Valencia, a port city on Spain's Costa Blanca, is renowned for its cultural activities and for its close proximity to lively seaside resorts like Benidorm. While drinking might be all about lager and imported ales in Benidorm, it's not in Valencia. Valencia is surrounded by several important wine growing regions and the grapes from those vineyards go into producing incredible Valencian wines.
Utiel-Requena, Alicante, Castellon and Valencia all have their own Denomination of Origin which is protected and controlled by a regulating council. When you go to wine tastings in Valencia, you'll be sipping on the delicious wines made from the grapes nurtured by oenologists from those areas.
If you're a prosecco fan and are hoping to see how Spanish cava compares with your favorite Italian tipple, there's only one small village with a denomination of origin for the fizzy stuff and that's Requena. At some wine tastings you might get offered a type of bubbly brew called espumoso, but if you've got even a half-decent palate, you'll probably agree it should be left in the bottle.
Whichever way you choose to do your wine tastings, you'll have a better experience if you're not lumbered with bags. You can free yourself of your bags easily enough by dropping them at one of the Bounce luggage storage facilities in Valencia. All Bounce luggage lockers are security tagged and comprehensively insured so you won't need to worry about the safety of the contents, just about the bouquets of the wine you're tasting.
Where To Go Wine Tasting In Valencia
There are several ways to go on wine tastings in and around Valencia. You can take a wine tour in the city or take a guided tour of some of the wine estates. You can do it solo by going to different wine bars - one of the best things to do at night in Valencia - or by wringing knowledge from the sommelier of one of the city's better wine bars and restaurants.
A wine tour is a great way of discovering the history of winemaking in Valencia and, after several decades of diminution, how its resurgence in popularity as a respected agricultural activity has come about.
Wine Tour Of The Old Town
There are several guided tours of Valencia that include wine tastings, and it's really a matter of personal preference which is the best wine tour for you. Some wine tours will take you around Valencia's historic district and to the Mercado Central before sitting you down to a ten-course tapas lunch accompanied by several bottles of Valencian wine. It's a great way of being introduced not just to the delicious wines from Valencia, but its exciting gastronomical culture too.
Wine Tasting With Views of The City of Arts and Sciences
The City of Arts and Sciences is an amazing place to visit that gets even better if you combine your visit with a wine tasting. Most guided tours with wine tasting included will take you first around the principal buildings of the installation before whizzing you up to the top floor of the Barcelo Valencia Hotel.
At the 270º Terrace, the guide will introduce you to local wines fermented from grapes like bobal, tempranillo, and merlot and explain the wine-making process while you enjoy the fantastic views.
Wine Bars In Valencia
From the old town to the city center to the outlying suburbs, Valencia is peppered with wine bars where you can go to taste good wines accompanied by small plates of local food. There are truly so many that deciding which one to go to can be overwhelming. To save you the stress of random choice, here are a few of the best wine bars in Valencia you really should go to when you're there.
Che Vins is part wine bar and part wine cave, so don't expect anything more decorative on the walls other than shelf after shelf of good wine. You can drop by Che Vins any day of the week for wine tastings or attend one of their regular special events, which vary from workshops to promotions of wines from specific bodegas.
Location – Carrer de Cuba, 30
Manaw Wine Bar
Located in the Old Town close to the Mercato Centrale, the Manaw Wine Bar is where you can truly immerse yourself in the culture of Valencian wine while enjoying Latin and Asian cuisine. This wine bar has a big cellar and a wine list showcasing sixty different wines, of which some are local and others international.
Location – Carrer de Mallorquins, 1
Red Red Wine
Red Red Wine is a gastro bar in Valencia that brings together Valencia wine and Valencian cuisine. Housed in a rustically decorated premises with farmhouse-style appeal, it's one of the city's hidden gems. At this bar, you can indulge in a glass of Valencian red produced from bobal grapes and dig into a typical dish for the region, paella.
Location – Carrer dels Centelles, 27
Vinorte Wine Bar
The Vinorte Wine Bar is a place that has been designed with wine lovers in mind. The contemporary décor and dimmed lighting just invites you to sit, sip and be social with others doing the same. At this gastro bar, a lot of thought is put into the collection of wines they offer, and the servers are more than happy to share their knowledge with you. They stock almost a hundred Spanish wines plus some international ones, but if you want to stay true to Valencia, start your wine tasting with a bottle of Los Almendros.
Location – Carrer de Cervantes, 10
Antiga Bodega Biosca
Located in the Rusafa district of Valencia, the Antiga Bodega Biosca has been offering wine tastings to their customers since they opened their doors in 1932. What you see on the shelves when you walk in is just part of the stock. The rest is located underneath in a massive cellar. The sommelier here has a lifetime of experience in wine and knows all about Valencia wines. If you're not sure what you want, try a glass straight from one of the barrels behind the bar.
