Bodega Marques de Riscal
Buildings don’t get much more distinctive than this! Bodega Marques de Riscal is situated in the town of Elciego, which is nestled in front of the Sierra Cantabria, in the region of Rioja Alavesa. Rioja Alavesa is the Northern most region of La Rioja – see this for more info on Rioja Region and its Wines.
The Bodega, for example, is arguably the most visually famous winery in the world, the hotel part having been designed by Frank Gehry, the same architect who designed Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum.
The Bodega Marques de Riscal was on our ‘must see’ list while in Rioja. (In fact, it was the top of Tam’s list!) In this case, we were staying just down the road at Bodega Valdelana a great place we had found on Booking.com and could see the hotel from our balcony.
Our driver and tour guide Jose dropped us off in plenty of time for the tour. Beginning in the reception building, our tour started with a brief video.
The grounds of Bodega Marques de Riscal are very well kept and geared up for tourists. Even though it is a working winery we had access to all the important areas to see the winemaking process.
Indeed, this is where the magic happens! You can see the financial investment in the Bodega Marques de Riscal in this room and all throughout the winery.
At this point, we were shown a really good and professionally done video of the whole process. The production values were great and I was left with a real feel for the wine. It was a good presentation of the malic to lactic acid process.
In contrast to the modernity above, under the winery, we were shown the cellars. A lot of sleeping wine here!
Tasting time on the tour! We tasted several wines, both red and white, to give us a flavour of the Bodega Marques de Riscal wine. Ther was something for every palette, even for Tam, my partner who was rather partial to their white.
Lunch at Bodega Marques de Riscal
We liked Bodega Marques de Riscal very much, for this reason, we went back the next day for lunch in the sunshine. The hotel building, the one designed by Gehry, sparkled in the sunshine. I could have spent hours just looking at the building, but lunch was calling.
We took lunch on the terrace at the Hotel and it was amazing. I had a passionate affair with the Marques de Riscal Gran Reserva. An expressively full-bodied wine with a fresh, slightly toasted long finish with hints of oak. By the way, I did have food too!
The view from the terrace. Not too shabby a place for lunch!
The Reserva in a glass. It was about 10 Euros for a glass and that, my friend, was 30 Euros well spent!
Bodega Marques de Riscal – Conclusions
Architecturally, the bodega was an amazing place. If you have seen the Guggenheim in Bilbao, you’ll know the ‘presence’ that Gehry’s architecture has. Incidentally, the wine and tour were brilliant too! Given these points, if you are in the Rioja region, it really is a must. You’ll not be disappointed.
- 12.00€ per person for the tour
- Tour length 90 minutes
- Tours in Spanish, English, French and Italian
- Fantastic architecture and wine
Book a Hotel in Rioja!
Click here for my Bodega Campo Viejo visit.
Click here for more on my Planning a trip to the Rioja Wineries Bodegas.