A tour of 8 extraordinary Spanish wineries you can visit in 2023

Spanish wineries and vineyards you can visit

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Spain is an enticing country for gourmands and wine lovers. There are over 4,300 Spanish wineries, and the viñedos and bodegas are an utterly seductive diversion for committed oenophiles and curious travellers keen to explore Spain’s gastronomic landscape.

Yet despite being the world’s third-largest wine producer, Spain doesn’t always excite wine connoisseurs. Spanish wineries are often associated with inexpensive yet quaffable wines, but that’s only part of Spain’s misunderstood wine story.

From the feted Rioja region in the north to the sherries of Jerez in southern Andalusia, there is a variety and quality to match the most celebrated wine-producing countries.

Passing through historic bodegas and along romantic rutas del vino (wine routes), we take a leisurely tour through 8 Spanish wineries that open their cellar doors to reveal the true story of Spanish wine.

The cellars of Lecea Bodega are among
 the finest wineries in Spain

Bodegas Lecea

San Asensio, Rioja Region

We start our tour of Spanish wineries in the country’s most famous wine region, La Rioja. Bodegas Lecea is a destination that thrills visitors, even if they have only a passing interest in wine.

More than 300 caves have been carved into hillsides of the picturesque San Asensio region to help preserve wine at a consistent 13ºC. A tour of Bodegas Lecea visits four of those 16th-century caves.  

Four generations of Lecea have poured their passion into maintaining traditions at the family-run winery. On offer is an insightful tour behind the winemaking techniques from press to bottling in the company of committed enólogas (oenologists).

While the bodega bursts with subterranean photo opportunities, the wines are the true star. Lecea winemakers work with a mix of grape varietals to create white, red, and rosé wines. Young, semi-sweet, and premium wines fill the collection.

Lecea’s finest includes red Corazón de Lago (Tempranillo) and white Crianza (aged 6 months) chardonnay. All the wines on offer carry the denominación de origen calificada, indicating Designated of Origin protection and vineyard quality.

Every tour ends with a tasting of three wines and an aperitivo. If you crave more viticulture exploits, upgrade to learn even more about winemaking techniques or jump on electric bikes for a vineyard tour. Top the experience by dining on house specialities, like lamb and chorizo. It’s a complete suite of viticulture experiences not found at other Spanish wineries.

Situated on the Ruta del Vino Rioja Alta between Bilbao and Zaragoza, the bodega nestles in an idyllic destination. National parks and other enticing Spanish wineries are nearby. While historic Pamplona is a 90-minute drive away, making Bodegas Lecea a mouthwatering highlight in a region that overflows with cultural attractions.  

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Navarra is home to many underrated Spanish wineries

Bodegas Ochoa

Olite, Navarra

The Chartered Community of Navarra neighbours the Rioja region and is home to numerous Spanish wineries. Long overshadowed by its illustrious neighbour, the crisp and fruity wines of Navarra are slowly gilding their reputation amongst wine connoisseurs.

Centred around the ancient city of Pamplona, home to the San Fermin Festival (Running of the Bulls), the finest bodegas of Navarra are located along the looping Ruta del Vino de Navarra. The family-run Bodegas Ochoa is one of the most welcoming.

The Ochoa family has been creating high-quality wines for six generations from vineyards established in 1845. Drawing upon a diversity of varietals that flourish in the terroir, the winery produces a rare mix of wines with individual character.

Noted vinos include Ochoa Moscatel Vendimia Tardía and a vintage Ochoa Gran Reserva, made with Tempranillo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and aged for at least 5 years.

Premium wines fill the Javier Ochoa Series, primarily made with merlot or Tempranillo grapes. It’s an irresistible selection that outshines many big-name Spanish wineries.

Covering 145 hectares, the vineyards of Bodegas Ochoa stand out from other Spanish wineries for their commitment to organic wines, with a sideline in extra-virgin olive oil and honey. A love of local flavours feeds into a wine tour that concludes with several tastings and food pairings from their own farms.

After palates are tickled, visitors are invited to stock up on Navarra DO label wines and olive oil before heading onto other noted Spanish wineries nearby. Once one of Spain’s unsung regiones vinícolas, Navarra is finally gaining some much-deserved acclaim because of wineries like Bodegas Ochoa.

Vineyards offer a singular taste of Spain

Bodegas Portia

Burgos, Ribera del Duero

Castilla y Leon bewitches visitors with Roman aqueducts, medieval castles, soaring gothic cathedrals, and sleepy villages. It is also home to extraordinary Spanish wineries in the Douro valley.  

