There are many things that people love about traveling to Europe. It offers historic sites, amazing natural beauties, architectural marvels, unique food and hundreds of places to visit. One of my favorite aspects about it is the wine production.
I love drinking wine so visiting wineries is an absolute must for me. Also, it isn’t a secret that whenever I travel to a new place I like to rent a car and drive around. It allows my family and I to see everything we want to see and for us to take as much time as we want while doing so. That’s why I came up with a short itinerary that will take you on a fun road trip along a few of the best wine regions of Spain and France.
Road Trip in Spain and France:
La Rioja – Spain
La Rioja, in Spain’s northern area is well known for its wines under the brand Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja a huge honor. It occupies a valley which is filled with cute towns and vineyards that produce high quality grapes that get turned into tasty wine.
Photo by: Mario Martí
A few of the Wineries worth visiting are:
– Bodegas Muga
– Bodegas Lopez de Heredia
– Dinastia Vivanco Wine Museum – muum within a winery
– Bodegas Marques de Riscal
If you are interested in more than wines you can also check out its gorgeous stone monasteries such as Yuso y Suso. Nature lovers can also hike the trails of Sierra Cebollera National Park. Art lovers should also visit Würth Art Gallery.
Once you have had enough of La Rioja hop in your car and start the four hour and 30 minute drive through AP-68 towards Priorat. MAP
I always recommend starting the drive early in the morning. This allows you to have some time to rest when you get to the next place before exploring. It makes everything more enjoyable.
Priorat – Spain
The wines of this region are also under the brand Denominación de Origen. It is located in the south western region of Catalonia. Most of the wines produced here are powerful reds. Wine making culture in Priorat comes from the days of the Romans but they came to international attention in the 1990s.
Photo by: Megan Cole
Fun Fact: There are only two wine regions in Spain that qualify as DOCa (Denominación de Origen). This is the highest qualification level for a wine region according to Spanish wine regulations.
Wineries Worth visiting:
– Costers del Siurana (Clos de l´Obac)
– Álvaro Palacios (L´Ermita)
– Clos Mogador
– Mas d´En Gil
Aside from wine tours there are several hiking trails that take you around the vineyards. You could also visit the local Lead Mines and go on an olive oil tour.
After you have taken a few days to explore the region hop back in the car and start the six hours drive through AP-7 y A9 to Châteauneuf-du-Pape in France. MAP
Châteauneuf-du-Pape – France
One of the reasons that make Chateauneuf du Pape special is the fact that it is known as a versatile wine regions for wine and food pairing. Here you will find character filled red wines with different intensities. Prices also have managed to stay accesible while the quality of the wines has stayed the same.
The wine varieties produced in Chateauneuf du Pape can be served with everything from grilled beef, veal, pork, game, duck, sausage and lamb. You can also pair them with stews, braised dishes, cassoulet and rich seafood dishes.
Photo by: Jarrod Doll
A few of Wineries that you could visit in Chateauneuf du Pape are:
– Les Caves Saint Charles
– Chateau la Nerthe
Another fun place to go to is Musée du Vin Brotte. A museum with information about local wines through the years.
Aside from vineyards, checking out the local chateau ruins is must. It will allow you to learn more about the history of this gorgeous region.
Also, walk along the streets of this cute town. You will find tons of small shops and restaurants worth visiting.
* This post was done in partnership with Alamo but all opinions are my own.