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Wine o’clock in Rioja

20th October 2018 - 10:20am

Sara Rivero (Spanish Tourist Office Dublin) with Gentzane Lopez at Hospederia los Parajes

Sara Rivero (Spanish Tourist Office Dublin) with Gentzane Lopez at Hospederia los Parajes

It’s wine o’clock somewhere they tell me, so no excuses needed to tipple and taste on this wonderful wine trip of La Rioja, courtesy of the Spanish Tourist Office Dublin, led by our ever enthusiastic Sara Rivero. From Tempranillo to Garnacha to Graciano to Mazuelo to Joven, Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva, there will be little I don’t know about wine at the end of this trip! Oenophile for ever, I say! Today’s pleasure lies in Rioja Alavesa in the capable hands of Gentzane Lopez.

 

First stop is a prehistoric dolmen (yes, in Rioja Alavesa!), then to view the amazing structure of Ysios winery, designed by Calatrava to blend in with the romantic Hills of Cantabria as dramatic backdrop. A vineyard tour at Dominio de Berzal was really informative and wine tasting with Gil, the charming owner, was superb. I fear a few bottles may have been purchased, so baggage allowance is seriously tested. Onwards to Hotel Viura, a cutting edge boutique property, then a leisurely lunch at Asador Villa Lucia. The old fortified town of Laguardia is a medieval gem and the portico of the Church of Santa Maria de los Reyes was magnificent. More splendour and wine tasting in “calado” in the underground winery, then dinner in the quirky Hospederia los Paarajes – a must see with the coolest wine bar on the planet. Salud hasta manana!


Click thumbnail to see a larger image

Sara Rivero (Spanish Tourist Office Dublin) with Gentzane Lopez at Hospederia los Parajes
The Press Gang on tour in Rioja Alavesa!
The group at Ysios winery, designed by Calatrava
Paula Dallaghan (The Sun)
Gil from Dominio de Berzal in his vineyard with Pilar, Sara, Michelle and Fiona
Dominio de Berzal. Another one for the Travelbiz team
Fun in the bodega! Michelle Fleming (The Irish daily Mail), Anna O'Donoghue (The Examiner), Sara Rivero (Spanish Tourist Office Dublin) and Pilar from Alfares
The group at Hotel Viura
Sara is at the wine again! Sara Rivero (Spanish Tourist Office Dublin)
Anna O'Donoghue (The Examiner) and Michelle Fleming (Irish Daily Mail)

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