Marques De Riscal – A Rioja Gem

Kyle
1st February 2023

Marqués De Riscal may not need much of an introduction as their Rioja wine are held in prestige around the world. However, there is a lot more to this award winning vineyard you should know about. In 2020 and 2021 they were voted the second best vineyard in the world and their Rioja Reserva is enjoyed in all corners of the globe.

In this article we cover the following:

Where Is Marques De Riscal Vineyard?

Marqués De Riscal is located in the Rioja wine region in the north of Spain. Known for producing high quality Tempranillo, they also produce Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo for those partial to a white wine.

The largest town of the Rioja wine region is Logrono which is about 325 miles north west of Barcelona, (the capital of Catalonia), and 90 miles south of San Sebastian. Marqués De Riscal is located 15 miles outside of Logrono and is easily accessible by car or bus. We recommend staying in village of Laguadia at Villa De Laguadia. It is in a small village on the top of a hill which has a great view of the surrounding vineyards and landscape.

Rioja Wine Map
Map of the Rioja wine region courtesy of Riojawine.com

The Marques De Riscal Wine Experience

Marqués de Riscal offers visitors the experience of exploring the history of the bodega since its foundation in 1858 to the modern day, with the chance to enjoy the wine through the use of all your five senses.

Delving into this journey through time, you start off by making your way to the heart of vineyard, the Plaza del Reloj (Square of the Sun Dial). From there, you will be able to see the Original Bodega, which was built in 1860, where the treasures of Marqués de Riscal are kept, the cellar for all the their ancient wines.

Next, you can visit the first expansion of the Bodega, a building dating from 1883 which was constructed in the Bordeaux style and known as El Palomar where Marques De Riscal premium wines are made. Finally, the last visual impact will hit you from above, where, contrasting with the tradition of the various different sandstone buildings, you can distinguish the avant-garde style of the 21st century of the Hotel Marqués de Riscal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, designed by the renowned architect, Frank O. Gehry

Marques De Riscal Wine
Marques De Riscal winery designed by Frank O Gehry

The more sensory part is rounded off by the Caudalie vinotherapy spa, the fine dining restaurant under the watchful eye of the top Riojan chef Francis Paniego. It has a conference centre and is where you will find the Marques De Riscal visitors’ centre, souvenir and gift shop.

Style Of Marques De Riscal Wines

Marques De Riscal Red Wines

As with most red wine from Rioja, the primary grape is Tempranillo. Red wines will spend a varying amount of time in both French and American oak which will give the red wine secondary notes of vanilla, tobacco and hints of leather. Primary fruit flavours will be plum, raspberry and cherry. The longer the time the wine has been in oak the more secondary notes will be evident. Expect solid tannins with medium acidity. The Marques De Riscal red wines work well with grilled red meat like lamb and beef.

MarqUes De Riscal White Wines

White wines from Rioja are not as commonly available but they are worth trying if you can get your hands on some. The main white grape is Viura which is also known as Macabeu in France. There are also small plantings of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo. The white wines from Marques De Riscal will be fruity, primarily citrus and tropical fruit driven with medium acidity. 

Marques De Riscal Rose Wines

Marques De Riscal have a limited Rose wine range however they have been producing them since the 1960’s, well before Rose wine become popular the world over. A lovely pale-pink colour, with fragrant red-berry aromas and hints of white blossom. Expect a soft, smooth mouth-feel and a long, fresh finish.

Visiting Rioja

When people say they like Rioja wines, they are predominantly referring to red wines from Spain made from Tempranillo grapes. The Denomination of Origin, or DO, is located in the north of Spain and is one of the most popular European wine regions. The two closest airports would be Logrono and Bilbao. Bilbao is likely to be easiest to get to as it is where you fly into when visiting San Sebastian. There are some very impressive vineyards in the region for you to visit and some absolutely gorgeous wines for you to discover so we recommend a trip to explore Rioja.

Rioja Wine Region Tours
The best way to explore the vineyards of Rioja is via an organised tour.

The best way explore Rioja is join an organised tour of the vineyards. This will allow you to try wines during the day and not have to argue about who is drawing the short straw and having to be the skipper. Two tour companies we recommend speaking with are riojawinetrips.com and riojalikeanative.com

TOP VINEYARDS IN RIOJA

Our top 4 vineyards for you to visit in Rioja are:

As with all vineyard visits we recommend contacting them before hand or ask your tour guide to schedule them into your wine tasting itinerary as they will make the winemaker and vineyard aware you will be stopping by to sample some of their riches!

Vineyards In Rioja Spain
The many vineyards to visit in Rioja, Spain

7 Day Itinerary For A Rioja Wine Holiday

A 7 day itinerary to visit Rioja would be as follows. Day 1 to 4 – to fly into Bilbao, transfer to Laguardia and stay 3 nights in the town where you can relax and visit vineyards. Days 4 to 7 – Once you have purchased too much wine then transfer back to San Sebastian. Here you can enjoy 4 days at the beach, eating amazing tapas and drinking some nice Spanish wine. Then it is just a short taxi back to Bilbao to depart. For flights, accommodation, all your meals, tours and transfers you should be able to do this comfortably for around £1,200 per person from most capital cities in Europe.

San Sebastian Beaches Spain
The beaches of San Sebastian in Spain

Fun Facts About Marques De Riscal

  • In 1895 Marques De Riscal were the first non French vineyard to be recognised with a diploma of honor by the Bordeaux Exhibition. This is now on their bottle label of the Rioja Reserva and Rose wine.
  • In the early 1900’s Marqués de Riscal started to cover its bottles with a fine Golden Wire. This was done in order to avoid falsifications. You still see it on some of their bottles today!
  • In the early 1970’s they were the first vineyard to make white wine in the Rueda wine region (DO). French style Sauvignon Blanc – you should try some!

Marques De Riscal Wine Offer

As part of our Marques De Riscal partnership we are promoting a mixed 6 bottle case of their wines at the discounted price of £120. That is £15 a bottle! Some of these wines retail for over £30 each so it is a great deal. Try out the Marqués De Riscal range and find some new favourites today.


If you want to treat yourself, or someone else in your life, don’t forget to check out our Monthly Wine Subscription and Gift Wine Subscription products. Each month you’ll receive hand-picked wines from small, independent family winemakers who focus on organicbiodynamic and sustainable viticulture. Learn more here:


If you’d simply just like to learn more about wine from the comfort of your own home, be sure to check out our online blog and sign up to our mailing list. We’re always looking to teach people about different regions, grape varieties and producers. Beyond that, you can expect to find a whole host of playlists, cocktail cards and recipe cards packed full of wine pairing ideas. There might even be some special offers along the way so make sure that you don’t miss out!

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20 mixed cases of wine a week on sale at cellar door prices