rioja cuvee with ana fabiano


October 21-27, 2024

Trip Length

7 Days / 6 Nights

Group Size

Limited to 12 Spots


From $7,250

(for double occupancy)

Rioja Hotel - Cave Room with Wine Glasses

Tasting Notes

hallowed vines & exalted cuisine inspired by the riojana terroir

Join award-winning author and foremost expert of the Rioja region, Ana Fabiano, for a connoisseurs’ journey through the fine wines and fabled food traditions of Rioja. Together we’ll explore its iconic Tempranillo terroir, from the vines of Alavesa to the Alta, as we sip luscious reds and visit the storied bodegas of this winemaking paradise of Spain’s Ebro River Valley. Paired alongside the finest DOC wines, our exquisite voyage will introduce us to Rioja’s rustic culinary origins from garden to table and family farm to asador, while savoring the star-studded kitchens that are defining contemporary Riojan cuisine.

amuse bouche

October 21-27, 2024

(7 Days / 6 Nights)

Limited to 12 Spots

Part of our exclusive Cuvée Collection, limited-edition expeditions hosted by the most acclaimed names in wine & spirits.

$7,250 /

per person,
based on double occupancy*

$8,500 /

per person,
based on single occupancy* **

*Airfare not included. **The number of single occupancy rooms is extremely limited and subject to availability at time of booking

Garden to Gourmet

Roll up your sleeves for an immersion into Rioja’s fresh from the garden ingredients and rustic food traditions alongside some of the region’s finest food experts.

Rioja Chef
Rioja Cheese

Taste of the Terroir

A love letter to the Riojana terroir, from the Alavesa to the Alta we’ll savor the artisan bounty and vineyard delights that make Spain’s Ebro River Valley an iconic culinary paradise.

Back to the Future

An architectural feast for the eyes where modernity meets the medieval, we’ll rest our heads at Rioja’s most sumptuous stays, from the Frank Gehry designed masterpiece, Hotel Marqués de Riscal, to the restored 16th century manor house, Hotel Santa María Briones.

Rioja Hotel

the tasting menu

October 21-27, 2024

Monday, October 21, 2024
Our Cuvée expedition with award-winning author and expert of the Rioja region, Ana Fabiano, will commence at the rendezvous point, Bilbao-Abando Train Station, where our Palatum Host will be waiting to welcome everyone. At the designated time, we will depart for the fabled vines of Álava in Basque Country’s Rioja Alavesa sub-region. We’ll raise a glass to our Riojan adventure with Ana while visiting the iconic, fifth generation producer Viña Real for a vertical tasting of Rioja Reservas and Gran Reservas, which will culminate with a special picnic in the vineyards. The afternoon will see us checking-in to our sumptuous five-star stay, Hotel Marqués de Riscal, an architectural masterpiece designed by Frank Gehry and the contemporary centerpiece of Elciego’s monumental City of Wine. Following free time to discover the plush amenities of our wine country stay, we’ll toast to our first evening with a welcome dinner of refined Rioja Alavesa fare paired with panoramic views and old Marqués de Riscal vintages at our hotel’s airy and architectural 1860 Tradición, a culinary creation by celebrated chef Francis Paniego.

Meals: Light Lunch, D
Overnight: Hotel Marqués de Riscal

Tuesday, October 22, 2024
In the morning we’ll set off for the countryside heart of La Rioja where a hands-on cooking experience awaits us at celebrated epicurean destination, Venta Moncalvillo, a Michelin-starred ode to the terroir of Rioja by brothers, Chef Ignacio Echapresto and sommelier Carlos Echapresto. We’ll roll up our sleeves for an immersive introduction to Rioja’s fresh from the garden ingredients and rustic food traditions before savoring a delectable lunch of our vegetable forward dishes along with some masterful creations of the chef. Our day will continue with a guided exploration of Logroño for an introduction to the city’s Roman origins, cultural composition, and reputation as an important center for the Rioja wine industry. After free time to peruse the city’s many shops and picturesque streets independently, our evening will be dedicated to the art of the tapeo as we savor our way through the legendary tapas taverns of Calle Laurel, the gastronomic epicenter of Logroño, where the singular flavors of Rioja are served up delicious bite by bite.

