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Basque Experiences discover more of La Rioja

New La Rioja Wineries for 2018-19

As a Basque Country DMC and travel agency, we are always on the lookout for new product, people and activities to offer our clients. La Rioja offers a fantastic  variety of different experiences, and we have to keep up to speed on all of them!

It sounds like a really easy job, visiting wineries and driving around wine country, but believe me, we are doing it for you!

Modern and traditional

Developing relationships with all kinds of winemakers is fundamental. It means we can offer the best options to our clients. Small producers like Bodegas Tobelos in Briñas, who make around 200,000 bottles a year, and only crianzas and reservas. To the larger Valdemar or Bodegas Faustino, both famous internationally that produce millions of bottles.

Our visits took us to Bodegas Izadi, who along with fantastic wine give us the opportunity to be able to offer gastronomic experiences as well. Really special, tailor-made basque experiences!! In the village of Cenicero, is situated the historic and truly spectacular Bodegas Riojanas. Their superb installations, and excellent wine make for a fascinating contrast to the smaller, ‘garage’ bodegas.

Basque Wine Tours

At Basque Experiences we  will tailor-make your visit to La Rioja. Be you a small private family group, or an agency looking for a trusted DMC, with personalised attention. Its not all tasting wine you know!!

 

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Titan Travel Basque Tour 2017

Basque Tour with Titan Travel

Its been a great few weeks now working on our amazing new Basque Tour with Titan Travel. A seven-night Basque Tour seeing all the main sights of the Basque Country with Titan Travel, a large UK Tour Agency. The Stunning sights of the Spanish Basque Region…

First complete tour in the Basque Country

This is Titan Travel’s first complete tour in the Basque Country. Additionally, 2017 is the first year they are offering a complete 7-night Basque Tour via their website and via the printed catalogue. which also gets delivered to over 70,000 homes in the UK.

Your base for the week is Bilbao the dynamic, modern yet traditional Basque Capital. Visit the historical cities of Donostia/San Sebastian, world-renowned for its amazing Basque Food. Synonymous also with belle-epoque architecture and its tremendous beach.  Another day trip sees us in Vitoria with its beautifully preserved old town, squares, and Cathedral of Santa Maria. Also walk around Bilbao with the iconic Guggenheim Bilbao museum, and its river regeneration, recognised the world-over by urban planning experts.

In addition to cities, the Basque Tour includes day trips to Gernika and its Casa de Juntas Basque Parliament. Here we learn about and see ‘Guernica’ – Pablo Picasso’s most recognised and discussed artwork. Travel through the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with its rolling green hills, beautiful estuary, and bird center. Finally, we visit the spectacular La Rioja Alavesa region, currently producing some of the world’s best red wines. Come and join us at two of our favourite bodegas Torre de Oña and Casa Primicia!!

Hotel

Choice of accommodation is very important on a 7-night tour. Therefore we have selected a modern, four-star hotel in the centre of Bilbao with easy access to all the sights. Its close proximity to the excellent new Tram in the centre of the city, makes it so simple to get about. So important for a free evening or afternoon to wander by yourself or with your partner. Half-board is provided as is private transport throughout, with a dedicated driver and Tour Manager. Additionally, the guides are chosen for their excellent English, friendly attitude and close attention to the needs and wishes of the groups.

Basque Tour 2018

Looking forward. Titan Travel are offering places on the 2018 tours already. Twelve different weeks are offered across the spring, summer and autumn. Our photos will give you a great idea of whats included!!

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Txakoli Tours in the green Basque Country

Txakoli Tours in May…..

May is one of my favourite months here in the Basque Country. Long days, a mix of sunshine and showers, and the rolling hills and villages are bursting with spring energy! These elements add up to form a perfect excuse to visit some of our marvellous grape-growers , juice-magicians and and partake in your own , private, made-to-measure Txakoli Tours…

The Basque Country’s own wine.

Our green land and climate, so influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, is somehow ‘bottled’ by alchemists across Euskadi.  Txakoli is a fresh, minerally and sometimes almost herby, slightly acidic wine, unique to this corner of the world. Our grapes, small, and hardy, are carefully hand picked in 3 distinct zones to produce this most Basque of tipples. Hidden from the outside world for years we, Txakoli is finally appearing on some of the world’s finest tables…

Discover with us

May is a very busy time for us here at Basque Experiences and over the last 2 weeks we have been busy guiding and organising various different Txakoli Tours. All made-to-measure by listening to the client and then applying our experience and knowledge to create a personalised private tour. There are family-run business, small producers, pioneers, and Michelin starred restaurants all producing this delicious wine…. When are you coming to discover our Txakoli??

