Marqués de Riscal - A Spanish Masterpiece

Two hours south of Bilbao, lies a marvel of modern architecture. Founded in 1858, designed by world-famous architect Frank Gehry, the idyllic Marqués de Riscal hotel is owned by the famous Rioja vinyard, offers more than a place to rest your head for the night. Spectacular views, stunning architecture, wine, and ultimate relaxation are the essence of this sanctuary in the heart of northern Spain.

This breathtaking château of the twenty-first century is a masterwork by the world-famous architect Frank Gehry. The jewel in the crown of the Marriot International hotel chain, an unforgettable experience awaits you at this incredible 5-star hotel in "The City of Wine”, providing all the premium standards and services one would expect from a hotel belonging to the Marriot International chain's The Luxury Collection brand.

The Hotel Marques de Riscal offers a really unforgettable sensory journey. Exciting new experiences are on the horizon. Visit the Vinothérapie® SPA Caudalie Marqués de Riscal to reap the benefits of grapes, or dine at 1860 Tradición or Marqués de Riscal Restaurant, both under the direction of Michelin-starred Chef Francis Paniego. Hotel Marque's de Riscal combines design, art, gastronomy and wine to create a memorable stay at The City of Wine. The 61 luxury guestrooms, ten of which are suites, located in two buildings connected by a beautiful elevated walkway, are all distinct and one-of-a-kind in appearance and view. The hotel is decorated in clean whites and a deep crimson colour that is reminiscent of young Tempranillo. In addition to spacious windows and patios, this property features leather couches, light-polished woods, and marble baths.

The towering honey-stone figure of the mediaeval Church of San Andrés in the distance may be seen from many of the rooms, as can the surrounding green vineyards and rolling hills. This stay, which combines elements of the modern with those of the past, seems like it was made to be in this part of the world, which values both tradition and progress.

Marqués de Riscal is one of Rioja's most iconic brands, having been established in 1858 and having produced its first wines in 1862. Camilo Hurtado de Amézaga, the founder, is credited with introducing the winemaking techniques of the Médoc to the warm climate of northern Spain. In fact, the property continues to reap the benefits of some of the oldest vines in the area.

In the competitive and ever-changing world of wine, Marqués de Riscal has a long and illustrious history as a leader in the industry and an innovator. This has been the case for the entirety of the company's existence. Their goal is to produce wines that are distinctive, modern, refined, and approachable. Since the company's inception, the primary focus has been on international trade, established in over 110 countries, from which more than 65 per cent of total output is in the form of exports.

This renowned label was honoured by the World's Best Vineyard Awards in 2021, receiving votes that placed it in the position of second best in the world and number one vineyard in Europe. This is the third consecutive year that Marqués de Riscal is in the Top Ten of this ranking.

Receiving this award 163 years after the company's founding was a great honour for Marqués de Riscal, and it gives the company great pride to be recognised on a global scale for the same principles on which it was founded in 1858 and which continue to guide its work today: innovation, avant-garde, and international dimension.

Originating in the vineyards of Rioja, the winery has extended to other regions and appellations in Spain. Each location in Spain is recognised for generating a distinctive style of wine; hence, the wines produced in each region are unique, producing some of the world's most admired wine labels and winning the hearts of millions of wine lovers.

Barón de Chirel Reserva is the flagship wine of the winery; it was first produced in 1986 and has been credited with ushering in a new era of innovation in Rioja. However, because of a rise in demand, Gran Reserva wines have made significant strides in popularity in recent years. To celebrate their first 150 years in business, Marqués de Riscal released the 2001 Gran Reserva Anniversary Vintage to the public.

The 2009 introduction of Finca Torrea exemplified a new approach to rioja, one that eschewed the traditional Crianza designation in favour of a fruitier, more contemporary style. Vintages from the Elciego winery's ageing Tempranillo and Graciano grapes are used to create this wine. Both Finca Torrea and Barón de Chirel use French oak barrels for ageing, although the more conventional American wood is still used for the Reservas and Gran Reservas.

The most recent addition, introduced at the end of 2019, is the Reserva XR, whose name is derived from the initials XR, which were used by the French winemakers in charge of the wines until the 1950s to distinguish the finest casks. This brand, which is primarily intended for the on-trade, combines Tempranillo with 5% Graciano and is matured for 24 months in oak barrels.

Through its firm Vinos de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal, Riscal pioneered the manufacture of contemporary white wines in Rueda. It also has a third vineyard in Zamora, near the border with Portugal, where it makes Riscal 1860 Roble and an old vine rosé in the VT Castilla y León category.

In addition, Riscal creates a new Txakoli using the Hondarrabi Zuri grape varietal. Grapes from Oati, a continental region in the interior of the province of Bizkaia, are minerally and vibrant.

Under the leadership of Paco Hurtado de Amézaga, fifth generation of the founding family,Marqués de Riscal has established a solid commitment to organic agriculture and realises that respect for the environment, the native fauna, and the ecosystem makes agriculture more sustainable, prolongs the life of vineyards, and ensures the quality of their wines long into the future.

Gourmet Traveller