Madrid is not only an incredible city for gastronomy, architecture and music, it’s also a brilliant base for day trips to vineyards! Hard to imagine, right?! But what most people don’t know is that Madrid is just a few hours from stunning country! Simply by jumping on the train or city bus, you can be lounging among the lush vines, sipping on a Tempranillo and basking in the sun. Clearly, not a bad way to spend your holidays! Plus, we’ve created an easy, step-by-step series on how to use the Spanish rails, so your trip goes flawlessly.
But before we begin, allow us to offer a few handy suggestions!
- Contact the winery! Many wineries may advertise open visiting hours, only to close on the day you’re keen to swing by.
- Check the Language. You might assume English is offered everywhere, as it’s the universal language, but don’t. Same for Italian, French, etc. Always ask if, and when, your language is offered for a tour.
- Taxi. If you need to take a taxi to a winery, always have cash on hand. Although many take credit cards, you’re always in the clear with cash.
If you’re in Barcelona, we also have information on which wineries to visit from Barcelona by train!
1 HOUR FROM MADRID
D.O. VINOS DE MADRID
This particular appellation offers a wide diversity of wines throughout its three sub-zones: San Martín de Valdeiglesias, Navalcarnero and Arganda del Rey. Tempranillo and Garnacha are by far the most widely grown, tending to produce textured, bold red wines, whereas the white Malvar, Albillo and Airén grapes err to the refreshing, lighter side. Some additional varieties you might stumble across include: Moscatel, Parellada, Viura, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Wineries to Visit
Las Moradas de San Martín – Located in San Martín de Valdeiglesias, a village in the south-eastern side of Madrid province, this winery produces intense and velvety red wines from 80 year-old, organically cultivated, Garnacha vines. For English tours and wine tastings, contact: [email protected]. Multi-sized groups are also welcome. Address: Pago Castillejos, Carretera M541, km 4.5, San Martín de Valdeiglesias.
Bernabeleva: On the eastern edge of the Sierra de Gredos mountains, a famed doctor named Vincente Alvarez-Villamil purchased land in 1923, as a result of its legendary Celtic history. The history included ancient bears carved from boulders to mark forests dedicated exclusively to the hunt. As a result, Vincente named the land, Bernabeleva (“the bear’s forest”). This biodynamic winery produces both red and white wines made from old-vine Garnacha and Albillo respectively. Guided tours can be booked at: [email protected]. Wines are also available for purchase at the winery. Address: Ávila-Toledo highway (N-403) km 81.6, San Martín de Valdeiglesias.
ValleYglesias: This ultra-modern winery is nestled at the base of both the Sierra de Gredos and Guadarrama mountains. Guided tours include transportation to the winery from the ValleYglesias Wine & Music Bar, minimum five wines and tapas tasting and a gift. 15€/person. Manual workshops for children also available. Visits: Saturdays 12:30pm-3pm. Address: Camino Fuente de los Huertos, Finca Valdehornos, San Martín de Valdeiglesias. Once in San Martín, 10-minute walk to reach the ValleYglesias Wine & Music Bar, located in Avda. de Madrid, n.20 for transfer to the winery.
How to get there: the 3 wineries can be reached by bus n. 551 from Madrid’s Príncipe Pío intercity bus station. Get off at San Martín de Valdeiglesias. 1 hour and 15-minute ride plus 10-minute taxi ride. There are buses every 30 minutes.
Bodega del Real Cortijo de San Isidro: This Historic-Artistic Site was built after King Carlos III in 1782 declared that wine be produced for the Royal House. The winery is by far a one-of-a-kind visit with lovely gardens, a small museum and vast underground cellars that are still in use to age wine. Visits are hosted on Sunday at 12pm for 6€/person. Wine tasting and aperitif included. Larger group bookings are also available during the week. To book, call +34 91 5357735. Address: C/Colonia Cortijo San Isidro s/n., 28300 Cortijo de San Isidro (Aranjuez).
El Regajal: This quaint, familiar winery is surrounded not only by vineyards and olive trees, but housed in the Regajal-Mar de Ontígola Natural preserve which contains one of the greatest collection of butterflies in Europe. Excellent red wines are produced from Tempranillo and handcrafted olive oil is also available upon request. Guided visits include a wine with local cheese and ham tasting. To book either at [email protected] or at +34 91 3078903/615632426. Address: Antigua Carretera de Andalucía, Km 50.5, 28300 Aranjuez.
