Which wineries to visit in Spain

Which wineries to visit in Spain

Selection of top wineries to visit in Spain's best wine regions

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Spain
Kasper Christiansen
Text & photos: Kasper Christiansen
April 16th 2020 (revised version)

Spain has more than 2000 wineries, and it is the third largest producer of wine in the world. Over the last decades the wineries have changed their strategy and are now trying to look for quality instead of quantity.

Below we have made a selection of the best producers in Spain - and all the mentioned wineries also offer high quality visits in English. Below you can read about top wineries like Mas Doix, Contador, Hermanos Sastre, Ferrer Bobet, Codorníu and others.

"Spain produces some of the best wine s in the World today. It has not always been like that"

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Wine tasting in the vineyards
Wine tasting in the vineyards - wine tasting in the wine region Priorat

D.O.C. Priorat

⇒ Read more about our Private Priorat Wine Tour. We organize private wine tours to Priorat from Barcelona and Sitges to some of the best wineries in Priorat.

Celler Mas Doix

Celler Mas Doix is one of the top Wineries of Priorat, the best wine region of Cataluña and the only one with the designation of DOC (the other 9 wine regions in Cataluña are DO's). The winery is family owned with tradition to wine-making dating back to 1850 counting many prizes and excellent wines.  The vines of Mas Doix are influenced by the extreme climate that combines with the Mediterranean breeze and the mountainous terrain.

The wines
The winery specialises in wines made by local red grapes like Carinyena (Carignan)  and Garnatxa (Grenache) and their best wine is Doix 2008 TC (using approximately 48% Grenache, 50% Carignan and 2% Merlot, aging during 16 months in new French oak barrels). This wine is characterized by an outstanding aromatic complexity and has received 95 points from the Wine Advocate Jay Miller. In the tasting you should also taste Salanques 2008 T (made by cariñena, garnacha, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and merlot).

The winery visit
The manager Valentí Llagoster will show you around in the winery and visit. You will have the possibility of visiting the slopes where the old vines are planted and see the difference between the old garnacha and the cariñena vines.

Ferrer Bobet

Celler Ferrer Bobet is another of the most exceptional wineries of Priorat. This winery will be found within a 1,5 hour drive from Barcelona on a hilly slope near the capital of Priorat called Falset, and produced its first wines in 2008. Ferrer Bobet’s vineyards were planted mostly with Carinyena, Garnatxa Negra, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier and Roussane vines on slopes that were chosen very strategically from an edaphological perspective.

The wines of Ferrer Bobet

Ferrer Bobet winery has based its principals of wine-making on respect and admiration for the land in which they work. Ferrer Bobet Selecció Escpecial 2007 with 95’ Robert Parker points comes from 100-year-old Carignane vines (97%) and old Grenache noir vines (3%) and it’s a wine that every visitor should try. Additionally Ferrer Bobet 2007 wine obtained 94’ Parker points and it’s within the most highly rated wines of the cellar. Its vines vary from Old Carignane (61%) and Grenache noir (37%), Cabernet Sauvignon (2%), all of them picked by hand from the steep slate hillsides and terraces.

The winery visit

Ferrer Bobet winery consists of a young staff team very much specialised in oenology. You will be welcomed by them and guided through the impressive architecture of the winery that is compared to a ship moored amongst the vines as well as through their underground installations in this very special spot of Priorat.

Vineyards in Priorat
Vineyards in Priorat - old vines seen in front of the river

D.O. Penedès

Bodegas Torres

Torres winery is one of the oldest wineries counting its avocation with wines since the 17th century passing its tradition in wine making from one generation to the other. The winery is located in Penedes, one of the country’s best regions in wine –producing, after La Rioja. Torres cellars are devoted to an environmental and sustainable way of producing wine which led them to create the Torres and Earth Program in 2008 in order to reduce their emissions.  What is more, Torres winery is exporting its excellent wines to more than 140 countries all over the world.

The wines at Torres
Torres wines are considered exceptional and have obtained international awards. Mas La Plana 2007 is their most prestigious red wine and has been given 93 points in Wine Advocate and 100 Awards in total. It is made up of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes that originate from Bordeaux. Another wine in the similar style that is highly recommended is Reserva Real 2007 with 96 pts of the Wine Advocate and it is created from the best Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes.

The winery visit to Torres
Torres winery´s majesty is understood also from the different types of tours that the winery offers. Visitors can choose between simple tours at Ma La Plana vineyard where they can be guided by expert guides or sommeliers, but also they can opt for tours that combine cheese or ham tasting paired with special wines of the cellar.

