In Rioja, wine is present in the riversides, the hills, the roads, the houses, the families, the architecture, the cuisine, the traditions, the songs... Rioja is the cradle of Spanish wine and the most prestigious and well-known Spanish wine region. And it is also a beautiful region, with breathtaking landscape, rolling hills with small medieval villages with the Ebro river flowing along the way.
Rioja is a DOC, Denomination of Origen Qualified, and it is divided in three sub-areas: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. The most famous wineries or bodegas are located in the first two and the most traditional and modern wineries can be found here.
A Rioja wine tour is always a pleasant surprise because of the wineries diversity of the area. You will visit three of the most representative Riojan wineries starting with one of the large centenary wineries to understand the history of Rioja wine. Afterwards, a smaller, boutique winery where the winemaker is trying to craft the best possible wine with a perfect balance of tradition and state-of-the-art technology, and a careful selection of vineyards, grapes, barrels, etc. After lunch, you can choose a third winery, maybe a small artisan place where they make wine like in the old times, or one of the states designed by famous architects. You can also visit the Museum of Wine Culture Dinastia Vivanco, one of the largest in the world.
For lunch, you will enjoy the local food that is as good as the wines: tasty vegetables and fresh seasonal products, lamb chops in authentic Riojan restaurants, dry meats, cheese, etc. Rioja has also plenty of restaurants offering modern creative cuisine based on local products and tradition.
We can also include a walk in the medieval walled town of Laguardia, one of the prettiest towns in Rioja or the historical "barrio de las Bodegas" in Haro, and stop in a couple of wine tasting rooms to continue sampling more Rioja wines.