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Top 5 wines and wine visits

We asked our tour hosts to give us their top 5 wine visits or wines. So, find out what they said!

Top 5 wines and wine visits

So our tour hosts  have traveled to many varied wineries in several continents and we thought it might be interesting to see what was their top 5 wine visits or wines. As a result we got a diverse range of opinions and which we thought we would share. So let’s see if they match with yours. As always we’d love to hear from you!

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Jeremy Shaw

  1. Cheval des Andes – St Emilion meets the Andes, pre phylloxera style Bordeaux in Mendoza with the best view of the Andes from the polo loft.
  2. Remelluri 2001 reserva at the long table with chuletillas and the fire on. Best pairing ever.
  3. Quinta dos Malvedos single quinta vintage after lunch at the Quinta overlooking the Douro with Jackie, stunning setting and very underrated port.
  4. Algueira Merenzao in the forest in Ribeira Sacra, particularly with the beef shin with chestnuts. Unexpectedly vibrant colour and delicacy in such a rugged setting.
  5. Casa Marin Los Cipreses sauvignon blanc, great example of what Chile can do with mouthwatering sauvignon spitting distance from the Pacific and featured in Sideways 3.
  6. Pesquera Janus with the old goat himself, no lunches come close.
  7. Tondonia reserva 1942 courtesy of Jiang Hua on an early trip to Lopez de Heredia, first great vintage after Spanish civil war.
  8. Teelings 26 year old malt after dinner at Chapter One also courtesy of Hua (and Lee). Remarkable exhibition  of what Teelings potential can be.

Simon McGookin

  1. Algueira, Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, Spain  – these wines sing in your mouth, and its a special place I love returning to.
  2. Quinta Vale Dona Maria, Douro Valley, Portugal – stunning locations with really high quality wines.
  3. Bushmills Distillery, Northern Ireland – it’s a taste of home.
  4. Albamar, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain – Xurxo makes this such a special, family visit and his wines are wonderful.
  5. Quinta dos Malvedos, Douro Valley, Portugal – perfect location on the banks of a great river, steeped in history.

Seems like it is a very difficult thing to keep this to only 5. Almost every place we visit has something unique about it. Maybe that’s why we keep going back!


Jenny Siddall

  1. B Crux – O.Fournier, Argentina
  2. AAlto – AAlto, Ribera del Duero, Spain
  3. RODA I, Bodegas RODA, Rioja, Spain
  4. Llopart Integral Brut Nature Cava, Llopart, Penedes
  5. Clos Apalta, Lapostolle, Colchagua, Chile.

The reds for their complexity, balance and structure. The cava for its autolytic character and creamy mousse! 

Karen Bell

  1.  Altair in the Cachapaol valley, chile for the breathtaking setting, amazing wines, and fabulous lunch
  2.  Andeluna in the Tupungato region of the Uco Valley in Argentina for the beautiful setting and super fun cooking experience in a beautiful kitchen. Lunch was great too-will never forget roasted watermelon. 
  3. Jose Pariente because I always loved their wines while living in Spain, but fell more in love with them after visiting with Iberian Wine Tours and getting to know the people behind it and celebrating women winemakers and in this case a mother and daughter duo who are amazing and strong and inspiring.
  4.  Albamar wines because his wines are just so freaking amazing and yet, they are so low key, and the family invited us in and cooked for us and it was such a special and intimate experience to hear his story. 
  5. Lopez de Heredia will always be one of my favorites because of the history. You hardly see wine made as they do to this day, but they are obviously doing something right. They produce wines opposite to how most people do- there’s a lot of time and waiting that goes into their wines, but I love going down into the spiderweb filled caves and seeing how they still age and hold wines for years. I am also biased because my favorite wine style is the aged and oxidized white that they do- the Todonia most recent release is 2006, and so delicious! I also love their reds- guess I’m more an old world vs new world style of rioja. 

So hard to choose just five, could go on for ages, but now I’m thirsty for a glass!

Joanna Wivell

  1. Almaroja – Arribes, Spain
  2. Bodegas Tradicion, Jerez , Spain
  3. Viña Santa Marina, Merida, Spain
  4. Artadi,  Rioja, Spain
  5. Bodegas Comenge, Ribera del Duero, Spain

Gijs van Hensbergen

  1. Llopart, Cava, Catalunya, Spain – crisp, clear with views of Montserrat
  2. Corb de Sang, Frisach, Terra Alta, Spain – passionate youth bringing history alive, transforming pain into something incredibly moving
  3. Microbio Nieva York, Rueda, Spain   Ismael Gozalo – a revolutionary 
  4. Clos de l’Obac  in Gratallops, Priorat, Spain  – worldclass
  5. Bodegas Tradicion, Jerez, Spain  –   greatest of spanish art toasted with heavenly sherry

Lindsay Hoopes

  1. Errazuriz, Chile
  2. McCallan, Scotland
  3. Bruichladdich (really, anything on Islay), Scotland
  4. Slane Castle, Ireland – to see the next generation of Irish Distillers!
  5. Lopez de Heredia, Rioja, Spain – for a window in to the past
  6. Quinta do Crasto, Douro Valley, Portugal – for that POOL!
  7. ** and favorite host in Spain, definitely Alejandro Fernandez. Although the lunch at Remelluri was stand out as well.

Jackie Thurn-Valsassina

  1. Quinta do Noval, Pinhão Valley, Douro – Traditional Douro style winery with the stone granite lagares where grapes are foot trodden for Vintage Port production.   
  2. Vale D. Maria, Douro    DOC tasting followed by lunch with winemaker Francisca van Zeller on one occasion and  her parents Cristiano and Joana van Zeller on the other.  Lovely lunches and special wines for the occasion pulled out by Cristiano all set in beautiful surroundings.
  3. Aphros Winery, Vinho Verde Region  – interesting biodynamic viticultural and winery concept.   Very small winery  using Amphoras for making some of their wines.
  4. Quinta de Soalheiro, Melgaço – small well organized winery, loved the Alvarinho wines and Luis’s great personality with the tasting and over a fabulously long lunch and wines!
  5. Graham’s 1890 Port Lodge, Vila Nova de Gaia    magnificent views out over the River Douro and the city of Porto.  Tasted Graham’s Six Grapes, Graham’s 20 & 30 Y.O. Tawnies and 2000 Graham’s Vtg Port.