Chef’s World Series: A Taste of Rioja

By Condé Nast Traveller

Rioja is known for its headline red wines, which are liberally consumed, but its whites, rosados and sparkling options are less well known. Lesser known still is the place. Though the green lines of fluttering vines score 65,000 hectares of red earth, wine is not the only draw. Bell towers clang in a rolling hillscape, mediaeval monasteries promise spiritual refuge and ancient river towns are backdropped by the snowy caps of the Sierra de Cantabria.

Though Frank Gehry shifted the world’s gaze to this corner of the world briefly in 2006, with the opening of his radical Hotel Marqués de Riscal – all silver and purple squiggles – it is off the radar of most tourists. The Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental scenic routes and their 560 bodegas – which shine with Michelin stars as well as cellar doors – can be explored by bike, car or even horseback.

Celebrate and explore Rioja and its wine with Condé Nast Traveller at Sucre in London’s Soho on 13 September. Guests will be treated to a wine tasting hosted by Jane Parkinson, a presenter on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, followed by a four-course dinner with wine pairing. Chef Fernando Trocca, the Argentinian open-fire-cooking expert behind Sucre, will be in London to oversee the event.

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