins with a hotel pickup from San Sebastián. Travel two hours south with your private guide in a comfy, air-conditioned vehicle, enjoying views of the area's rolling countryside grooved with vineyards. Rioja's wine history dates back to Roman times, and the region is now home to over 500 wineries thanks to its climate and fertile soil. Rioja is Spain's oldest Designation of Origin (DO), which was established in 1925.

Your first stop is Marques del Riscal winery, designed by the same architect behind the Mueso Guggenheim, Frank Gehry. Admire the building's distinctive curved, titanium-and-steel structure, reminiscent of Gehry's other famous works. Here, the owners will take you on a walk through the vineyards, teaching you how their signature varieties are produced, concluding with a wine-tasting session. 

Next, you'll continue to one of the area's oldest estates, a 15th-century vineyard with wine caves and cellars over 26 feet (8 m) below the ground. Meet the resident viticulturists and explore the facilities to learn about the entire wine production process, from vine to bottle. End with a second wine tasting guided by your expert sommelier. 

Afterward, your driver will continue to Laguardia, a medieval walled town set on a hilltop surrounded by vineyards and the Cantabrian Mountains. Take a walk through this atmospheric town, which was founded in the 10th century during the kingdom of Navarra, with defensive tunnels built into the hillside, which are now primarily used as wine cellars. Interesting sites in Laguardia include the Iglesia de San Juan and Plaza Nueva in front of the Iglesia de Santa María de los Reyes.

Your guide will take you to a popular eatery in town, where you'll savor a light lunch of regional cuisine. Enjoy three wines accompanied by three typical pintxos, such as tortilla (Spanish omelet) and patatas bravas (fried potato). Afterward, it's time to return to San Sebastián, where your guide will drop you off at your accommodation, bringing your day trip to a close.

What's included

  • Private, local guide
  • Transportation in a private vehicle with air-conditioning
  • Access to two wineries in Rioja
  • Wine tastings at wineries
  • Three pintxos and three wines as a light meal

Itineraries with Private Rioja History & Wine Experience

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Gourmet Adventure in Northern Spain - 9 Days

Wine, cheese, tapas, pintxos — this gourmet tour around northern Spain is a treat for foodies! Start in the capital city of Madrid, where you'll go on a tapas tour around local bars to learn the proper way to order small plates paired with drinks. Then hop in a rental car and drive north to the wine country of La Rioja, where you'll tour family-run wineries and blend your own wine to take with you. Continue onward to the culinary hot spot of San Sebastian, sampling pintxos (Basque-style tapas) at traditional bars in the old city. Then finish the trip with a tour of Bilbao and an excursion into the surrounding countryside to see how Basque cheeses are produced.