Codorníu

Codorníu winery is the owns more than 500 years of experience in wine making which makes them definitely the oldest family company in Spain. Codorniu name in 1872 becomes synonym to the term ‘’Cava’’. Josep Raventós a member of the family becomes the first producer who - after following the traditional methods- pioneers and creates the first sparkling wine in Spain, called in Catalan Cava. Later on Josep Raventos requests from famous modernist Catalan architects to build their cellars so that by 1976 they are declared as a National Artistic Historical Monument by King Don Juan Carlos I.

The wines at Codorníu
As Codorniu has become synonym to Cava, the emblematic brand continues to be Anna de Codorníu, the first Cava to incorporate the Chardonnay taking the name from Anna Cordoniu one of the main ancestors of the family. Anna de Codorníu Blanc de Blancs Reserva is a great sparkling wine made of Chardonnay, Parellada, Xarel·lo y Macabeo grapes. Additionally Codorníu Finca La Fideuera Gran Reserva Brut 2009 another sparkling wine made by the xarel·lo variety, has 93 Robert Parker points.

The winery visit to Codorníu
A visit in Codorniu cellars in Penedes area can be exceptionally interesting not only for the high quality products but also from an architectural perspective. Its cellars made by the architect Puig I Cadafalch – a student of Gaudi attract many visitors every time of the year to join the ‘’Art Nouveau’’ tour of the cellars. What is more guest can also have the option of a gastronomical tour tasting Catalan cheeses or hams paired with the cava and the wines.
Penedes
The Penedès Wine Region - old vines in Penedes

D.O.C. Rioja

Roda

This winery apart from having a privileged location within ‘’La Rioja ‘’ region, it possesses 3 underground cellars from which two of them are underground, dug out of the rock. There is also a 19th century underground impressive passage that opens at a depth of 12 meters onto a terrace overlooking the river Ebro- the main river of the region. The winery’s construction started in 1987 and was finished in 2001. Roda winery is within the most high quality ones and is devoted to sustainable methods of working.

The wines at Roda
Roda winery produces wines from the main grape varieties of La Rioja which are: Tempranillo, Graciano and Garnacha. Cirsion 2015 is one of Rioja’s mythical red wines made of Tempranillo grape with 95 pts Robert Parker. On the other part Sella 2015 created by Tempranillo Garnacha and Graciano with 92 Robert Parker pts is another great selection.

The winery visit to Roda
A visit at Roda winery can be fascinating and proposes several sights and activities such as: horse-drawn carriage ride within the vineyards , tasting of their amazing wines as well as of the extra virgin olive oil of the area, visit to a photo exhibition, and a visit at the wine bar of the winery.

Bodegas Contador

The story of Bodega Contador starts in 1995 when Benjamin Romeo- the owner of the winery, acquired a hundreds of years old cave hewn into the rock beneath the Castle of San Vicente de la Sonsierra in Rioja region. In 1996 his first wine came true under the name “La Cueva del Contador”. In 2008 he opened his new modern winery located at the foot of the village of San Vicente de la Sonsierra in cooperation with the architect Hector Herrera.

The wines at Contador
Contador winery produces wines mostly of from the variety of Tempranillo but also the ones of Viura, Garnacha, Malvasía, Graciano, Mazuelo. His 2 prestigious wines Contador 2004 and Contador 2005 have been awarded by Robert Parker the highest critic of 100 maximum points.

The winery visit to Contador
Interested visitors can choose between a simple visit to the winery where they can taste some of the most symbolic wines and visit the old Cave ‘’Cueva del Contador’’ and the vineyards or select a full day visit where they can try all of the winery’s wines and do activities like hot air balloon flights over vineyards, excursions to ancient winemaking facilities built into rock outcroppings, lunch amongst the vines.
La Rioja
La Rioja - vineyards along the road in Rioja

D.O. Cava

Gramona

Gramona’s Winery history starts in 1850 with Josep Batlle who was a wine maker and producer for another family working at the vineyards of La Plana. Batlle set up his own winery, the later called ‘’Gramona Winery’’ using the native grape variety of the area of Penedes Xarel-Lo. 5 generations later we still find his great grandson in the fields ensuring that the Gramona sails to the world.

