Full buffet breakfast in the restaurant of our hotel.
We depart hotel by bus for one hour transfer to the wine region of La Rioja.
Rioja is the most widely known of Spanish wines and the best ones are red and powerful having been aged for long periods in oak casks although a lighter fruitier trend has been developing in recent years emphasizing less wood. Production of Rioja in its present style began after the double disasters of odium and phylloxera in France in the late 1800s when French négociants moved into the district and introduced the methods employed in Bordeaux, notably the destalking of the grapes and the ageing of the wines in 225-litre oak casks.
In the village of Ollauri we visit the Regalia de Ollauri winery, designed by Cassado and Flamanque.
Regalia de Ollauri is the region’s most advanced winery driven by geothermal power, with 80% of its surface built into a hill and ultra ecological in its approach to operations.
We continue to the outskirts of the tiny village of Elciego to reach The City of Wine, the Marqués de Riscal wine cellars designed by Frank Gehry.
The City of Wine complex is set in around 100,000 square meters devoted to making, caring for and studying wine. At the heart of the City of Wine are the oldest cellars of Marqués de Riscal, dating from 1858, as well as its later 1883 extension. Surrounded by extensive vineyards, the installations preserve a special charm from its origins.
We end the morning with a visit of the cellars and a wine tasting.
Lunch on the terrace of the Bistro 1860 at the Marques de Riscal.
After lunch we drive back to Bilbao (1h 15 minutes), rest of the afternoon at leisure to relax or shop.
Short walk for a special evening guided visit of the Guggenheim Museum followed by drinks in the private lounge.
One of the great masterpieces of the 20th century designed by Canadian architect Frank O. Gehry . Instantly hailed as the most important structure of its time, the building has changed the way people think about museums, and it continues to challenge assumptions about the connections between art, architecture, and collecting. The museum has acquired key works by some of the most significant artists of the second half of the twentieth century, including Anselm Kiefer, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, James Rosenquist, Clyfford Still, Cy Twombly, Richard Serra, Daniel Buren and Andy Warhol. Additionally, Bilbao’s holdings include work by modern and contemporary Basque and Spanish artists, including Eduardo Chillida, Cristina Iglesias, Juan Muñoz, Jorge Oteiza, Antonio Saura, and Antoni Tàpies.
Our final gala dinner at the haute cuisine restaurant Nerua with amazing views on the museum.
Following dinner we walk back to our hotel.
Overnight: Miró Hotel Bilbao, Spain.