The wonderful variety of wines from Madrid rarely makes it onto the agenda of wine connoisseurs in Spain who much prefer debating the virtues of Rioja and Ribera de Duero. However, Madrid is a region that produces some excellent wines which, while being slightly “off the radar,” are certainly worth discovering on your next trip to the capital.
Arganda del Rey, Navalvarnero, and San Martín Valdeiglesias are the region’s principal wine-producing areas. They are all located just a short journey from the capital and offer great places to spend a leisurely Saturday afternoon exploring bodegas (wineries) and vineyards, and discovering great wines from Madrid in the process.
The Real Cortijo de San Isidro bodega is situated less than 30 miles south of the capital in the beautiful town of Aranjuez. Now considered a national monument, this bodega possesses over 200 years of history, having been built by Carlos III in 1782 for the exclusive use of the monarchy. Making the trip south is well worth it, not just to see the magnificent vaults full of wine barrels and the formal French garden, but also the architecture and history of the town itself.
In Navalcarnero, located less than 20 miles southwest of the capital, you will find the family-run Ricardo Benito bodega, founded more than 70 years ago. Your visit includes a tour of their vineyards and cellars while the owners enthusiastically explain every step of production process. The bodega also has a bar and a restaurant where you can take the weight off your feet and sample their excellent range of wines in a relaxing atmosphere.
About 40 miles west of the capital is the subzone of San Martín de Valdeiglesias, where you will find the one and only Bodegas Bernabeleva. Their unique vision revolves around an uncompromising love and respect for the environment, which they will happily explain as you enjoy one of their personal tours around the vineyards. After visiting their wine cellar, you can take part in an unforgettable wine tasting session.
And now that you have familiarized yourself with the many fantastic wines from Madrid, spend a weekend discovering Ribero de Duero, one of Spain’s most famous and internationally recognized wine regions. Just two hours from Madrid is the small town of Peñafiel and the perfect place to discover first-class bodegas. Stay the night at La Vida Vino-Spa, where the rustic setting and 18th-century features are sure to delight both you and your partner. The spa offers a wide range of treatments relating to vinotherapy while the town itself boasts some historical sights such as the Peñafiel Castle, a National Monument that dates back to the 10th century.
At the foot of the castle is Bodegas Protos. Designed by Sir Richard Rogers, this spectacular building is worth the journey north in itself. Its interior still preserves the original bodega with over a mile of underground galleries that date back to the 15th century and observing the contrast between the two bodegas is an experience not to be missed.
Another great place to visit is Comenge, a small, family-run bodega where the owners dedicate their heart and soul to the entire production process. From the manual selection of grapes to producing the final product, not one step of the process escapes their discerning gaze. Here you also have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore their vineyards either on horseback or by horse-drawn carriage.
So, the only thing left to do is uncork a bottle of wine, sit back and start planning your tour of the best bodegas near the capital.