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Culinary

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Gourmet Rioja

Cook, Wine and Dine

This workshop is focused on learning the tastes and techniques of Spanish cooking

Now we're Cooking!


A TREASURE TROVE OF HISTORY AND TRADITIONS, FOLKLORE AND FIESTAS, THERE IS MUCH TO SEE AND DO IN THE RIOJA.  OF ULTIMATE IMPORTANCE IN THIS REGION ARE THE WORLD-RENOWNED WINES AND THE CULINARY DELIGHTS. 

BRING YOUR FRIENDS OR COME ALONE AND MAKE NEW ONES AS WE VISIT THE WINERIES AS WELL AS THE VINEYARDS AND EXPERIENCE THE WINES AMONG THE VINES. 

DURING THE WEEK, WE JOIN THE COOK IN HIS KITCHEN WHERE YOU WILL PARTICIPATE IN HANDS ON CLASSES.  IN THESE SESSIONS, YOU WILL LEARN TO PREPARE SEVERAL FOUR COURSE MEALS AND THEN ENJOY THE FEAST AT LUNCH.  YOU WILL ALSO LEARN HOW TO PAIR THE INCREDIBLE RIOJA WINES WITH EACH DISH WE PREPARE. 

BUT YOU WON’T BE IN THE KITCHEN ALL WEEK, THERE ARE TOURS OF HILLTOP VILLAGES, THE VINE-LADEN HILLS AND PLAINS, BODEGAS AND A VISIT TO TWO LEGENDARY DYNASTIES OF RIOJA.  

 

OUR ADVENTURE WILL TAKE YOU TO:

HARO, A CHARMING TOWN ON THE BANKS OF THE RIVER EBRO WITH ITS LIVELY CAFES AND ELEGANT MANSIONS.

LOGROÑO, THE CAPITAL OF THE RIOJA WITH ITS WIDE BOULEVARDS, CATHEDRAL AND SHOPS

LAGUARDIA, A MEDIEVAL HILLTOP CITY BUILT WITHIN ITS FORTRESS WALLS AND DANCING ON TOP OF MANY UNDERGROUND WINERIES.

 

VINEYARDS: DEEP WITHIN THE HILLSIDE CROWNED BY THE VILLAGE OF LAGUARDIA ARE THE GREAT VINE VAULTS OF BODEGA EL FABULISTA - THE NAME SAYS IT ALL! CONTINO IS UNUSUAL FOR ITS ESTATE-BOTTLED WINE FROM THE RARE GRACIANO GRAPE. AT LÓPEZ DE HEREDIA YOU WILL DISCOVER HOW THE SOIL AND THE WEATHER COMBINE TO CREATE ITS EXCEPTIONAL WINES. YOU WILL VISIT THE PIONEERING CHATEAU-STYLED REMELLURI ESTATE WHEREIN GREAT TREASURES LIE AND THE WINES OF RODA AS WELL AS THEIR RENOWNED OLIVE-OIL WILL IMPRESS THE MOST DISCERNING PALATES.

 

FOOD: THIS REGION OF SPAIN PLAYS AN IMPORTANT PART IN PROVIDING THE PERFECT AMBIENCE FOR BOTH WINE TASTING AND DINING ON THE RIOJA’S EXTRAORDINARY VARIETY OF INGREDIENTS AND CULINARY STYLES. THE DISHES YOU WILL CREATE INCLUDE: TAPAS, A TRADITIONAL RIOJA LUNCH, AND A VARIETY OF TYPICAL REGIONAL DISHES INCLUDING DESSERTS.    

 

COOKING CLASSES: THE COOKING CLASSES TAKE PLACE IN LAGUARDIA AND IN ABALOS. THIS BEAUTIFULLY REFURBISHED MANOR HOUSE IS FAMILY OWNED FOR MANY CENTURIES AND PROVIDES US WITH AUTHENTIC RUSTIC CUISINE.  LATER A WALK THROUGH THE VINEYARDS GIVES US A LOOK AT A LAGAR, AND PERHAPS WE WILL EVEN STOMP SOME GRAPES.

 

OUR ACCOMMODATIONS: THE HOTELS ARE CHOSEN BECAUSE OF THEIR HISTORY AND AUTHENTICITY. CASAS RURALES, CASTLES, MONASTERIES AND MANOR HOUSES ARE WAITING FOR YOU AT THE END OF THE DAY TO PROVIDE YOU WITH THE CHARM OF A DAY GONE BY AND ALL THE MODERN COMFORTS.  MANY HAVE TRADITIONAL HERB GARDENS WHERE YOUR COOKING GETS ITS FLAVOR.  SOME HAVE VALUABLE ART OBJECTS THAT SHOULD BE IN MUSEUMS.  BUT MOSTLY THE HOTELS ON THIS TOUR ARE AMONG THE VINES AND WINES.

 
 
 
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Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival at Bilbao Airport.

You are welcomed and escorted by our guide to our carefully selected hotel in La Rioja in our vehicle. Travel to Laguardia where the crew is waiting for you with our welcome wine and tapas and a brief orientation of the events to come. 

