We drank heaps of wine, explored Spanish cuisine, ate lots of tapas, met great people and explored a few historic sites. It was my first time visiting Spain and I was lucky to travel with a great group including Jen Kirsch, Jess Glover, wine expert Konrad Ejbich, and wine podcaster Matthew Cauz.
I loved learning more about wine, touring vineyards, meeting winemakers, and learning how their wines are made. I’m not a wine expert but I definitely know more than when I left and sampled my fair share along the way!
We went to 13 wineries and countless restaurants over the course of the week and I’m sure I’ll be sharing stories about the trip for a lifetime. In this post, you’ll find some of my favorite moments including beautiful wineries and unforgettable experiences.
On the first night, we met for a great dinner at Lobo 8 in Madrid and tasted wines from the D.O. Rueda that paired with our meal. We stayed at Hotel Ibis Styles, a cute boutique hotel in the heart of Madrid that was walking distance from just about everything.
Rueda, located in Castile and Léon, is about 2hr northwest of Madrid and comprised of 72 municipalities in the provinces of Valladolid, Segovia and Avila. Rueda is the only region that specializes in white wine and is a leader in the commercialization of quality white wines.
On our first full day, we ventured to Segovia, a historical town centered around a Roman aqueduct with 160 massive arches. I absolutely LOVED it there!
Right beside the base of the aqueduct is a famous restaurant Meson de Candido where we were served a traditional meal from the area of Segovia suckling pig. Next, we took a great walking tour to the aqueduct and visited at Alcázar de Segovia castle. This castle inspired Walt Disney to create Cinderella‘s castle at Disneyworld.
Recommended places to visit in Segovia:
- Restaurante Narizotas – Great restauraunt in Segovia. Amazing service!
- Meson de Candido – Traditional SPain food local the region of Segovia.
- Alcázar de Segovia – The castle in Segovia
- Hotel Real Segovia – Nice hotel in Segovia with great rooftop view & a fav with celebrities.
We left Segovia to spend the next three days in Vallodolid about an hour north. Before visiting our first vineyard, we had a wine tasting at the DO Rueda office to learn about the region and to get familiar with local wines.
The vineyards of Rueda specialize in the production and development of their 1000-year-old indigenous grape variety Verdejo (a top-selling white wine in Spain).
The wines’ from this region have a taste profile more complex than Pinot Grigio and a great substitute if you’re into Sauvignon Blanc. High elevations and gravelly stone soils here allow the Verdejo grapes to ripen by mid-September and develop deep aromas and flavors resulting in dry, fresh wines that are food-friendly and accessible. The vineyards are about 600-700 meters above sea level keeping temperatures cooler, even during hot summers, which maintains the acidity Rueda wines are known for.
Recommended places to visit in Valladolid:
- El Hilo de Ariadna – Take a virtual tour of this beautiful underground labyrinth cellar on their Facebook page here. Had a great lunch here!
- Campo Eliseo – stunning winery inside an old house, lots of history here. Tasted wine with the winemaker!
- Hermanos Del Villar – orodecastilla.com award-winning vineyard
- Gabi Garcia Restaurant – we had an amazing meal here!
- Bodegas Palacio 1894 – a major Spanish winery that is absolutely stunning! This was our last spot and I was so in love with this place.
- Bodegas Emina – This winery had a pretty big selection and was very modern in design. They also make a nice rosé!
- Bodega Javier Sanz – Five generations of winemakers who have continued the tradition for more than 150 years.
- Jose Pariente – This winery is all female owned AND run by women. I feel like you could tell, it was so beautiful!
- Bodega Museo Ontañón – we had a great time here tasting all their wines. They also make INCREDIBLE olive oil. It was my birthday when we were here and they surprised me with a cake! Amazing venue too.
As you can see there was a lot to take in! I have another post next week outlining the wines from Rueda you can get in Canada through the LCBO and wine agents.
I highly recommend checking out the D.O. Rueda if you’re planning a trip to Spain. It’s a great place to visit with girlfriends, a significant other, or even to plan a wedding!
Thank you to the whole team at D.O. Rueda and GLO Communications for organizing an amazing trip.
See more of updates from our adventure in Spain on my IG Story Highlight here!