If, as Dante said, the wine sows poetry in our hearts, Marqués de Riscal writes it in the Rioja Alavesa.
Wines of the heirs of the Marquis of Riscal has created the City of Wine, a complex located in Elciego, composed of the Old Winery Marqués de Riscal, which is already 160 years old, and a new Avant-Garde building that houses the Marqués de Riscal Hotel and the Spa Vinothérapie Caudalie. Inside the hotel is located the Gourmet Restaurant Marqués de Riscal, awarded with a Michelin Star, and also the restaurant 1860 Tradition, for those who are looking for a more casual dinner or meal without losing elegance. The designer of this unique building is no other than Frank O. Gehry, the controversial architect of the Guggenheim of Bilbao and currently considered one of the most influential ones in the world. It seems that Marqués de Riscal not only seeks to achieve perfection with its wines, but also with the aesthetics of its Wine City.
The hotel belongs to the selection of The Luxury Collection Hotels of Marriott International, and has 33 rooms, 9 executive suites and a Gehry Suite where you can contemplate the winery and the vineyards, the undulating vines of the building or the picturesque village Elciego and the mountains of the Sierra de Cantabria. In addition to its unique spa, within the hotel you can also enjoy an indoor swimming pool, business center and meeting rooms.
For lovers of this broth, it is essential to start the day with the tour of the emblematic winery including a wine tasting with Denomination of Origin Rioja and Rueda and an exquisite appetizer. After this private visit of about two and a half hours of duration, we recommend to enjoy a fantastic meal in the afore mentioned Gourmet Restaurant Marqués de Riscal, managed by Francis Paniego, in which you can get delight with its Traditional and Avant-Garde Cuisine, besides, of course, its excellent wine list. Its two tasting menus, of 14 and 21 plates respectively, have been elaborated with local seasonal products that are combined to create a perfect harmony.
Other offered options are the Restaurant 1860 Tradition, also managed by Paniego, or El Jardín del Chef, where you can enjoy a “show cooking menu” with views of the vineyards.
In the afternoon, a tour of the streets and squares of Elciego will take you to different points of history that have left their mark in the Rioja Alavesa. After this walk between its winding streets and stores, we return to the City of Wine to walk between the vineyards or to continue enjoying its facilities.
After this visit, we only can say that it seems that we are just in the right place for architecture, history, design, and good wine lovers.