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Suggested Spain Tours } Wine Regions of Northern Spain

Wine Regions of Northern Spain

<span>Rioja grapes</span>Rioja grapes
<span>Ribera de Duero wines</span>Ribera de Duero wines
<span>Logroño - La Rioja</span>Logroño - La Rioja
<span>San Asensio - La Rioja</span>San Asensio - La Rioja
<span>Vineyard in La Rioja</span>Vineyard in La Rioja
<span>Haro - La Rioja</span>Haro - La Rioja
<span>Labastida - Rioja Alavesa</span>Labastida - Rioja Alavesa
<span>Bargota - La Rioja</span>Bargota - La Rioja
<span>Navaridas vineyard - La Rioja</span>Navaridas vineyard - La Rioja
<span>Elciego - La Rioja</span>Elciego - La Rioja
<span>Marques de Caceres - Cenicero</span>Marques de Caceres - Cenicero
<span>Albarino vineyards - Galicia</span>Albarino vineyards - Galicia
<span>Ourense - Galicia</span>Ourense - Galicia
<span>Old Jewish quarter - Ribadavia </span>Old Jewish quarter - Ribadavia
<span>Villafranca de Peñedes</span>Villafranca de Peñedes

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In Northern Spain there are four main wine producing areas: RiojaGalicia , Catalonia and Ribera del Duera in Castilla y Leon. Each is unique and produces fine wines with their own special "Denomination of Origen" guarantee. The area in which each is located is rich in history and culture, and naturally the gastronomy is varied and delicious.


Arrive in Bilbao and travel the short distance south to Rioja. Accommodation of your choice in Rioja.


Day exploring the wine region of Rioja. This region is divided into 3 areas: Rioja Alta (High), Rioja Baja (Low) and Rioja Alavesa (that part of Rioja within the Basque Country). All Rioja is characterized by being a “Denominacion de Origen”, in which the type of wines are achieved through a careful grape selection process in the various subzones.



There are mainly three types of wine from Rioja: 

  • Crianza = young wine with min. 1 year ageing in oak casks.
  • Reserva = wines with min. 3 years maturing in oak barrel and bottle. At least one year must be in the barrel.
  • Gran Reserva = wines of exceptional vintages. Minimum of 2 years aging in oak cask and 3 years in the bottle.

The wine production in Rioja is mainly for red wines although some quality rosé and white wine is produced here too. The entire region is dotted with wineries and here we recommend some routes featuring the most important villages and wineries.

  • Route 1 . Haro – Brinas – Labastida - San Vicente de la Sonsierra – Abalos – Samaniego – Leza – villabuena – Navaridas.
  • Route 2 . Elvillar – Paganos – Laguardia – El Ciego – Cenicero – La Puebla de Labarca – Elvillar.
  • Route 3 . Bargota – Mendavia – Alcanadre – San Adrian – Azagra – Alfaro – Calahorra – Agoncilo – Logroño

The harvest of grapes in Rioja, a lovely time to vist the region, takes place mid-September.

Interesting museum visits include the Villa Lucia Wine Museum in  Laguardia and the outstanding Dinastia Vivanco winery and museum in Briones where visitors may learn about the characteristics of the Rioja geology and the climate that make Rioja wines so special. 

Totally Spain can arrange for you to visit a variety of wineries, wine tasting and dining in bodegas with traditional Riojan cuisine.

Accommodation of your choice in the Rioja Wine Region.


Next stop is the Ribera del Duero region in Castilla y Leon, fast becoming Spain’s most fashionable red wine producer, with its aromatic, rich yet fine reds made from tempranillo grapes. Ribera del Duero along with nearby Rueda and Toro make up the great wine area in Castilla y Leon. Toro is particularly famous for its fiery red wines.

Each of the three areas are high-lying with extreme climates – very hot summer days combined with cold nights, and cold winters. The marked difference of temperature between day and night helps to preserve the acidity in the grapes.

