Friday, November 15, 2013

A taste of Marques de Riscal in La Rioja

We drove into La Rioja hours later than anticipated all because of our horrible afternoon in Pamplona.  Instead leisurely touring three wineries, we could only choose one.  I opted for the most iconic in the La Rioja region - Marques de Riscal.

Just a short 25 minute drive from Logroño, El Ciego proudly holds one of the oldest and most traditional wineries in the La Rioja wine country.  The winery dates back to 1860 and carries its tradition, while representing the future.  After the success of the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Marques de Riscal contracted Frank Gehry to lend his vision in the design of their hotel.  The hotel's outer design is Gehry's interpretation of a red wine bottle - brilliant.

If you can't splurge with a stay at the hotel, a tour of the vineyard is a must.  The property is gorgeous and the facilities are world class.  It only costs 10.25 Euro ($13.80 USD) per person for the 1.5 hour tour which includes 2 tastings.  It's an amazing value for a memorable tour.

View of the vineyard and hotel

Grapes almost ready to be harvested 

Entering the visitors center

Ticket for 4 adults

Entering the warehouse

Where the magic happens

Barrels and barrels aging before the bottling process

The VIP bottles aging for years

The best part of the tour

Our tour guide pouring the tastes

2012 Rueda Verdejo

2008 Reserva Rioja

Our glasses leisurely being enjoyed

Buying bottles at the wine shop

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