La Rioja

The world’s only museum dedicated to ennobling an exceptional wine. La Rioja is home to a cultural site where vineyards and wine cellars come together with archaeology, art and tools. The Wine Culture Museum will help you discover the fascinating world of wines and get to know the important historical legacy that this drink has generated over the centuries.

To show the cultural importance wine has enjoyed since early times. This idea was behind the opening in Briones, in La Rioja, of the first museum in the world to give visitors a comprehensive insight into wine’s wealth of scents, tastes and colours, touching all aspects of the drink. As you visit the different rooms, you will learn about wine-making processes throughout history and bottling methods since early times. You will see thousands of bottles, implements, presses and a host of tools used to make wine.

But the visit goes even further. The permanent art and archaeology exhibition contains priceless pieces that will allow you to discover the cultural legacy this delicious drink has accumulated throughout history. The exhibition consists of more than 2,000 pieces, including a 13th century BC glass, a jug from the Western Zhou dynasty (China 1027 BC - 771 BC), sculptures and chalices from ancient Egypt and Rome, and paintings by artists such as Sorolla and Picasso. Not to mention the more than 3,000 corkscrews, some of them dating from the 17th century, from different parts of the world.

And the trip goes on outside. On the banks of the Ebro River, together with the vast vineyards surrounding the museum, we find another gem, this time in the form of branches and leaves: more than 200 types of vines with varied origins that make this garden of Bacchus unique. And, a few metres away, we find the wine cellar. Plunging into its subterranean heart is an unforgettable experience. You will be seduced by the barrels, the damp, dark atmosphere and the array of bottles left to stand, which give off a unique, penetrating aroma and offer the palate the extraordinary pleasure that is wine.

But that is not all. During the visit you can stop to recover your strength and taste the best stews of Rioja cuisine at the centre’s panoramic restaurant. You can also purchase objects or books related to wine, taste the best wines in the company of a specialist, or learn about this fascinating world on a wine-tasting course. This museum offers a huge array of possibilities.

You will discover an entire culture, unknown to many but with deep roots in Spain, land of wine and wine cellars. Make a stop on your journey to visit this exceptional centre, just 35 km from Logroño, the capital of the province. You can also visit one of the numerous vineyards open to the public and learn their best-kept secrets. The care taken in wine production, result of an age-old tradition, in addition to the high quality of the vines, has made Spanish wine an acclaimed treasure among the most discerning palates of the world.

More information: Bodegas Vivanco

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