Rioja Wine Holidays

It may be among the smallest of Spain’s provinces, but don’t let size fool you. The petite but perfectly formed region of Rioja has found fame across the world thanks to its eponymous export.

And what an export it is! Each year the region produces around 175 million bottles of hearty Rioja, and the proof of such productivity is evident for anyone to see. It seems everywhere you look, vines of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano grapes are growing from the fertile ground.

Of course, there’s more to life than just wine (or so we’re told). On a wine tasting trip to Rioja you can also enjoy vigorous pursuits like exploring Mediterranean forests and medieval towns high on hilltops, as well as cultural highlights like the walled city of Laguardia and the historic town of Santo Domingo de la Calzada.

Get in touch on 020 8877 4940 or at to talk through your perfect Rioja wine tour. We have all sorts of ready-made Rioja wine tour and self-drive tours to choose from. Or we’ll happily craft one for you from scratch. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Where to visit

A good place to start is the regional capital of Logroño. The city is renowned as something of a gastronomic hotspot, its tightly packed streets lined with endless tapas bars. Head to Calle Laurel and Calle San Juan to sample some of the best.

Elsewhere in town you’ll find space to reflect in the city’s Santa Maria de la Redonda, a Catholic cathedral with more peace and solemnity than you can shake a stick at (not that we recommend you try this).

Along the road to the west you’ll find the medieval streets of Santo Domingo de la Calzada and its old Parador Pilgrim’s Hospital. Meanwhile, a short drive to the south sits San Millán de la Cogolla, site of the Suso and Yuso monasteries that are known as the birthplace of the written Spanish language.

The wines of Rioja

Rioja boasts over 500 wineries or “bodegas”, split between three sub-regions: the two cooler regions of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa and the slightly warmer climate of Rioja Baja.

Throughout these sub-regions the bodegas vary hugely. From the grand and well known like the Marqués De Riscal winery at Elciego with its dazzling, Frank Gehry-designed hotel, to the smaller, family-run affairs like the one at Finca Valpiedra, there are plenty of opportunities to discover the different methods of creating this wonderful wine.

As for the wine itself, around 90% of Rioja wines are reds. These come in three varieties: fresh, youthful Crianza that works beautifully with tapas; the slightly pricier Reserva that works best with grilled meats and wonderful Spanish jamón; and last but certainly not least, Gran Reserva, the finest of all Riojas and worth trying on its own.

Hotel Marques De Riscal

Description Stay in this iconic Hotel Marques de Riscal vineyard hotel. Since its unveiling in…

Spain, Rioja

Rioja wine trips

“Thanks for taking the time and trouble to call. You really have set the standard by which we compare all other companies!! Thank you so much for organising a fantastic itinerary with such an interesting and varied range of stop-overs. We are already starting to think about next year’s trip to France so would welcome any suggestions.”

Hilary Alder

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Our Customers Rate Our Rioja Tours


From 4 reviews

Smooth Red did a super job of organizing our 11 day tour of French wine regions. Although the tour was originally designed as self-drive they were able to meet our needs by arranging for travel by train. All of the arrangements worked, and the hotels and wine tours were first…

Jeff Goldstein

Very enjoyable. All three Chateaus were very different adding to the experience. Saint Emillion is beautiful. Our group of 8 was just right size for personal fell yet fellowship. Only did a one day, but certainly if the Chateau quality is indicative will consider Smooth Red for longer tours. Very…

Ken Jeske

SmoothRed is a wonderful company to work with! Patient and they took the time to understand what we were looking for by listening and asking the right questions. SmoothRed planned an off-season tour from Paris to Bordeaux to San Sebastian through Rioja and back to Paris. This was a special…

karen shaylor

SmoothRed organised an amazing holiday for my Mum and I- we went to Bordeaux for three nights and stayed in a wonderful hotel. We had the perfect mixture of trips and free time and the visits to the Chateaus were wonderful. From start to finish, my experience of booking the…

Chloe Vallis

We had a fantastic weekend in the Rioja region with Smooth Red; the Bodegas, hotel and mostly the tour guide were all fantastic. Everything was organised really well and we are already considering our next trip with Smooth Red which is a real compliment from us. Thank you

Samantha Collins

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Call our team on +44 (0)20 8877 4940

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