Rioja tour has a perfect start

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Our Rioja tour has begun and we got off to a perfect start as we left Bilbao airport within twenty five minutes of landing.

So, ahead of schedule we took a very pleasant drive along the coast towards Zarautz and our first stop Bodega Rezabal. This family estate is run by Mireya and Anders Rezabal and was founded in 1996. They have 15 hectares in DO Chacoli de Guetaria (or Getariako Txakolina in Basque) with the somewhat lesser known Hondarribi Zuria and Hondarribi Beltza grape varieties being planted. Chacoli wine is slightly sparkling, bone dry and with high acidity and should always be drunk within 12 months of the harvest.

Mireya and Anders are a charming and very welcoming couple and it was a great start to the tour. Given the 38 degree heat we transferred quickly into the cool cellar for some canapes and our first white Chacoli. Anders then took us into the even cooler fermentation room where we tasted a couple of wines straight from the stainless steel vat and contrasted terroir.

Then it was outside for lunch in glorious basking sunshine where we enjoyed cod in a buttery sauce, fantastic beef cooked on the barbeque and a rice pudding dessert.

Having checked in, everyone was free to explore Logrono and in particular the famous Calle Laurel with its many cafes and restaurants.