The sparkling wines of Gramona
Gramona Winery specialises in the production of high quality Cava, but also produces still wines slightly sparkling, rosé or sweet wines.  Their white wine Gramona Mas Escorpí Chardonnay 2009, is an excellent wine to try of the variety of Chardonnay grape with 94 pts. An excellent option for Cava is Gramona Celler Batlle 2000 that counts 96 Robert Parker pts and it consists of 70% of xarel.lo and 30% of Macabeo grape varieties.

The winery visit to Gramona
A visit in Gramona winery will involve a tour to the vineyards which can also be matched with horse-riding for the fans of the sport. A visit to the modern cellars in which you could explore the differences within the production of Cava and Still Wine as well as wine tasting and a visit to the Historic Cava where the most aged Cavas are kept.

Recaredo

Recaredo Winery located in Penedes region is also listed within the best wineries to visit as it has been devoted to the production of high quality long aged Cava since 1924. The winery is certified in biodynamic viticulture and it was the first producer of sparkling wines in the world to receive the ´´Aged with Cork certification´´ granted by the European Cork Federation.

The sparkling wines of Recaredo
Cava Recaredo Tribut Segona Plenitud 1996 is the most excellent Cava of the winery with 97 Robert Parker points and 99 in the Peñin Guide, a marvellous result of Xarel.lo and Chardonnay grapes aged for 20 years. Recaredo Turó D'En Mota 2004 is another of the many sublime Cavs of Gramona winery with 96 Robert Parker pts, aged for 10 made by Xarel.lo grapes.

The winery visit to Recaredo
For the big fans of Cava a visit in Recaredo winery will be the perfect option. As it differs from big wineries, Recaredo winery transmits the feeling of a smaller and passionate winery that puts attention to quality, its guests and their products. You will not only get the chance to learn about the Cava producing but also about the long history and devotion of the family through the years.

Llopart

Llopart Winery situated in Penedes region has been working on the Cava production since 1887, even though there are signs that the family has been active in agriculture and cultivating since the 14thcentury. The winery counts many years of experience in craft cava making but they are also producing rose, white wines as well as pure juice coming from the grape Xarel.lo, native to the area.

The sparkling wines of Llopart
Llopart Leopardi 2005 is considered an exceptional Cava that got 92 points in the Peñin Guide (Macabeu 40%, Xarel·lo 40%, Parellada 10%, Chardonnay 10%). Furthermore Clos dels Fossils Chardonnay 2009 is another much recommended white wine by Chardonnay grapes that has received 90 pts in Peñin Guide.

The winery visit to Llopart
A visit at Llopart winery is characterised by a familiar atmosphere. Guest according to the tour that they choose to make they get to visit the private country house of the Llopart family inherited in the XIV Century and the place where, in 1887, the first bottle of Llopart cava was produced. Try the most emblematic Cava of the winery ´´Original Gran Reserva 1887´´, visit the vineyards “La vinya del Paulino” where the oldest vines of more than 75 years old are planted, or taste local snacks paired with the cava.
Cava
Cava - vineyards in D.O. Cava that will produce sparkling wine

Ribera del Duero

Hermanos Sastre

Sastre winery was established in 1992 and it is one of the most internationally recognized Spanish family wineries. During 2010, the winery was nominated for "best winery European of the Year" at the Wine Star Awards by the magazine American Specialized Wine Enthusiast. The D.O. of the wines is Ribera del Duero that takes its name from the region in which they are produced, a synonym to excellent wines.

The wines of Hermanos Sastre
According to Robert Parker and the Wine Advocate magazine, the wine ‘’ Pesus 2006’’ received 97 pts. It is the famous red wine of Sastre winery and it is produced with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Tempranillo grapes. Regina Vides 2005 is another very much admired red wine with 95 Robert Parker points, made of Tempranillo grapes.

The winery visit to Hermanos Sastre
A visit in the specific winery can be a great option. Visitors do not get the chance only to visit the winery that has been voted as ‘’the best winery in Europe’’ (2010), but also get to see a winery and the vineyards of one of the most famous regions in Spain in wine production.

Emilio Moro Winery

Emilio Moro winery is one of the most prominent wineries of Ribera del Duero, run by the Moro family. The beginning of the winery is considered to be that date of birth of Emilio More , whose three generations’ descendants are have been brought up within the vineyards and continue to produce unique wines until today.

The wines of Emilio Moro
The red wine named Clon de la Familia 2011 made by Tempranillo grapes is considered one of the best products of the winery with 93 Robert Parker pts. Furthermore Malleolus de Sanchomartín 2011 made by 60 years old Tempranillo grapes has 94 Robert Parker pts and the same in Peñin Guide.