How to get here: both wineries can be reached by the Cercanías train from Madrid Atocha Train Station heading to Aranjuez in just 40 minutes. Trains run every 15 minutes and cost 5-6 €/person. More info at Renfe train service. Once in Aranjuez, add a 15-minute taxi ride to get to the wineries.
Tagonius: Historically, the land was called “La Veguilla” or “the meadow of the Tajuña river”, where the best grapes where produced for the Royal Family. Today, Tagonius produces Tempranillo, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malvar. Olive oil and vinegar can also be purchased directly from the winery. Guided visits with wine tasting can be booked either at [email protected] or at +34 91 8737505.
How to get there: From Madrid’s Plaza Conde de Casal intercity bus station, take the Argabus S.A. n. 322 or 326 bus to Tielmes. Total time will be approximately 45-minutes. Buses run every hour for 3-5 €/person. More info at Argabus. Once in Tielmes, it’s a 15-minute walk to the winery.
North of Toledo, at the foothills of Sierra de Gredos, you’ll find a little known region planted with vast swaths of Garnacha. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cencibel (regional name for Tempranillo) and white Albillo, Viura, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are also produced to a lesser degree.
Wineries worth a visit:
Bodega Jiménez Landi: This is a family run winery is spearheaded by two brothers with a singular vision: to produce wines made with respect for the environment, tradition and maintaining a balance with their surroundings. Just North of Toledo and 53 km far from Madrid, this small-scale organic and biodynamic production is primarily focused on Garnacha with complementing varieties such as Syrah. Visits can be booked at [email protected]. Address: Av. La Solana n.39, 45930 Méntrida (Toledo).
How to get there: From Madrid Príncipe Pío intercity bus station, take the bus El Gato S.L. from platforms n. 20 and 21 to Méntrida. 1 hour and 25-minute ride. 5 €/person. More info at El Gato. Once in Méntrida, 5-minute walk to the winery.
Bodega Arrayan: located in Santa Cruz de Retamar, near Toledo, the winery produces wines with bold personality from Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. A visit to the winery will not only allow you to see their vineyards, but also a thick forest of holm oaks that are native to the region. To arrange a guided tour and wine tasting, please email [email protected]. Address: Finca La Verdosa s/n Santa Cruz de Retamar 45513 Toledo.
How to get there: From Madrid Príncipe Pío intercity bus station, take the bus Cevesa S.L. to Santa Cruz de Retamar. 1 hour ride. 5 €/person. More info and online tickets at Cevesa. Once in Santa Cruz, add a 10-minute taxi ride to the winery.
2 HOURS FROM MADRID
D.O. RIBERA DEL DUERO
Covering both sides of the river Duero, the area includes the provinces of Burgos, Valladolid, Soria and Segovia. Vineyards are located on an altitude between 700 and 1000 m, benefiting from the diurnal temperature variation, responsible for the grapes’ full ripeness and their good level of natural acidity. The resulting wines are intense, fruit-driven, but at the same time, complex and elegant, a true rival of the best Riojan wines. Tinta del País (local name for Tempranillo) is the most planted variety, often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Garnacha. Albillo is the only native white variety authorized to produce the minor whites.
Wineries worth a visit:
Prado Rey: one of the biggest estates in Ribera del Duero, well-known for their eco-friendly viticulture. Various tasting and tour packages are upon request.
How to get there: Real Sitio de Ventosilla, Carretera CL-619 Km. 66.1, 09443 Gumiel de Mercado (Burgos). From Madrid Avenida de America Bus Station, take the Alsa bus to Aranda de Duero. 2 hours ride. Once in Aranda, add 15-minute taxi ride.
Pesquera: 40 years of experience in fine winemaking have led to heaps of international awards and recognition. The Pesquera Group includes four different wineries: Tinto Pesquera, Condado de Haza, El Vinculo and Dehesa La Granja. Guided tour to any of the four can be booked either at [email protected] or at +34 983 870037. Make sure to check out their restaurants located at each of the wineries! Address: Calle Real, 2, 47315 Pesquera de Duero (Valladolid). Once in Valladolid station, you can take the bus La Regional V.S.A. to Pesquera de Duero, 1 hour and 15-minute ride. More info at La Regional V.S.A.
Matarromera: located in Valbuena de Duero, the winery is another interesting example of Ribera del Duero wines. Surrounded by lush vineyards, it includes subterranean cellars where its wines age slowly over time. Guided visits from Monday to Saturday, 10am-7pm. Winery shop available to purchase wines. Booking at [email protected]. Address: Ctra. de Renedo-Pesquera, Km 30 Valbuena de Duero, 47359 Valladolid. Once in Valladolid, add 30-minute taxi ride to the winery.