In Ribera del Duero, the most important village is Aranda de Duero, which has a fine old quarter and a notable church; the Iglesia de Santa Maria, with an elaborate Isabelline façade. Rueda is very well located, being close to Medina del Campo and Tordesillas and less than 2 hours from Madrid. Toro on the border between Zamora and Valladolid, has a fine 12th century Romanesque Colegiata, with a notable 16-sided cimborio.

In this area Totally Spain can arrange visits to different bodegas, wine tasting, museum visits, special meals with typical regional cuisine, etc..

Accommodation in the Ribera del Duero area.


Onto the northwest province of Galicia which is home to three different types of wine, all of them with “Denominacion de Origen” and all of them white. These are:

  • Albarino: from the Rias Baixas in southern Galicia and one of Spain’s most popular white wines.
  • Ribeiro: popular everyday wine that is slightly fizzy. It is often served in white porcelain cups.
  • Valdeorras: fine white wine from the northeast of Galicia.

All of the wines are mainly young and it can be said that nowadays an authentic renaissance in the wine industry is taking place in Galicia due to the demand for this product. We can suggest three different itineraries for each of the above wine areas.

The Albarino wine phenomenon took off in Cambados (north west of Pontevedra), besiged by Albarino vineyards. Your first stop on the route is Villagarcia de Arousa; historically linked to the sea, continuing through O Grove, Sanxenxo and Combarro and finishing in Poio.

Starting in Ourense. The city has a large wine market, where you can find not only wines from the nearby O Ribeiro region but from all over Galicia. Continue to Leiro, at the heart of Ribeiro region and where no urban landscapes are to be seen in this peaceful countryside. The route will finish in Ribadavia, where the most important Jewish quarter of all of Galicia is found. Apart from the wine the villages surrounding Ribadavia also produce a delicious coffee liqueur.

Accommodation in the Rias Baixas area.


Day at leisure when you could perhaps explore Santiago de Compostela or spend a full day at one of the many spa´s in the La Toja area. Accommodation of your choice in the Rias Baixas.


Return to your point of departure.


Alternatively take a flight from Santiago de Compostela or Vigo to Barcelona to discover Catalonia´s wines such as the delicious sparkling wine known as cava. Accommodation of your choice in Barcelona.


Catalonia has been producing wine since the 18th century in the area known as El Penedes which capital is Vilafranca del Penedes located just southwest of Barcelona and easily visited on a day trip from Barcelona. This village is surrounded by squares, palaces and churches and is a centre of many cultural activities. It has a fine Wine Museum situated in an architectural group consisting of the former royal palace, a gothic chapel and several modern buildings.  The museum was opened in 1945 and it shows the history of wine and its elaboration through different materials. At the end of the visit, an 18th century-like tavern offers wine tasting.

Also within Catalonia, close to Lleida, we can find the Raimat area where a remarkable range of wines, such as a Chardonnay-based cava is produced.

Finally, southwest of Tarragona, is the delightful Priorat region which is not unlike the Rioja region in appearance.  Here they produce many fine red wines.  If visiting here it would be worth spending a night, as it is a little too much for a day trip.

Accommodation of your choice in Barcelona or Tarragona.


Full day spent in Barcelona.


Return to your point of departure.



If you like the look of the above Suggested Tour we will gladly prepare a quote for you. The itinerary is not rigid and can be modified to suit your needs.

Below is a selection of the accommodation we would recommend for this tour. Click on the Hotel Code or info symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property. If you have registered to use our Spain Travel & Holiday Planner, you need only click on add to planner to insert it into your itinerary.

Wine Regions of Northern Spain Hotel Code Classification Information
2 nights in Rias Baixas PAR03 PARADOR Paradors w/ pool
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Wine regions of northern Spain (10 days) Hotel Code Classification Information
2 nights in Rias Baixas PAR03 PARADOR Paradors w/ pool
3 nights in Barcelona BAR06 Central Hotel
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