Avant-garde wineries: the new cathedrals to wine in Spain.

Architecture, wine, design and art. Visit Spain's most avant-garde wineries, buildings that combine functionality and aesthetics, designed by the world's most prestigious architects. Here, wine is the true protagonist.

Have you ever thought about discovering the world of wine through its vineyards? It is an excellent way to get to know this world of sensations, aromas and flavours, a tradition that has been deep-rooted in Spain for centuries. You will also find out how this delicious drink is produced, and you will be able to see the areas of countryside where internationally prestigious Spanish vines are grown.

They are stunning buildings, with avant-garde aesthetics and functional design. When you see them, you will notice that they are not only noteworthy and original for their design, but are also conceived as places to produce real "works of art". Some wines truly are. Why not come and visit some of these vineyards?

In Elciego (Álava), in northern Spain, you will find the Marqués de Riscal winery's City of Wine. Canadian Frank O. Gehry, designer of the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, is behind this highly unusual project. You will see how the revolutionary building, with titanium exterior panels, rises up from the ground as though it were a vine, fully integrated into the surrounding vineyards and countryside. Don't miss the interior, which includes a luxury hotel and restaurant, along with a wine therapy spa, a business centre and a museum.

Less than 10 kilometres away, in the village of Laguardia, in the heart of the La Rioja Alavesa Wine Route, you will find two destinations well worth visiting: the Ysios Winery, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and the Viña Real Winery, work of Frenchman Philippe Mazières. They are two very different buildings, although both spectacular. Walking around their rooms, you will see that everything is designed to facilitate maximum quality in the wine growing and production process.

Rafael Moneo is another highly prestigious Spanish architect. He is responsible for designing the Arínzano winery in Estella, Navarre Region. Come and enjoy everything this building has to offer. It is completely integrated into the surrounding area, its forests, vineyards and landscapes.

Anyway, these are just a few examples of the new cathedrals to wine to be found in Spain. There are many more in other wine-producing regions. Make the most of your stay in Spain to get to know the ins and outs of wine culture first hand. You are sure to see why Spanish wines are admired the world over.

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