Bottles of wine
Bodegas Ysios Winery. Laguardia
One part of the famous Rioja wines are produced in this region of northern Spain, called Rioja Alavesa. Its geographical location, between the Ebro River and the Cantabria Mountains, give this region a privileged microclimate for vine cultivation. The care and dedication of local people also play an important role in the quality of these prestigious wines. They have combined traditional production processes with new technologies. This means that on the Rioja Alavesa Wine Route you can sample everything from vintages aged in medieval caves through to wines produced in the most avant-garde installations.
Wineries on the route.
- >Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España, S.A.
- >Domecq Wines España S.A.
- >César Sáenz de Samaniego
- >EL laguito de Uriarte
- >Bodegas Zaldivar
- >Bodegas Agrícola Labastida, S.L.
- >Grupo Solar de Samaniego S.L.
- >Bodega Lamioga
- >Bodega El Fabulista
- >Allied Domecq Wines España.S.A.
What are the wines like?
The most characteristic Rioja Alavesa wine is red. Most production is carried out from Tempranillo grapes. The wines have a lively, brilliant colour, a fine yet intense bouquet and a fruity flavour, velvety and warm on the palate. The result is a balanced wine that you will want to try again.
What will I find?
Along with medieval wineries, you will also find avant-garde art in the form of installations designed by the most famous architects: the Ysios Winery, by Santiago Calatrava; the City of Wine complex, by Frank O. Gehry for the Marqués de Riscal Winery; and the Baigorri Winery, by Iñaki Aspiazu Iza, are a few examples. The Wine Museum in Laguardia will show you all about wine-related rituals and history in the most enjoyable manner. Vinotherapy treatments in Elciego. Internationally renowned cuisine: the gastronomy of the Basque Country. Important cultural heritage, with the outstanding old town and monuments of Laguardia. Here you will find everything from Romanesque shrines and stately houses, through to archaeological sites such as the La Hoya Settlement and the prehistoric dolmens of Elvillar and Leza. Excursions to countryside areas such as the Dueñas Pine Forest in Labraza and the Urbasa Nature Reserve, close to Kripan, where you can get in touch with nature. If you need more information, enquire at any of the tourist offices.
How to get there
The Rioja Alavesa Wine Route is in the Basque Country, in the south of the province of Álava, alongside the Region of La Rioja. The capital of the region is Laguardia, 45 kilometres from the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz and 18 kilometres from Logroño. Vitoria and Bilbao international airports offer easy access. There are also excellent road communications: from Madrid, access is on the A-1 motorway (362 kilometres), and from Barcelona on the A-68 motorway (502 kilometres).
Samaniego, Laguardia, Elciego and Labastida are some of the towns that figure on the route. These towns have traditional links with wine culture, and they still conserve all the charm of old medieval villages set between vineyards. They are home to more than fifty establishments where you can sample one of the most internationally prestigious Spanish wines. You can even sleep amongst vineyards, staying in old wineries, hotels and historic buildings. Use the map on this page to see all the destinations that form part of the Rioja Alavesa Wine Route.