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Wine tasting and horseback riding make a wonderful mix. 

Wine tasting and horseback riding make a wonderful combination; they are both as much art as science. They attract enthusiastic fans partly on account of their tremendous aesthetic appeal. Thus it seems appropriate that some riding tours should include visits to wineries where tasting is offered. Of course there is a strong symbiotic relationship between wine and culinary enjoyment when the two are properly matched. You can be sure that on tours of this kind gastronomy gets considerable attention  also. It gives riders a chance to practice a sport they love and at the same time to explore the tastes of different wines while touring beautiful, rural countryside, often winding through vineyards. Somehow too it seems fitting that in visiting these wineries (many of which are centuries old) we should do it on horseback as travelers did of old.

A prime example of an equestrian wine tasting tour is in the Bordeaux region of southwestern France; famous for its wine since Roman times.  One of my personal favorites is our trip in the Malbec area of France, admired for its grapes and also for the foie gras and other delicious local dishes.  The castles and medieval walled towns on this riding tour are as picturesque as a dream from a delightful fairy tale.  This is rural France at its best with deep river valleys, oak forests favored by wild truffles and wide vineyards on fertile hillsides.

Tuscany is also famous for its fine wines as well as its superb cuisine.  The Saints & Warriors ride offers the perfect chance to savor some of Tuscany’s best wines accompanied with fabulous menus while enjoying the luxury accommodations of a remodeled castle.  Consider also the Villages and Vintages Ride in the renowned Chianti region of Italy where tasting a variety of wines and using them in harmony with sumptuous meals is one of life’s great pleasures.

Of course California is also quite well known for its fine wines, but the wine country there is so built up now that there are few rights-of-way for horses and extended riding tours are not possible.  Nevertheless there are excellent wine tasting rides available in some of the world’s best vineyard country without crossing the Atlantic such as the delightful wine tasting tour in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. 

As on all these rides, an exhilarating day in the saddle will give you a marvelous appetite for the food and drink. The wonderful old custom of the stirrup cup runs deep in the history of the Western World, perhaps in France more than anywhere although it was certainly de rigeur at fox hunts in England and Ireland and remains so today.  This charming old custom closely intertwines drinking a glass of wine or spirits with horses and riding. It also symbolizes a comforting good luck toast before embarking on a journey. As they say in French, “Vive le coup de l’étrier” – “Long live the stirrup cup.”

 

Choose from 23 related to the activity Wine Tasting

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Tuscan Villages and Vintages

The Villages and Vintages horseback riding holiday in Italy is based out of a comfortable and elegant 18th century farmhouse in Chianti, Tuscany. Daily rides on well-trained horses allow you to venture through vineyards, olive groves and to medieval... Read more

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Trails of Andalusia

Ride in the provinces of Seville and Huelva, a great destination for horseback riding in Andalusia during the winter months. This region is the cradle of the Andalusian horse, a land of deeply rooted traditions, many related to agricultural... Read more

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Horses on Malbec trail

Castles and Caves in Malbec

The ride traverses a region of spectacular scenery considered by National Geographic to be one of the world’s last unspoiled and undiscovered earthly paradises. Experience the culture and history of the region, complete with visiting prehistoric caves, chateaux and... Read more

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Catalonia Coast horse riding trip in Spain

Catalonia Coast Trail

Catalonia is a region of diverse landscapes, mild climate and complex cultural history, and the Catalonia Coast Trail opens the wild side of this region to you. On the three shorter days, you visit the castle of Perelade, a... Read more

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Prestige Ride in Dordogne

This is a unique luxury riding experience that truly includes the best of France, offering  prestige accommodations – 4 star hotels and Chateaux – and amazing French Cuisine with fabulous wines at Michelin rated restaurants. The Dordogne is a... Read more

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Willamette Coast Ride

This carefully designed tour gives you a wonderful overview of the region. Your hosts are excellent equestrians and have a knack for choosing and training fantastic trail horses. Be ready for forward going riding - you must be riding... Read more

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Seasonal Splendor in the Valleys of Gredos

Riders will be inspired by the Sierra de Gredos National Park's diverse display of flora and fauna through the Tormes, Corneja and Alberche river valleys.  Ride up slopes of oak, pine and chestnut trees, discover wildlife from rocky overlooks,... Read more

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The Valleys of Gredos

This horseback riding holiday in Spain passes through the Valleys of Gredos, one of the most distinctive regions of the Iberian Peninsula. River valleys, surrounded by rugged mountains, are dotted with small villages. Here and there a towering castle... Read more

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Horseback riding on the beach in Spain

Mediterranean Trail

Enjoy opportunities for fast riding and a day on the beach on beautiful Andalusian horses with much time spent in the saddle. You will enjoy comfortable accommodations en-route in natural stone houses and family-run farms and hotels and while... Read more

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Ride by local villages on the Dali Coast horseback riding holiday in Spain

Dali Coast Trail

Experience for yourself  Catalonia's wild beauty that attracted painters like Dali in the mid 19th century who drew inspiration from the spectacular coastline, the intense green fields and forests, the deep blue Mediterranean Sea and sky, and the reddish... Read more

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Coastal Range Ride

The Alpujarra and Coastal Range rides in the Sierra Nevada mountains use well mannered, fit horses and are moderately paced through beautiful landscape going up to alpine meadows. For these reasons this trip is an ideal horse riding holiday... Read more

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Alpujarra Ride

The Alpujarra and Coastal Range rides in the Sierra Nevada mountains follow ancient bridle paths from village to village on well mannered, fit horses at a moderate pace. The Alpujarra Ride is an ideal horseback riding tour in Spain... Read more

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