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Basque Country Food. Where is it from ? pt. 2

Food…thats it!

Where does our amazing produce come from and how do we use this great resource. Part 2 of our quick look at Basque Country food, produce and gastronomy with the chef José Pizarro, owner of 4 restaurants in London.

Alava, Inland Basque Country

Sometimes overlooked by visitors keen to see Bilbao and San Sebastian, Alava is the 3rd province of Euskadi, Basque Country and is completely landlocked. This is wine country, and many visitors come to learn and sample our famous Rioja Alavesa wine However, it holds many surprises as Jose found out!

Salt Cheese and Txakoli

Hidden in the green valleys lies a geological gem, millions of years old but very relevant today. The Salt Pans of Añana are marvellous. A fountain (or 3) of saline liquid, used over millenia to cure, store and flavour the Basque peoples food. Today we can visit and learn about this amazing place but also taste it in our own Denominacion de Origen Idiazabal Cheese. We visited our good friend Leire who is the only producer of this most Basque of Basque cheeses who uses this salt in the production of her award winning cheeses. The surprise here though is its not only Idiazabal that one tries… 🙂

Close by and another good friend sees us visit BarraskiBide, a farm producing organic snails, a popular dish all over Spain and especially those who are fond of Biscayan Sauce…. Nestled under the Sierra Salvada mountain range, the snails are well guarded so they don’t escape….

And what would one choose to wash these delicious products down with? Well our own Txakoli Arabako. The third region with the D.O. to produce Txakoli wine in the Basque Country. Our friends at Astobiza and Beldui are perfect hosts and enable Jose to learn taste and discuss the amazing advances this wine has experienced since it became regulated in the 1980’s.

Sleeping it off….

After all these foodie gastronomic exertions, sometimes there is nothing better than a siesta… However, when staying with us here at Basque Experiences we have our own favourite places, and top of the list in Bilbao is the great Hotel Miro. Opposite the iconic Guggenheim Bilbao, the service is what you would expect from a small privately -run hotel. It never fails!!

Just a short blog extolling some of our food highlights here in the Basque Country with Basque Experiences. But keep your eyes open for a foodie surprise in the coming weeks…..

 

    Basque Country Food. Where is it from? pt. 1

    Basque Country Food…

    Food… Hopefully you will have heard about some of the great dishes we prepare here in the Basque Country (there are a few pointers on this blog…) But have you ever wondered where the produce comes from? Accompanied by our friend Jose Pizarro, a restaurant owner from Caceres in Spain, but who lives and owns 3 restaurants in London, we set out over 2 days to discover some hidden gems…

    Food research

    Spring is in the the air and everything is coming back to life… In the green hills of Gipuzkoa, magic is at work. Txakoli vines are beginning to sprout and the anchovies are arriving in our waters, but some plants are already flowering and bearing fruit and in some cases vegetables.

    The tear-shaped pea is an unknown quantity pretty much everywhere. However here, and in the best restaurants in Spain, it commands a seat at the head table. On a sunny day like today, seeing them on the vines and growing in their tiny pods, well, its a luxury!

    Its not only the green things either, Further up in the hills is  a little family-run farm that breeds Euskal Txarri, a rare- breed of Basque Pig. Here the father and daughter team produce award winning sausages, hams, black puddings and bacon. A visit to them is an insight into this tasty world!

    Basque Culinary Center

    The Basque Culinary  Center was  next on our list as THE place to see when talking about food research here, indeed anywhere in the world. The BCC is a unique faculty and part of the University of the Basque Country, the only such faculty in the world. Dedicated to research and development for all things Culinary….

    Dining

    No visit to the Basque Country is complete without dining in a Txoko or Sociedad Gastronomika. A private dining club if you like where only members are allowed to cook….  Tales of the dinners and diners are legendary here in the Basque Country. So visiting one on Saturday afternoon was the perfect finale to a bust day discovering and learning about our produce.

    Have a look at our fotos and a short video

    Basque Experiences. Private Basque Country Tours

     

    Sociedad Gastronomika 

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      Basque Peas

      The tear-shaped peas of Getaria
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      Best office in the world?
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