The Rioja Festival

The Rioja Festival are delighted to be celebrating the broad choice, premium quality, and versatile grapes at the ultimate wine experience for Rioja Lovers this October. This year’s festival will mark the second year running of The Rioja Wine Festival and it will take place at The Davenport Hotel, Merrion Street Lower, Dublin 2 on Saturday 21s October 2023.

Ireland loves Rioja. The wines produced there are approachable, accessible, consistent and delicious. Many of them are produced in the traditional style, with fruit and oak playing key roles in the flavour profile. However, there is an increasing move away from this traditional style by smaller producers who are ageing their wines for less time, emphasizing fruit instead of oak. Then we have Single Vineyard classified wines, which are being produced since the 2018 vintage. These are wines made from a single plot, with a lower yield than traditional Rioja wines, thus producing higher quality. We want you to come and explore the changing world of Rioja wines this October 2023.

The event will be run over two sessions in order to provide an opportunity for ticket holders to taste as many wines as possible. Each session will last for 3 hours with ample time to attend a 45 minute Masterclass, as well as tasting through all of the wines on display. Sessions will run from 1pm-4pm and 5.30pm – 8.30 pm.

For 2023, Masterclasses will be presented by both John Wilson, Irish Times Wine Columnist and also Fergal Tynan, Master of Wine and Winemaker in more than 4 separate countries. Each will present a 45 minute Masterclass during both the afternoon and evening sessions. Tickets purchased for Masterclasses will include General access to tasting over 100 wines as well as the Masterclass you have chosen.

Also – for the rugby fans, don’t worry! We are very aware that we are hoping the boys in green will be in the Semi Final of the RWC that evening kicking off at 8pm (we like to think positively here!) so for those attending the evening session we will have the game on the big screen as you continue to taste!

Tickets – three types:

  • General Admission Ticket: €35 per person* – includes general access to tasting over 100 wines, complimentary wine tasting glass, tote bag, tasting booklet, charcuterie & cheeses
  • Premium Journalist Masterclass Ticket: €45 per person or €80 for 2 * – includes general access to tasting over 100 wines, complimentary wine tasting glass, tote bag, Tasting booklet charcuterie & cheeses + Rioja Masterclass with John Wilson, Irish Times Wine Columnist, with 6 wines and Q&A.
  • Premium Winemaker Masterclass Ticket: €45 per person or €80 for 2 * – includes general access to tasting over 100 wines, complimentary wine tasting glass, tote bag, Tasting booklet charcuterie & cheeses + Rioja Masterclass with Fergal Tynan, Master of Wine & Winemaker, 6 wines and Q&A with Fergal.

*Get €10 cashback with every ticket purchased redeemable against any purchase of 6 or more bottles at The Rioja Wine Festival. deliver nationwide.

You’ll Taste

Over 100 wines will be available to taste. Most of the top Rioja estates will be present. You’ll be given a tasting booklet & tasting glass upon entry. Each of the wines will be represented by their unique importers who will be delighted to engage questions and discussions, so ask them lots! There will be whites, reds and some rosé wines to taste throughout the day.

You’ll Enjoy

  • Cheese and Charcuterie boards from the executive chef at the Davenport Hotel.
  • €10 back to spend against any wine purchases made at The Rioja Wine Festival. will deliver these to your home or work address.
  • A complimentary Tote Bag and tasting glass valued at €20 which is yours to take home and keep.
  • A tasting booklet and wine guide to the Festival upon arrival.
  • Exclusive Festival offers on the day

*New for 2023*

Aside from tasting over 100 wines from Rioja, this year you’ll get to enjoy ‘The Discovery Zone’. This is a dedicated area of the festival to other regions you may or may not know from Spain.

You’ll get to try the wines of Rueda, famous for their climate resistant and refreshing Verdejo white wines, Rias Biaxas, where the Albarino grape is king and Ribera del Duero, known for its rich, vibrant and powerful red wines will all be available to taste. Your taste buds may not be able to cope with the wealth and depth of wonderful and different wines we plan to have on display for you but one thing is for sure……you will travel the length and breadth of Spain in one day, without ever leaving Dublin!


1. ‘A World of Rioja’ with John Wilson

John Wilson is the highly respected wine columnist for The Irish Times. After 15 years buying and selling at all levels of the wine trade, he eventually embarked on a career in wine journalism in 2001. He will present six very different wines, taking you on a tour of the region and some of the best wines he has found in his many trips there. Expect to learn about recent changes in the Rioja region, as well as the introduction of the Viñedos Singulares classification, which is allowing winemakers to label their wines with their individual vineyard.

2. ‘Rioja Terroir, Styles & Comparisons – where Grenache is King’ with Fergal Tynan

Fergal Tynan is a proud Irishman and hails from Leixlip in Kildare. He first started life in the Irish Wine Trade working in an Off-Licence in Raheny in North Dublin in the early 90’s. In the time since, he studied for and completed his Master of wine exams. There are just 418 people in the world today, working in 32 countries that are qualified Masters of Wine. Fergal wanted to put his qualification to use, and he was soon running his own distribution company for wines across the United Kingdom. Regular trips back to Dublin convinced him he wanted to keep ties to Ireland and he began distributing his wines in Ireland. were one of the first companies to work with him. In the early 2000’s his story became even more interesting, as he began to make wines, In France, then Italy, Spain and Australia. He now consults on winemaking projects in Chile, Argentina and America as well as continuing to make wines in all of these countries, whilst maintaining the distribution business that sells them.

Fergal will present a Masterclass with wines that he himself has made or consulted on, from Rioja in Spain, Aude in France and McLaren Vale in Australia. He will discuss the differences in climate, culture and winemaking technique as well as bringing attendees through the reasons he plants and champions the varietals he does. He is a Grenache fanatic, and you can expect to see varying styles of Grenache from all three countries in this not to miss Masterclass.

Just 60 seats are available for each masterclass. There are two masterclasses per session, one by John Wilson and one by Fergal Tynan. Please ensure you purchase the right Masterclass tickets as tickets will be non transferable if the event is sold out as it was in 2022.

For any queries or questions about The Rioja Festival, please contact our team at or call us on (01) 5820840


Oct 21 2023


1:00 pm - 8:30 pm


€35 - €45

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The Davenport Hotel
Merrion Square
Opening Hour
Dublin 2
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