Ribera del Duero is renowned for its top-class Tempranillo reds. And the ultra-modern Bodegas Portia is one of the most intriguing places to taste the region’s viticulture.

The winery is known for its well-organised tours, refined Tempranillo wines, and cavernous cellars housed in an arresting avant-garde structure. Close to a busy highway, it is one of a cluster of first-class Spanish wineries along the well-trodden Ruta del Vino Ribera del Duero.

The architectural marvel was opened in 2010 and now manages 160 hectares of vineyards. Sustainable viticulture and innovative practices underpin the production of seven DO Ribera wines, including a white Verdejo. Of particular note is the multi-garlanded Triennia de Portia, made exclusively with Tempranillo grapes.

Following an absorbing tour of the winery in English or Spanish, visitors can feast on gourmet delights in the restaurant. It’s a palate-pleasing conclusion to a remarkable gastronomic escapade.

Galcicia is land of picturesque towns and enticing wineries

Bodega Viña Costeira

Miño valley, Galicia

In the cooler climes of northwest Spain lies the so-called ‘Green Spain’ region. The wines of Galicia may not have the cachet of other Spanish wineries. But there is plenty to excite wine buffs and regional travellers: from the atmospheric capital, Santiago de Compostela, to the rugged coastline above Portugal.

Several wineries elevate this historic region into am enoturismo destination. And few can top the picturesque setting of the finca (farm) in Val de Pereira, managed by the wine collective Viña Costeira.

Viña Costeira operates several Spanish wineries. But the boutique vineyards around Miño River reward visitors with intimate tours and stunning scenery. Once you’ve appreciated the pretty setting, you can savour a selection of DO Ribeiro wines.

Take an inexpensive tour (English by reservation only) to sample unusual grape varietals not favoured by other Spanish wineries. For example, the radiant yellow Viña Costeira is made with Albariño, Treixadura, and Torrontes grapes.

The wine collective’s contemporary personality is reflected in many Viña Costeira wines: from their Colección 68 recalling the year their co-operative was founded to their bright and light Pazo sparkling wines.

Viña Costeira provides tours of their other Spanish wineries around Ribeiro and beyond. All earn glowing reviews, but none are as alluring as their vineyard in the Miño valley.

With cheese and picos (crispy bread) to pair with their inexpensive easy-drinking wines, you’ll be well-sated before continuing your journey around charming Galicia. Probably with a trunk full of inexpensive wines from one of Spain’s most colourful wine collectives.

Castilla La Mancha, Don Quixote country and home of the biggest Spanish wineries

La Bodega de las Estrellas

Valdepeñas, Castilla La Mancha

The Castilla La Mancha region around Madrid is not known for fine wines. It is known for producing prodigious quantities of passable plonk contributing to Spain’s middling wine reputation.

Yet, amongst the sprawling commercial Spanish wineries of Don Quixote country are some exceptions, notably wines carrying the Valdepeñas Denominación de Origen Protegida (DOP). La Bodega de las Estrellas is a fine example.

The bodega’s vineyards date back 200 years, overseen by five generations of the same family. Acclaimed for its natural wines, it was one of the earliest Spanish wineries to embrace the organic viticulture revolution.

Sustainability and tradition converge in this lauded winery. Alongside their natural vinos are wines made in clay jars without added sulphites. It is an intriguing destination for oenophiles.  

With family members leading tours of the small casa solariega (manor house), you can expect passion and a rare insight into the vinification process. Tours are finished with a selection of their finest wines and a plateful of tapas to enrich the gourmet experience.

You can also immerse yourself in the experience by dining in their restaurant and discovering local culinary delights. Including some you might find in our guide to the most delicious foods in Spain.

Self-contained accommodations are available if you want to finish your favourite bottle. Although it may be hard to choose a winner from the extensive natural wine selection. Tempranillo, Syrah, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Verdejo, and Macabeo grapes all feature in their ‘Ego Vinum’ wine range.

The ‘Winery of the Stars’ emphasises an affinity with nature. The elements air, water, fire, and earth are worked into samplings and wine descriptions. Ego Amphora is a 100% Tempranillo wine that is likened to ‘earth’, for its mineral overtones. Meanwhile, the Ego Vinum Grenache aged in clay jars is bright, intense and inevitably described as a ‘fire’ wine.

Boasting innovative techniques and a famously warm welcome, Bodega de las Estrellas is one of several notable Spanish wineries showcasing the best of Castilla La Mancha winemaking.  

