Going on Holiday? Visit the Marqués de Riscal City of Wine

  • Sharebar
Photo courtesy of Marqués de Riscal

Marqués de Riscal are three words that spell Rioja.  They have been producing spectacular wines in this area since 1858 and this year are celebrating the 150th anniversary of their first vintage (a few bottles of which still exist in their wine cellars!).

However, more than just producing wines they hope we all enjoy, Marqués de Riscal, wants to share the beauty of Rioja with us as well and to that end have created the ‘City of Wine’ around their historical wine cellars.image from verema.com

As the Magic Kingdom is to kids, this City of Wine is an enchanted place for wine lovers of all ages.  At the heart of this vinous metropolis is a striking hotel designed by Canadian architect Frank O. Gehry who also designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

The hotel, a member of the Luxury Collection, boasts 43 rooms and suites, each completely individual in their shape, furniture and views are located in separate wings of the building and linked by a suspended footbridge.

In between enjoying the views of the vineyards from the rooftop lounge and sipping on a wine from the extensive list in the informal Wine Bar, guests can pamper themselves at the Vinothérapie® Caudalie Marqués de Riscal. Perhaps find time for a soak in the Barrel Bath or a Wine Maker’s Massage which is said to ‘recreate the ritualistic steps of the wine-making process over the entire body’.

As if that weren’t alluring enough, the Marqués de Riscal restaurant at the hotel, was just awarded a Michelin Star this year! Head Chef, Francis Paniego, is originally from the Rioja region and was the first chef in the area to receive a Michelin Star at the Echaurren restaurant before leading the culinary team at Marqués de Riscal.

While I haven’t been fortunate enough (yet!) to visit this fascinating ‘City’, I did enjoy a several Marqués de Riscal wines over lunch in London with the Commercial Director, Pedro Aznar. 

While we savoured the ’98 and ’99 Gran Reservas, Pedro explained that the philosophy of both the wines and this touristic haven in the Rioja wine land, is “a unification of tradition and history with modernity and innovation” – something readily evident in the wines and undoubtedly throughout the City of Wine.

Hotel and restaurant potos courtesy of Marqués de Riscal.