Late summer and early autumn is the beginning of the grape harvest time in Spain, the key moment in the wine production cycle. This is when the raw material is being gathered in order to come through the processes of stomping and pressing, fermentation, clarification, aging and finally bottling to become the wines of the year.
Wine is an irreplaceable element of the Spanish culture so, as a local expert (and a well-known wine-lover), Spanish Heritage DMC proposes you a few ideas of unique wine-related experiences to enhance your incentive program anywhere in Spain.
1. Wine-stomping at a small local vineyard or a gorgeous gala dinner at the famous cava cellars with over 400 years of history near Barcelona: there is nothing better that actually getting into the stomping barrel ang getting your feet painted in purple to understand the cycle of wine making.
This super local and fun experience is available for the groups (all year round!) at a beautiful 35 hectares finca nearby Barcelona. The origins of this gorgeous stately farmhouse date back to 1847 being owned by the same family ever since.
Theory comes first, so first, we will be visiting the winery with an expert that will introduce us to the wine making process before we actually get to the practical part. The winery tour includes entering the original underground wine deposits under the candlelight... Magical, isn´t it?
For the wine stomping part, we shall go back in time to the beginning of the last century and become the original grape pickers. We will go to the vineyard, where the grapes´ cycle will be explained, and we will understand what happens to the vineyard in each season of the year.
If the time of year allows it, the group actually harvests the grape and then treads it as it was done in the past to obtain the grape must which will be transformed into wine later. If it is not harvest time, the grapes will be prepared at the winery ready for the stomping.
In case what you are looking for is a special dinner, we can as well bring the Spanish wine culture into it. Imagine your guests having dinner at the Dionysus´ table at the beautiful cava cellars declared UNESCO World Heritage.
The dinner starts with a train tour in the inside of the cellars, a nice cocktail outside to culminate in a Dionysus-style feast.
2. One-of-a-kind urban vineyard and the biggest wine collection in Spain: if your destination is Madrid, make sure you include visiting Toledo as one of once-of-a-lifetime experiences for your guests.
The medieval city of Toledo is 40 minutes’ drive away from the Spanish capital, making it just a perfect choice for a day tour. Toledo is known as “the city of three cultures” as the presence of the three historic occupancies (the Islamic, Hebrew and Christian) can be clearly distinguished in its architecture.
Aside from its cultural diversity, the city is home to one of the few urban vineyards in the world – a gorgeous family property overlooking Toledo´s walls and the river Tajo from up the hill.
This is an ideal place for your guests to have a nice lunch after they have enjoyed wandering the streets downtown or even make a paella altogether, being accompanied, of course, by a glass of wine that was born in the very same ground we are standing on.
The city itself hides another wine-related secret, which can work perfectly as an added value for your VIP group experience in Toledo. Following one of the narrow streets, we pop into a secret door which doesn´t give you any hint on a treasure it keeps inside: the largest wine collection in Spain with 32.000 bottles and 2.300 wine references from all around the globe. Offer your guests the best wine tasting they have ever had, with the owner being present and including the tasting of some local products.
3. True luxury among the vines - Hotel Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine: in Castilla y Leon region, right on the banks of the river Duero, in the border with one of the most emblematic wine regions in the Peninsula is where we find Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine, an ancient abbey dating back to the 12th century that has been renovated as a unique hotel. This is just the right place if you look for getting lost in the aroma of good wine and enjoy the rural landscape.
The 27 rooms and 3 luxurious suites of this property are located in the old hostelry, creating a singular combination of history with modernity and offering the services of a luxury hotel. In addition, all the rooms have unbeatable views of the surrounding vineyards, which will one day give birth to some exquisite wines.
During their stay at Abadia Retuerta, the guests will be able to enjoy a Michelin Star restaurant located right inside the hotel, a sophisticated spa treatment with the use of wines, horseback riding through the vineyards or a drive by the banks of the Duero river in a luxury car. Do you need more reasons to come?
4. Meet the local winery owner in Ronda and learn to cook paella: Andalusia also boasts some great local wines.
Ronda sits above a deep ravine in the heart of the Serrania de Ronda, about 100kms from the city of Malaga, Andalusia. You may recall an image of the Bridge of Ronda that literally takes your breath away when seeing it.
After having a walk in the Ronda´s old town, we are heading directly to a small winery nearby, where Joaquin, the father and the head of the family is waiting for us. Joaquin and all his family own and run the winery for years and they are all one of a kind and very sweet people.
His elder son is a wine “book warm”, so he is the one in charge of introducing us to the different varieties of wine produced by the family right at the spot.
Wine needs a full tummy though and what is better than a rustic paella we will prepare all together? Of course, Joaquin will keep an eye on us so we follow the recipe!