How to get there: the three wineries can be reached by taking the Avant or Alvia fast trains to Valladolid from Madrid Chamartin train station. 1 hour and 10-minute ride. From 23 €/person up, depending on the train and schedule. More info at Renfe.
Pago de Los Capellanes: one kilometer far from the village of Pedrosa de Duero (Burgos), the winery is an amazing modern facility surrounded by old hazelnuts trees. Its vineyards only grow the best clones of Tempranillo to produce a selection of five wines with distinctive character and finesse. Guided tours are offered with a final wine tasting from Monday-Saturday at 12pm or at 17pm, Sunday at 12pm. For more information and booking: [email protected] .
How to get there: Camino de la Ampudia s/n, 09314 Pedrosa de Duero (Burgos). From Madrid Moncloa Transport Interchange station, take the Sepulvedana Transporte de Viajeros S.L. bus to Peñafiel. 2 hours and 25-minute ride. From 16.54 €/person up. Once in Peñafiel, add a 30-minute taxi ride to the winery.
Southwest of Zamora village, the area is well-known for its bold red wines primarily made from Tinta de Toro (local name for Tempranillo) and some Garnacha. The continental climate and the sandy soils define the aromatic intensity and the full body of these wines, distinctive also for their very high alcohol levels. Some examples can even reach 18%abv. Verdejo and Malvasia are used to produce the minor whites.
Wineries worth a Visit:
Numanthia: a great example of Toro wines. The winery produces three brands, Numanthia, Termanthia and Termes, all reflecting the perfect balance between richness and elegance. Guided tours to the centenary vines and through the artisanal winemaking can be enhanced by a wine and food tasting at La Viuda Rica restaurant in Toro, where visitors will deserve a regional cuisine combined with Numanthia wines. Bookings only through the online form. Address: Calle Real s/n, 49882 Valdefinjas (Zamora). Once in Valladolid, add 1-hour taxi ride to the winery.
San Román: 35-year old vines of Tinta de Toro and Garnacha produce deeply mineral and structured reds with fine-grained tannins and rich mouthfeel. Guided tours booking at: [email protected]. Address: Ctra Nacional 122, Km 412, 47112 Villaester (Valladolid). Once in Valladolid, add 35-minute taxi ride to the winery.
How to get there: both wineries can be reached by taking the Avant or Alvia fast trains to Valladolid from Madrid Chamartin train station. 1 hour and 10-minute ride. From 23€/person up, depending on the train and schedule. More info at Renfe.
Closed to the D.O. Toro, Rueda is well-known for its refreshing and vibrant white wines made from the native Verdejo grape. Its gravel soils are well-suited for developing intense green and citric fruits aromas and a zesty acidity, with final herbaceous aftertaste. Sauvignon Blanc and Viura are the other most planted varieties.
Wineries worth a Visit
Marqués de Riscal: is not only known for its iconic hotel designed by Frank Gehry, but as being one of the largest Rioja wine producers to date. A few years back, they decided to add a young, fresh and white wine from Rueda to its portfolio, made from the family-owned 205ha vineyards. For guided tours booking: [email protected]. Address: Crtra. Nacional VI, Km. 172.600, 47490 Rueda (Valladolid).
How to get there: From Madrid Chamartin train station, take the Avant or Alvia fast trains to Valladolid. 1 hour and 10-minute ride. From 23€/person up, depending on the train and schedule. More info at Renfe. Once in Valladolid, add a 25-minute taxi ride to the winery.
Ossian: located in Nieva village (Segovia), it is the personal project of a passionate Spanish vine-grower who wanted to create the most intriguing white wine using Burgundian techniques, such as barrel fermentation and lees stirring. 160-year old Verdejo vines are organically cultivated to release treasures of ripe fruit and finesse, able to age in bottle magnificently. Tours booking at [email protected].
How to get there: C/ Cordel De Las Merinas, S/N, 40447 Nieva (Segovia). From Madrid Chamartin train station, take the Ave or Avant fast trains to Segovia. 25-minute ride. From 10€/person up, depending on the train and schedule. More info at Renfe. Once in Segovia, add a 30-minute taxi ride to the winery.
Don’t forget to book your visit before! And don’t be shy to ask for transfer from the bus/train station to the wineries. Some of them might be more than happy to help you.
(photos by Ryan Opaz)