Meals: B, L, D
Overnight: Hotel Marqués de Riscal

Wednesday, October 23, 2024
Today we begin with a celebration of Rioja Alavesa’s wine making heritage during a private visit to its oldest winery, the hallowed Marqués de Riscal estate, dating back to 1858. We will experience the winery’s state of the art production facilities, historic aging rooms and famed cathedral-like cellar housing a treasure trove of eight million bottles, before being welcomed for a singular guided tasting of unique vintages led by the estate’s legendary chief winemaker. We will continue reveling in the history of Rioja as we travel to the medieval walled village of Laguardia, known for its charming center of antique bodegas and the inspiring 14th century carved portico of the Church of Santa María de los Reyes, which we’ll stop to admire along the way. Following free time to discover Laguardia’s charming center, we’ll arrive to the historic cellars of Casa Primicia, a family-owned bodega housed within the medieval Casa de la Primicia. We’ll spend time tasting the producer’s small batch wines within the scenic setting of their atmospheric 15th century cellar. Today’s lunch will be a love letter to traditional Alavesa cuisine in the heart of Laguardia, before returning to Elciego for a free evening to appreciate the divine amenities of our elegant architectural stay and dine independently.

Meals: B, L
Overnight: Hotel Marqués de Riscal

Thursday, October 24, 2024
This morning we bid farewell to Hotel Marqués de Riscal and depart the Rioja Alavesa sub-region for the heart of La Rioja. We’ll start the day at awarded cheese farm, Los Cameros, where we will be hosted for a private tour of the creamery before savoring the farm’s prized artisan cheeses crafted from goat, sheep and cow’s milk. Our journey will lead us to the lovely wine town of Haro for free time to explore its scenic center independently, before visiting the esteemed Bodegas Conde de los Andes to experience its illustrious 15th century cellars followed by a tasting of the winery’s latest releases along with a historic vintage. A true highlight of the region, we will next make our way to the acclaimed Vivanco Museum of Wine, a uniquely sensory exploration of Rioja’s viticultural heritage, where a guided visit will introduce us to the museum’s intriguing collection, including the Garden of Bacchus dedicated to over 220 grape varietals, and a tasting of the legendary producer’s wine. The afternoon will lead us to our chic boutique retreat, Hotel Santa María Briones, a former 16th century manor house nestled in the medieval heart of Briones. Tonight’s dinner will be hosted at our hotel’s acclaimed Allegrar restaurant helmed by Chef Juan Cuesta, a native Riojano committed to creating modern Riojan dishes showcasing top quality produce from local orchards and artisan producers.

Meals: B, D
Overnight: Hotel Santa María Briones

Friday, October 25, 2024
Today we will journey back in time to appreciate the cultural legacy of the Rioja region in the storied village of San Millán de la Cogolla, said to be the ancient birthplace of the Spanish language. We will spend the early part of the day discovering San Millán’s illustrious UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Romanesque monastery of San Millán de Suso, a former pilgrimage site dating back to the 6th century where the first words of Castilian Spanish were written, and the 16th century monastery of San Millán de Yuso, a continuation of the monastic tradition first began at the monastery of Suso. Our afternoon will be crowned with an exclusive visit to the glorious 19th century Ygay Estate of iconic producer, Marques de Murrieta, where an intimate private lunch of signature Marques de Murrieta wines paired with gastronomic bites awaits. A leisurely free afternoon in Briones offers an ideal opportunity to relax at the hotel or explore the town independently, before gathering together to savor a dinner of quintessential local fare at a traditional asador in the heart of Briones.

Meals: B, L, D
Overnight: Hotel Santa María Briones

Saturday, October 26, 2024
Our viticultural exploration of the Rioja Alta will continue at the acclaimed estate of innovative producer, Bodegas Roda. We will appreciate an exquisite glimpse of the estate during a morning horse drawn carriage ride through the vineyards before sipping a flight of special vintages showcasing Roda’s exceptional winemaking legacy. We’ll continue our Riojana adventure at the legendary estate of Bodegas Bilbaínas, a winemaking vanguard that has been crafting exquisite Rioja vintages under their esteemed Rioja label Viña Pomal since 1904. Beginning our private winery visit with a guided exploration of the historic bodega, we’ll celebrate our time on the estate with a truly unique lunch set amongst the vineyards, featuring reimagined Riojan cuisine with gastronomic flair, and paired with the bodega’s signature vintages. Returning to Hotel Santa María Briones, we’ll delight in a free afternoon to enjoy the splendors of the hotel and relish our final Spanish afternoon. In the evening we will gather to raise a toast to Ana and our Cuvée expedition through Rioja during a sumptuous closing dinner at La Vieja Bodega, a local epicurean institution housed within an idyllic 17th century cellar.

Meals: B, L, D
Overnight: Hotel Santa María Briones

Sunday, October 27, 2024
This morning we will check-out from Hotel Santa María Briones and depart for our scheduled drop-offs at Bilbao Airport and Bilbao-Abando Train Station, signaling the end of tour.

