After nearly two of the longest years ever, it's time once again to experience the finer things in life. And what could be finer than enjoying a glass of wine in the Spanish countryside?
Spain opened its doors to American travelers on June 28, 2021, vaccinated or not. There is no longer a requirement for testing or quarantine…although we all know that could change on short notice if the COVID situation requires it.
But for now, we can travel to Spain, and we should. Here are some ideas of where to go when you want Spanish wine to play a key role in your journeys.
Whether you want to lose yourself or find yourself in exciting experiences and beautiful landscapes, a good wine trip across Spain might be just what you need. Many places in Spain are available to those who want to see history and culture up close and personal. And through wine-tasting, the vineyards of the Spanish countryside also invite you to taste history and culture as well.
Fill your hunger for life and your thirst for good wine with us as we go over the top three destinations for wine-tasting in the historic and enchanting country of Spain.
La Rioja is one of the most famous Spanish wine destinations in the world, best-known for its eponymous Rioja wine. Each of the three sub-regions of La Rioja have distinct offerings perfectly captured by each of their respective signature wines.
The elevated region of Rioja Alta, which is located in the western edge of La Rioja, offers a piece of the old world through its refined, time-tested style of wine. Wine from this part of Rioja is surprisingly easy on the palate due to its distinct fruit, but not sweet, flavor. If you're looking for a fuller body and more pungent taste, however, you may enjoy specialty wine from Rioja Alavesa, which is near River Ebro in the Basque Country. Finally, if you're thirsting for a more Mediterranean feel, the warm, dry region of Rioja Baja boasts of its stronger, deeply-colored, highly-alcoholic wine.
You’ll know you're definitely living the good life when you're sitting quietly, nursing a glass of white Albariño wine while feeling the breeze from the nearby coast. The coastal autonomous community of Galicia is known not only for its historic fortified castles and cathedrals but perhaps more so for its world-famous Albariño wine, produced from white Albariño grapes found only in Galicia and some parts of Portugal.
Whether it is pure Albariño or blended with other varieties of white wine, this potent potable brings with it a pleasantly biting citrusy taste while being unusually light as well. Historically, there have been many attempts to replicate and even fabricate Galicia's Albariño wine. However, once you come to Spain and taste the real thing, you will know why so many have tried and why none have matched the deliciousness of this wine.
In addition to the Rioja Alavesa, the rest of the Basque Autonomous Community straddling the border of Spain and France is also a destination for history, culture, and of course, wine.
The coastal city of San Sebastián offers an energetic cultural scene consisting of festivals all throughout the year, historical landmarks, and notable establishments to experience the best food and spirits Spain has to offer. Meanwhile, Bilbao, the largest city in Basque Country, is teeming with a booming music and theater scene, as well as astounding works of architecture, even being named a "City of Design" by UNESCO in 2014. Of course, being the home of the world-famous Guggenheim Museum contributes to Bilbao’s acclaim.
If you're looking for a more philosophical, spiritual experience, you can also trace the Camino del Norte or "the Northern Way." A portion of this centuries-old pilgrimage is the Camino de Santiago or the “Way of St. James.“ This 500-mile-long path actually starts in France, travels through San Sebastián on its way to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, which is in the northwest tip of Spain.
Whatever you're there for, and whether your wine choice is red, white, rose, or Spain's signature Cava sparkling wine, the Basque region around San Sebastián is bursting with events and places where you can drink, be merry, and simply feel alive.
Welcome Home to the Perfect Getaway
Whatever stage in life you might find yourself in, the desire to experience good things and learn new things doesn't die. We all need to remind ourselves that there is a bigger world out there waiting to be tasted and enjoyed.
Throughout history, countless people have found the vineyards of Spain to be full of life, knowledge, and community that so many of us have craved and continue to thirst for. What a great region to resume international travel!