The winery visit to Emilio Moro
Almost every visitor in Trip Advisor has given an excellent rating to their visit in Emilio Moro winery, with outstanding references to the amazing guide that welcomes the guests. They offer wine tasting paired with snacks or tapas, guided tour around their vineyards as well us tasting of local dishes under request.

 

Viña Pedrosa/Hermanos Pascuas

Pedrosa Winery is listed within the best wineries of all Spain and of course of the high quality wine producing region of Ribera del Duero. The winery started its project in creating outstanding wines in 1980 with the three Pascuas brothers working on the vineyards of their father. At the moment apart from being one of the most exception wineries they are exporting wines in 38 countries.

The wines of Viña Pedrosa
Their wines are mainly produced by the local variety of Tempranillo grapes as well as the one of Cabernet Sauvignon. Within their most fine wines and most representative to their terroir are Viña Pedrosa Reserva 2014 94 pts a red wine made by Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon but also Viña Pedrosa Finca La Navilla 2014 94 pts made by Tempranillo grapes.

The winery visit to Viña Podrosa

Pedrosa wineries surrounded by a pine forest and marvelous nature are a symbol of elegance. Therefore the visitors apart from guided tour in the winery and the vineyards can book one of their dining or meeting rooms surrounded by a marvelous natural scenery, ideal for wines courses, pairing meals and any kind of business meetings.


D.O. Alella

 

Alta Alella

Alta Alella winery is the closest one to Barcelona located in the heart of the mountain range Sierra de la Marina. It is a family winery that works in ecological way, with all its members being not only devoted with viticulture but also brought up within vineyards.

The sparkling wines of Alta Alella

The winery has a wide range of wines, both sparkling, white wines, red wines and dessert wines.

The winery visit to Alta Alella
The winery offers an interesting visit with the tasting of 4 of the winery's best wines.

 

Sherry/Jerez

Bodegas Osborne

Founded in 1772, the Osborne Group is considered to be one of the world’s oldest brand still active in business (ranked 94th) and the second oldest in Spain. Among many other products Osborne group is the main name of Sherries and brandies. Their home town is El Puerto de Santa María, and they carry the D.O “Jerez-Xérès-Sherry” or “Brandy de Jerez”. The English entrepreneur Thomas Osborne Mann, started shipping his own Sherries in 1804.

The wines of Osborne
Osborne group has preserved the largest collection of old Sherry wines that are aged according to the traditional method of “soleras and criaderas”. Sherries are produced by usually y Palomino, Manzanilla or Fino grapes.Osborne’s Sherries can be divided in four large ranges: supermarket sherry, ‘premium’ sherry, former Domecq V.O.R.S. wines and the old Osborne wines. Osborne Rare Sherry Amontillado Solera AOS produced by Palomino Fino has been given 97 Robert Parker pts but also Osborne VORS Pedro Ximénez Viejo is another great wine with 96 Robert Parker Pts made by Manzanilla grapes.

The winery visit to Osborne
During your visit Osborne winery suggests a sherry wine tasting course in order to learn the characteristics of these wines as well as  the aging system of “Soleras and Criaderas” in the winemaking process. You can also chose a ‘’tasting from the cask ‘’ course trying the oldest vintages from 1790, 1792, 1812 or 1903 accompanied by a wine expert.

 

Gonzales Byass

Manuel María González Ángel founded González Byass winery in 1835 with the guidance of his uncle Tío Pepe who was an expert at that time in Fino Sherry. Today the winery is in the hands of the 5th generation of the González family who have always shown their passion for the world of wine, their love of nature and their care for the environment.

The wines of Gonzales Byass
The winery produces all types of wines, cava, Sherries but also spirits and olive oil. G. Byass Amontillado Cuatro Palmas 2016 has 96 Robert Parker pts, and it is produced by Palomino Fino grapes. Another excellent selection made by the same type of grapes would be González Byass Del Duque Amontillado Muy Viejo 30 sherry with 94 Robert Parker points.

The winery visit to Gonzales Byass
There is 8 wineries that are cooperating with Gonzalez Byass all of them surrounded by natural landscapes. Tio Pepe winery located in Jerez that specializes in Sherries offers tours with sherry and tapas tasting or sherries paired with big meals, as well as biking tours around the vineyards or interactive deluxe tours that involve meals and learning –by doing explanations on the sherry and wines production.

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