Wine tourism is becoming more and more fashionable in Spain as wine culture gains popularity among both Spaniards and foreign visitors in one of the countries that stands as one of the three largest wine producers in the world, along with France and Italy.
While Rioja, Ribera del Duero and Sherry are the 3 best-known classes of Spanish wine, there are actually a total of 76 D.O.P. wines in Spain (Denominación de Origen Protegida or Protected Designation of Origin). With 1.2 million hectares of vineyards and thousands of wineries, known in Spanish as bodegas, Spain is the perfect country for lovers of good wines.
Here, we take you through a route of the 5 most incredible Spanish bodega wineries, including famous winemakers and the oldest winery in Spain, so that you can get to know the quality reds and whites of this country:
1. Cavas Codorníu, Cava
Managed by the oldest family business in Spain, founded in 1551 and currently the largest owner of vineyards in Europe, this winemaker is especially known for its cava. Cava is a variety of sparkling wine similar to champagne which is produced in the north-eastern region of Catalonia.
The main bodegas, located in Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, are in a beautiful building designed by the architect Puig i Cadafalch, one of the greatest exponents of Catalan modernism. The guided visit, which lasts an hour and a half, includes seeing the museum and the winery, a modernist architectural tour, a visit to the first wine cellar, a descent and train tour of the underground cellars and a tasting session of two top-of-the-range Cavas.
Phone number: +34 938 913 342
2. Bodega Protos, Ribera del Duero
In the heart of the Duero basin in north-western Spain is Bodega Protos, at the foot of the monumental castle of Peñafiel and surrounded by vineyards. Founded in 1927 as a cooperative of 11 winemakers, this winery was the first to obtain the Ribera del Duero denomination of origin. It is located in a building designed by the Anglo-Italian architect Richard Rogers, winner of the Pritzker Prize for Architecture.
The visit to the winery, which requires prior booking, lasts an hour and a half and includes a tour of the facilities, a tasting of two wines, a white Verdejo and a red Crianza, and a souvenir gift. If you want a more immersive experience, you can sign up for their introductory tasting course, where you will learn how to taste wine like a professional.
Phone number: +34 983 81 66 08
3. Palacio de Fefiñanes, Albariño
Known as the first winery to start producing D.O. Albariño wine, this bodega is in the Palacio de Fefiñanes, a Renaissance-style castle built in the 16th century in the municipality of Cambados, Galicia.
A visit to this famous winemaker includes a complete tour of the monument, which has been classified as an Asset of Cultural Interest, and its facilities and vineyards, plus a wine tasting.
Phone number: +34 986 542 204
4. Bodegas Marqués de Riscal, Rioja
Founded in 1858 and located in Rioja Alavesa, this winery offers a complete, rounded experience for wine lovers. In 2006 it became the City of Wine, a complex of wineries, vineyards and leisure facilities that includes the emblematic Hotel Marqués de Riscal, designed by the famous architect Frank Gehry, who was also behind the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
The visit to the bodegas, which lasts an hour and a half, includes a tour of the wineries and a tasting of two wines, Marqués de Riscal Rueda Verdejo and Marqués de Riscal Reserva, accompanied by traditional Iberian cured meat from Rioja. Private tastings can also be arranged for a minimum of 10 people, which lasts 2 and a half hours and you have the option of different wines to choose from.
Address: Torrea, 1, 01340 Elciego, Álava
Phone number: +34 945 180 888
5. Bodegas Tío Pepe (González Byass), Jerez
Founded in 1844, this winery is Spain's leading sherry producer. If you've ever been to Madrid's Puerta del Sol square, you'll no doubt have seen the luminous, neon sign advertising this winemaker, with its fun logo, a bottle of wine with guitar and hat, located high up on one of the buildings in this central plaza.
This winery, which is actually located in the south of Spain, near Cadiz in Andalusia, offers a number of different visits for you to choose from. These range from the simplest, which includes a tour and a tasting of two wines, to technical tastings of 5 to 9 wines, bicycle rides through its extensive vineyards and dinners and lunches accompanied by, of course, the finest sherry wines.
Phone number: +34 956 35 70 16