Meals: B

Rioja Wine Cellar
Rioja Venta Moncalvillo Dishes
Rioja bodegas roda cellar
Cobblestoned street in the medieval town of Briones

meet the tastemaker

ana fabiano

Ana Fabiano
An expert in Riojan culture, heritage, and tradition, Ana Fabiano is best known for her award winning book, The Wine Region of Rioja. Building upon her 30 years of expertise in the Spanish wine industry, including the creation of RiojaTrade, Rioja’s North American trade entity for professionals in the wine industry, Ana has passionately researched and traveled extensively through the wine country of Spain. A passionate culinary ambassador, dedicated to sharing the wine, culture, people, and traditions of Rioja, Ana is recognized and respected as a Rioja expert inside and outside the DOCa of Rioja.

sumptuous stays


A symphony of metal and glass reflecting the unforgettable Riojan landscape of mountain and vine, the Frank Gehry designed Hotel Marqués de Riscal is a masterpiece of 21st century design that celebrates the sensorial delights of Rioja, past and present, in five-star style.


Former 16th century manor house elegantly restored into a chic boutique retreat in the heart of medieval Briones, Hotel Santa María Briones is where the legacy of tradition, the luxury of time and a love for fine food and wine are gloriously united as an ultimate stay along the Ebro.

What's Included

  • Elegant handpicked stays with gourmet spirit, including five-star Hotel Marqués de Riscal & four-star Hotel Santa María Briones
  • Full-time assistance of a Palatum Trip Leader
  • All ground transportation from pick-up to drop-off
  • Select touring with local guides & epicurean experts
  • Daily breakfast
  • Seasonally inspired lunches & dinners showcasing regional wines
  • Exclusive dining at awarded gastronomic restaurants
  • Hands-on cooking experiences highlighting heritage recipes
  • Premium winery visits & tastings at storied producers
  • Special visits with acclaimed food artisans & organic farmers
  • Tastings of local delicacies unique to each region
  • Signature cultural touring & all associated tickets/entrance fees
  • Palatum Welcome Package in advance of departure

What's Not Included

  • International or regional airfare
  • A-la-carte food orders, alcoholic beverages or wines outside of pre-arranged menus during organized meals
  • Any meals or beverages during free time
  • Hotel incidentals including room service, laundry services and hotel bar tabs
  • Hotel room upgrade requests and/or fees/supplements incurred from any room changes
  • Personal expenditures and personal spending money
  • Expenses for activities/excursions not included in the tour itinerary
  • Transportation expenses incurred during free time, such as taxi or bus fares
  • Travel insurance including health, accidents, lost baggage and trip cancellation
  • Passport and Visa expenses
  • All other items that are not mentioned or included in the tour itinerary

book now

Reserve your spot today with a deposit and completion of our booking form.

Looking for a privatized experience or specific dates? Look into booking a Private Palatum Expedition.

supplemental information

your trip specifics

The group rendezvous point for the start of the tour is Bilbao-Abando Train Station. It is strongly recommended that you arrive in Bilbao one or two days prior to the commencement of the tour, to allow for any delays or rerouting that may occur while in transit to Bilbao. Please note that all participants must arrive by 11:00 AM to Bilbao-Abando Train Station on October 21, 2024 to take advantage of the group transfer to Rioja Alavesa. Participants who choose to arrive earlier or later than the outlined group transfer time can contact The Palatum about private transfer options, which can be arranged at an additional cost.

Suggested Airport: Bilbao Airport

Pick-up Location: Bilbao-Abando Train Station

Pick-up Time: Approximately 11:00 AM

The end date of the tour is October 27, 2024 with group drop-offs at 8:30 AM at Bilbao Airport and 9:15 AM at Bilbao-Abando Train Station. If you are planning to depart from Bilbao Airport on October 27, 2024 we would strongly recommend that you book a departing flight that leaves no earlier than 10:30 AM, to allow for ample time following the scheduled drop-off. Likewise, if you are planning to depart from Bilbao-Abando Train Station on October 27, 2024, we would strongly recommend that you book a departing train that leaves no earlier than 11:00 AM, to allow for ample time following the scheduled drop-off.

Suggested Airport: Bilbao Airport

Drop-off Locations: Bilbao Airport & Bilbao-Abando Train Station

Drop-off Times: Approximately 8:30 AM (Bilbao Airport) & Approximately 9:15 AM (Bilbao-Abando Train Station)

Your trip balance is due no later than July 31, 2024 (approximately 75 days prior to the tour start date).