Location – Carrer Dr Serrano, 20
Visiting Valencia's Wineries
There are no actual vineyards in the city of Valencia, so to visit wineries, explore the vineyards and see winemaking in progress, you will need to go on a half or full-day tour outside of the city. You can choose to have a rental car and do it independently or go on an organized guided tour. Either way, you'll have to see some of the beautiful Spanish countryside of the Valencia region.
On an organized Valencia wine tour, you'll be collected from your accommodation or a general pick-up point and be whisked off to the Utiel-Requena wine-growing area. There you'll get to see the extensive vineyards covering the landscape as the guide explains the growing and harvesting processes. You'll also get to visit two wineries, where there'll be wine tastings at both. This type of tour usually takes up around five hours of your day, two of which will be taken up by traveling from Valencia to Utiel-Requena.
Go it alone in a rental car, and you'll have more time to enjoy this unique wine region. Requena is a medieval town around an hour's drive from Valencia city center and fifteen minutes from Utiel. Both towns are worthy of having a look around. You'll also come across a local restaurant or two serving a typical menu consisting of three courses where you can stop for lunch in between winery visits.
Best Wineries To Visit Near Valencia
The Montesanco Bodega is around fifteen minutes drive west of Requena, where it's located in a lush countryside setting. The bodega is housed in an outstanding, late 19th-century manor house built by a former mayor of Valencia who honored the traditions of winemaking in the area.
Bobal is just one of the types of grape favored by the vintners on this forty-hectare wine estate. They also grow tempranillo for red wines and white macabeo and it’s from those three varieties they produce the excellent vintages they offer during a wine tasting there.
Visit Montesanco Bodega and you'll be invited to a tour of the vineyards, be shown the winemaking process, and be fed a picnic under the shade of a tree before being taken into the wine cave for a series of tastings.
Tip: It's best to reserve a time for your visit on the official website before going. There is a small charge for the vineyard tour and the wine tastings, but it's worth every penny as they make you feel truly welcome.
Murviedro – Bodega Histórica
If you find yourself wandering around the old quarter in Requena make sure not to miss going to the Murviedro – Bodega Histórica in the Plaza de Albornoz. This century-old winery matures its wine in a huge underground cave cellar. It's totally surreal.
Go for a wine tasting here, and you'll have a guided tour through the caves where the barrels are stored before having a tasting session in the very chic and modern tasting room. You can choose a wine tasting that includes two wines for less than the price of two coffees or go for a premium tasting with five amazing wines and a cold platter.
Tip: Choose the wine tasting with five wines, and you'll hardly feel the dent in your wallet as it costs less than an economical entree in most restaurants.
Bodega Honda de Vera de Estenas
The Bodega Honda de Vera de Estenas on the outskirts of Requena is one of less than one hundred wineries in Spain that have been granted permission to print Vino de Pago on their labels. Vino de Pago is a relatively new denomination that is applied to specific vineyards rather than an entire wine region.
Visit this wine estate, and you'll be taken on a tour of the extensive vineyards before being invited into the grand pink mansion that houses the winery, tasting rooms, and a family museum. Wine tastings here can often turn into a social affair where everyone groups together at long tables on the garden patio to enjoy lunch in the open air. You'll feel more like one of the family than a wine tourist when you go to this bodega, so don't expect it to be a quick visit.
Wine Festivals In Valencia
Valencia has such a long historic connection with winemaking it's not surprising the city hosts several wine festivals every year. If you're fortunate enough to be in the city at the right time of year to attend one then you'll be in a wine lover's nirvana.
Valencia Wine Festival
Winelovers and winemakers take over most of the city's Turia Gardens to celebrate the Valencia Wine Festival, the Feria de Vino, in late April. It's a five-day event where there are usually around one-hundred and fifty local wines on display and ready to be tasted as well as lots of beer and regionally produced food. There's quite a party atmosphere both during the day and at night with live concerts and plenty of kid's activities.
Fiesta de la Vendimia
This ten-day-long festival is held in Requena, and while it's primarily about the local wine, there's a lot more going on than wine tastings. If you've ever wanted to stamp on grapes with your bare feet, then this is the festival to do it at. There's also a carnival-style ritual burning of a wine monument, a carriage procession, and nighttime concerts, as well as lots of other diverse entertainment.
Valencian wines are some of the best wines in Spain. If you have three days in Valencia then you'll have plenty of time for lots of delicious wine tasting. You don't need to go on a day trip to enjoy the best wine tastings either. You can do them right in the heart of the city, and the reason for that is that Valencia wine is what makes this city's heart beat.