Cava Cordiniui from one of  the Spain's leading wineries

Cavas Codorníu 

Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, Catalonia

No tour of Spanish wineries can ignore one of Spain’s most popular exports: cava.

Cava winemaking techniques were imported from Champagne. But unlike its upmarket inspiration, cava is not limited by region. Any sparkling wine made to a traditional method earns the Cava Denominación de Origen (DO).

Yet around 95% of all cava is made in the Penedès region of Catalonia. Much of it from a single village, Sant Sadurní d’Anoia.

There are plenty of noted bodegas around Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. But none older than Cavas Codorníu. A manor house has stood on the site since 1551 when Jaume Codorníu turned his hand to viticulture. The winery became emblematic of the innovative wine when cava was first produced in the mid-nineteenth century.

Architecturally striking cellars were added in 1915 and later designated a National Historic-Artistic Monument. The vast storage spaces were necessary once Codorníu became Spain’s second-largest cava producer. 

A tour of Cavas Codorniu is a journey through time and viticulture excellence. It includes a train ride through the atmospheric cellars, an unexpected highlight for many visitors.

Once you alight, there’s a time to taste the effervescent creations that helped make cava one of Spain’s admired exports.

The Codorníu label is a global brand, and the winery will interest tourists exploring Spanish culture alongside wine buffs. Art and modernist architecture backdrop wine tastings to please a broad group of tourists. All of whom are keen to sample a collection that includes table wines, organic innovators, and prestige bottles for special occasions.

Other Spanish wineries may offer less expensive and more intimate tours. But if you want a fully immersive experience themed around art and history washed down with toothsome bubbles, Cavas Codorniu might be the ideal wine destination for you.

Jerez de la Frontera is the home of sherry and some of the Spain's finest bodegas

Bodegas Lustau

Jerez, Andalusia

Sherry ranks alongside cava as a quintessentially Spanish product with a global profile. The finest comes from around Jerez De La Frontera, where we head for the penultimate stop on our flying tour of Spanish wineries.

Bodegas Lustau is one of the most prestigious Spanish wineries to elaborar sherry. The estate was founded in 1896. It has since accrued multiple awards and is considered one of the country’s finest bodegas.   

The sweet fortified wines of Lustau cover every classification: from dry Fino to the intense dessert wine, Pedro Ximénez. Book a tour, and you may find a sweetness that suits your palate in the company of experts.

Enduring demand for sherry of the highest quality means Lustau fills six ‘cathedral-sized’ cellars with enormous casks. A tour explores the cellars before inviting visitors to taste the contents of those casks.

Lustau’s vineyards are located outside Jerez, so the emphasis is on understanding how the white grapes (notably muscatel, Pedro Ximénez, and palomino) are transformed with the addition of grape spirit and calculated fermentation.   Sherries pair wonderfully with Spanish tapas favourites like melt-in-the-mouth Ibérico ham or acidic boquerones en vinagre (fresh anchovies). Tours help visitors understand the bewildering variety of sherry wines and suggested food pairings. It’s a helpful lesson before you load up on some of the finest Jerez-Xérès-Sherry DOP and continue exploring cultural and culinary wonders in Andalusia.

Rioja from Spain's finest wine region

Bodega Conde de Los Andes

Ollauri, Rioja Alta

Hopefully, our tour across Spanish wine regions has excited your tastebuds and wanderlust. To conclude, we must return to La Rioja. The feted wine region is home to the finest Spanish wineries, and it is impossible to ignore its planetary pull for wine lovers.

Our final entry takes us back through the microclimates of Ruta del Vino Rioja Alta to the fetching Bodega Conde de Los Andes.

Making clever use of labyrinthine caves carved five centuries ago, Conde de Los Andes’s produces superior Rioja wine. Backdropping the handsome bodega is the scenic Ebro Valley, whose waters contribute to Rioja’s unique terroir and add to the magic.

Ernest Hemingway once toured the cellars, and the small yet influential winery continues to attract international attention. Subterranean tours are led by enthusiastic guides who serve up dollops of local history with their winemaking insights, giving guests a rounded cultural experience.

But it’s not just the photogenic setting that draws visitors. The distinctive wine offering includes just one white and one red. The white is made with 100% Viura grapes (Macabeo) from 30+-year-old vines. The red is 100% Tempranillo from vines dated 50+ years. They are mid-range wines with top-tier reviews.

As this tour has illustrated, the finest Spanish wineries blend history, picturesque settings, and passionate and welcoming guides. But above all, some delectable wines. Bodega Conde de Los Andes checks all the boxes and is a seductive detour for wine buffs and tourists looking for a lingering taste of Spain.

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