Payments may be made by MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, or by check made payable to The Palatum.

more to know

This tour may at times be physically active and interactive, so you must be in good health to participate. If you have any physical, mental, visual, or other medical impairment that may hinder your ability to successfully complete this Palatum small group tour, you must submit a letter from your physician stating that you are able to safely participate in the tour at least 90 days prior to departure. The Palatum reserves the right to decline any Participant whose condition, in The Palatum’s opinion, may negatively affect the health or safety of that Participant, other Participants, our staff/agents, or third parties.

The Palatum has crafted this exclusive epicurean tour to highlight seasonal vinicultural and gastronomic experiences of the highest caliber. As this tour has been specially designed to take you off the beaten path and introduce you to authentic local food and wine experiences, it may require that necessary adjustments be made to the tour schedule either prior to departure or during the tour. Rest assured, we will make every effort to provide you with the touring experience outlined in the itinerary. Please be advised that we cannot provide refunds for any touring days, activities, excursions, tastings, etc., that you have chosen not to participate in, or any costs associated with opting out of a planned activity or excursion (i.e. taxi or bus fare).

If you cancel by or before March 1, 2024: You will receive a 100% refund of your paid deposit minus a $500 processing fee.

If you cancel between March 2, 2024 and April 30, 2024: You will receive a 50% refund of your paid deposit.

If you cancel between May 1, 2024 and July 31, 2024: You will receive a 25% refund of your paid deposit.

If you cancel after July 31, 2024 all monies paid will be non-refundable.

Trip cancellation must be made by calling The Palatum at 1-888-466-4381, and must be followed up by written confirmation via email or mail.

the palatum way

Palatum tours feature the full-time assistance of a Palatum Trip Leader, as well as select touring with local guides and experts in gastronomy and oenology.

Every Palatum tour is designed to celebrate the culinary traditions, seasonal produce, and local food products that make the regions being visited, such diverse gastronomic destinations. During the tour you will enjoy a wide variety of gourmet foods, as well as both typical and creative dishes, intended to delve deep into the authentic food landscapes we will be exploring. This means that you can look forward to sampling regional delicacies that highlight a cornucopia of ingredients, from the familiar to the unfamiliar. As culinary experiences and organized meals are planned well in advance, it is important that you advise The Palatum of any food allergies and/or dietary restrictions you may have, so that we can do our very best to meet your needs.

You can look forward to receiving an online link to your digital Palatum Portfolio approximately two weeks prior to departure. Your digital Palatum Portfolio will include the final, detailed tour itinerary, providing a more granular portrait of your travel experience, including daily touring schedules with times and all pertinent details, as well as other supplemental travel information, such as weather resources, emergency contact information, and other useful travel tips.

An amuse-bouche for the feast that awaits, your Palatum Welcome Package will include some gourmet surprises to get you dreaming about your upcoming trip, which will be mailed out to arrive prior to your departure on the tour. Once shipped, you will be notified via email and provided with the tracking number for your package.

getting there

Optional travel insurance is available to provide peace of mind during your travels in the event of accident, sickness or unexpected cancellation. In evaluating travel insurance options you may want to review all forms of insurance coverage for your upcoming trip, such as your credit card or medical and homeowner’s insurance company benefits, in addition to other third party insurance providers. Trip insurance can also be purchased through The Palatum’s preferred provider Travel Guard®. If you are interested in obtaining a quote or purchasing a policy, you can email The Palatum at

Today’s travel landscape offers many resources available for booking airfare. As such, we encourage you to explore your options, such as booking your airfare through a trusted ticketing agent, an online airline resource, or using your frequent flier miles or credit card rewards points. As you research your preferred flights, you will want to review your pre-tour and post-tour travel plans, and select airline routes that make sense logistically with regard to the start and end dates of the tour.

All Palatum tours require a valid passport, with a minimum 6 months validity. As visa and entry requirements can vary from country to country, and change with little or no notice, it is your responsibility to contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, and to carry the proper travel documents.

Each tour participant is allowed a total of one medium sized suitcase (25” to 27” inches) and one standard carry-on. Please note that this luggage allowance will be strictly enforced, as the size of the tour vehicle will only accommodate the set number of tour participants and the outlined luggage allowance per participant. Any deviation from the outlined luggage allowance will result in unnecessarily cramped tour bus conditions.

Arriving before the start of tour, or perhaps staying after? Just let us know and we can provide you with pricing for a pre- or post-tour extension, such as private transfers and additional nights at hotels included on the tour.

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