This popular tour has been part of our programme for several years but we haven’t operated it since 2013. The same principles apply but we have tweaked it a little to bring in new visits. We've opted for the Hotel La Vega for a number of reasons but mainly because it is a very comfortable hotel, there's no parking problem for the coach and town centre traffic is avoided. It's an inexpensive taxi ride to the Old Quarter if you wish to go out in the evening.
Sunday - We sail from Plymouth at 1645 and will have dinner together on board in Le Flora restaurant.
Monday - We reach Santander at 1400 and drive southwards into Castile and thence to Valladolid where we check into the Hotel La Vega on the outskirts of the city for seven nights. The 4* hotel has spacious bedrooms and large bar area and an excellent indoor swimming pool for you to relax in after a hard day's wine tasting! Dinner at the hotel this evening.
Tuesday - We have an easy day today with a gentle introduction to the region starting with Cigales. We travel to Corcos to visit the Finca Museum which came about as the start of the expansion process by Grupo Barón de Ley outside La Rioja region, where it originated.Seeking vine-growing areas where it was possible to maintain the right value for money, the Grupo looked towards the Cigales Appellation of Origin region. Village by village, plaza by plaza, asking all the locals, we finally found a singular vineyard where to build a spectacular winery that today bears the name Finca Museum. Our visit includes the vineyards ,Winery museum, Appetizer with cured Iberian meats and MUSEUM Reserva wine tasting , 1 VINEA Crianza gift bottle per adult Lunch in Fuensaldaña, at La Dama de la Motilla restaurant.In the afternoon we drive to Cigales for a short sightseeing before our visit to the Cigales Co-operitive for our final visit of the day.
Wednesday - this morning we are making a short drive to Peñafiel for our first visit of the day at Bodegas Protos, the wine co-operative specialising in Ribera DoC and Rueda wines. Following our visit we'll drive eastwards to Quintillana de Onesimo to visit Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro and take a late lunch in their Michelin-starred restaurant.
Thursday - We are travelling eastwards again following the River Duero towards the principal town of the region, Aranda de Duero. Just outside the town we head for our first visit to the historic Real Sitio de Ventosilla where we will enjoy a visit and tasting. After this visit we will now drive to Condado de Haza home of the legendary Alejandro Fernandez of Pesquera wine fame for a lengthy, gourmet tasting lunch at their very fine establishment. We return to the hotel in the late afternoon.
Friday - We travel towards Rueda home of excellent white wines. Our visit at 1100 will be with Grupo Yllera and we'll taste their wines followed by lunch in the underground cellar "El Hilo de Ariadne". On the way back to the hotel we'll stop for a tasting at Bodegas Sauco where Patricia will entertain you in her inimatble style. Free evening.
Saturday - We head northwards to Valoria la Buena and the welcoming Bodegas Pilcar. We’ll return to Valladolid to give you an afternoon shopping and sightseeing in this historic city. Dinner will be at the restaurant “Los Zagales” this evening.
Sunday - This morning we drive along the River Duero to Aranda de Duero and thence to Bodegas Torremilanos where , after our visit, we have lunch on the estate. In the afternoon,on our way back to Valladolid, we stop to visit the castle at Peñafiel.
Monday - We set off from the hotel after breakfast and make our way back to the coast with an early stop en route at the modern Bodegas Emina at Valbuena de Duero. At Santander we should now have a few minutes to wander around the port/city area before boarding the ferry for the 1700 sailing to England. We'll have our final dinner on board this evening.
Tuesday - We reach Plymouth at 1400 .
(The cost includes : all travel by executive coach ;ferry crossings with 2-berth cabin; breakfast and dinner aboard; 7 nights 4* hotel accommodation with breakfast; meals as described; visits as described; Tour Escort.
Single supplement (Room and cabin) £250
Pick up points: Billingshurst-Exeter-Plymouth