Day 2 

Buffet Breakfast

An introduction to wine tasting with a selection of the most representative wines of La Rioja conducted by a wine sommelier. You will learn different techniques to taste wine as well as the unique characteristics of the wines of Rioja.

Get ready for your first hands-on cooking class directed by well-known award winning, Spanish Chef, Merche.  Tapas tour in the amazing town of Laguardia, you will sample the best tapas of this town in Rioja Alavesa as well as mixing with the locals and experiencing the evening life in this vibrant town.           

Day 3

Buffet Breakfast 

Private guided tour lead by local expert of one of the most surprising medieval towns in Europe: Laguardia. Located on a hill, surrounded by a valley of vineyards and overlooking the majestic back-drop of the Cantabrian Mountains. You will walk through the narrow-cobbled streets of the town enjoying these views as well as visiting the small wine and food shops and bars. 

This afternoon you will visit one of the best underground cellars in the medieval town of Laguardia. It is located under the Palace of the Samaniegos, where Félix María de Samaniego was inspired to write his literary works. The cellar elaborates its wines in a traditional way. We can see two wineries on the ground floor of the cellar, where 2,000 pitchers of wine. (32,000 litres) are elaborated annually, treading the grapes like in ancient times. We can also see a press, which dates from 1903, and a machine called "despalilladora" which when translated means; to remove the stalks from the grapes. At almost seven meters depth, we find three parallel corridors, which are linked among them with others perpendicular. The first is used for the elaboration of wine, the second is used or ageing and the last one is designed for the sampling food and wines, both white and red, or young and crianza.  It is in this great cellar where we have our Wine Tasting.

Second hands-on cooking class followed by lunch which you have prepared.  Guided visit to Winery and vineyard walk followed by wine tasting. 

This afternoon we transfer to Logrono, capital of Rioja.  Check-in at our selected hotel in the center of Logrono, which is walking distance from the food market and our gastronomy society palace located in the old quarter. Let the arches of this city guide you to some of the best tapas in the region.             

Day 4
Buffet Breakfast

Guided visit to the food market. Logrono is located by the river Ebro and this area is named “el jardin de Espana”, the garden of Spain. You will be pleasantly surprise by the size, quality and taste of the vegetable and fruit in this area. We will make our selection of ingredients for our dinner cooking class.

We leave the city for a little while and head to the Mountains. Along the route we stop in an almazara(Oil Mill) where we learn how they make extra virgin olive oil, a vital ingredient in our gastronomy. Lunch this afternoon is in a local restaurant which offers you the typical cuisine of this quiet mountain area. 

Return to Logrono. Free time to relax and enjoy Logrono before our next cooking class. We head to our gastronomy society palace for our third hands-on cooking class followed by dinner. 

Day 5
Buffet Breakfast 

Today we leave behind the kitchen and we visit two unique wineries including a tasting of two of the best extra virgin olive oils. We will also have lunch in one of the best traditional restaurants in the region which also happens to boast an incredible setting.

Guided visit to one of the oldest and prettiest Wine Estates in Europe: Lopez de Heredia. This tour will be conducted by one of the family members.  A visit to this traditional wine estate will demonstrate precisely what the tradition in the making of fine wines really signifies in the today’s world.

 In the evening, we have a guided tapas tour along the famous street of gastronomical delights, Calle Laurel, where we will be sampling the best tapas of the area accompanied with wine or beer. You will experience authentic and unique tapas from Rioja, while you mix with the locals.

Day 6 
Breakfast

We say good-bye to beautiful Rioja and ride to the city of Bilbao.

With the Guggenheim Museum as a great international symbol, Bilbao is the gateway to the Basque cultural universe.  It is a city that is an example of urban transformation at a global level and has maintained a number of hallmarks that make it singular and unique.  Bilbao is a city to sample the avant garde and seasonal products from both the sea and the land.  This evening we introduce you to pintxos, (pronounced pinchos) another gastronomical delight!

Day 7
Breakfast

With so much to see and do in this magical city, you have the day to discover for yourself the Guggeheim Museum, the cultural and historic center.  Take time to try pintxos on your own but leave some room for our farewell dinner tonight at one of the most famous restaurants in the city.  An evening to re-live your experience on this wine and food adventure with your new friends.

Day 8
Departures from Bilbao airport

 
 

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  •  ALL ACCOMMODATIONS

  •  MEALS that include SELECTED  SPAnish  WINES)

  •  ALL TRANSPORTATION within tour

  •  BI-LINGUAL GUIDE

  •  PROFESSIONAL Chefs 

  •  TRANSFER ON ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE


2017 Dates

"FIESTAS DE LA VENDIMIA EN ESPANA/GRAPE HARVEST FESTIVALS" IN SPAIN ARE CELEBRATED FROM LATE AUGUST TO THE END OF OCTOBER. 

  • SEPT 3-10    

  • SEPT 17-24

  • OCTOBER 1-8

  • OCTOBER 15-22

2018 Dates to be determined


8 Days/7 Nights

Price : $3995.00

Arrive:  Bilbao
Depart: Bilbao


CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION

772 564-0330


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