A group of 8 long-time friends (4 husband-wife couples, who all went to college together and are now in our late 50s) traveled to La Rioja in early September 2017. We are all well-traveled internationally and knowledgeable about good reds. The same group did 3-day boutique winery tour of Napa in 2015.
Based on reviews, we booked a two-day tour with Inma and Mel, and we were very pleased. We arranged our trip online with Inma; she was extremely helpful in getting us set up for the tour and helped us with securing a hotel in Logrono (Hotel Calle Mayor was excellent) and provided local tips. She even made accommodation/dining suggestions at our next stop, San Sebastian (also excellent).
Our group wanted a mix of culture and wine-tasting and Inma suggested ‘Winery Hopping’ and ‘Unusual Suspects’ for our two days. We had plenty of tastings with just enough culture/sight seeing. Lunch was included in both of our tours and the meals were excellent. Particularly fabulous were the lamb chops at Bodegas Omalza.
Mel, Inma’s husband, was our tour guide for the two days. He was knowledgeable and personable, with a good sense of humor. He kept things interesting and fun, while educating us. During our two days with Mel, we learned a lot about Riojas, and discovered an appreciation for them. The wineries we visited produced very nice wines. While we all drink a lot of cabs, merlots, pinots and zins, none of us had much experience with Riojas prior to our trip. When we got home to the states, we all explored the Rioja sections of our local wine shops and bought several cases.
I highly recommend Rioja Wine Trips for exploring La Rioja. Mel and Inma will tailor your tours based on your wine knowledge and interests. We give them an A+.