10 ways to enjoy wine in La Rioja
La Rioja gives its name to one of the best wines in Spain. When you visit you will find that everything revolves around wine and its production. You will have the chance to visit wineries, participate in tastings, savour many wines... and enjoy plenty of other activities. We will show you some of them.
A day of wineries
Wine is so important in La Rioja that the region has over 500 wineries. About 100 open their facilities to the public and provide tours, tastings, culinary workshops, and so on. They are “temples of wine” where you can learn, taste and enjoy everything while exploring the world of wine. The town of Haro stands out because it boasts some of the most famous, most traditional wineries in La Rioja.
Experience the San Mateo festival or the grape harvest in La Rioja
The grape harvest festivals take place throughout the region in September. The beautiful landscapes of the vineyards are full of people and wine festivals. If you head to the region’s capital, Logroño, you can enjoy the San Mateo festival with concerts, fireworks, street shows, and so on. Perhaps the most popular event is the parade of children in regional clothes carrying grapes from all over the region on the Paseo del Espolón. These festivals hold the traditional “grape treading” to get the first must of the grape harvest.
Become a grape picker for a day.
Grape picking involves collecting the grapes which are then used to produce the wine. In La Rioja you have the chance to learn this tradition in a festive way. Different wineries and companies organise popular grape harvests, and some are suitable for families. You will have fun learning how to carry out the grape harvest and you can even participate in a grape treading.
Explore a vineyard
The landscape of vineyards and their colour is one of the most beautiful images of La Rioja. There is a lot of accommodation, companies and wineries that organise tours of these landscapes. You can go on photography walks, Segway tours among the vines, enjoy a picnic in the vineyards or cross the fields by horseback or on mountain bikes. There is a perfect activity for everyone.
Hot air balloon ride over the vineyards
Of course the landscape is beautiful from the ground, but imagine seeing it from the sky. From a hot air balloon you will discover the colours of the vineyards and their perfect arrangement; you will see different villages and castles and the Ebro river surrounded by yellow and ochre poplars, and you will toast to the sky with a cava from La Rioja...
Awaken your senses with wine
In La Rioja, there is a program of activities aimed at gaining a deep understanding of wine through all of the senses. “Rioja and the 5 senses” is held in February, May, June, September and November. One of the options is to take the Tren del Vino (Wine Train) between Logroño and Haro. Travellers will be accompanied by actors wearing traditional dress, reciting anecdotes to make you become more familiar with this world.
Visit one of the best wine museums
The Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, located in the village of Briones. It offers the possibility to experience a wine tasting with a professional oenologist and sommelier or a walk through their vineyard. In addition, their collection delves in the history of wine and includes works about wine from artists such as Picasso and Sorolla. They also have up to 220 varieties of grape for you to look at.
Eat tapas in Logroño
This is a good way to try different wines from La Rioja and combine them with tasty snacks. Eating tapas in Logroño is essential, especially on Calle Laurel. The local bars are full of pinchos and you will notice that every bar has a gastronomic speciality.
Sleeping among vineyards
Get the full wine experience and sleep in one of the so-called “Wine accommodations” in La Rioja. You will find small hotels in wineries with rooms looking out over the vineyards with tours and activities relating to wine. For example, Hospedería del Vino de Ábalos, Hotel Señoría de Briñas or the state-of-the-art Hotel Bodega Finca Los Arandinos.
Enjoy a wine-based spa treatment
Have you heard of vinotherapy? It is a beauty treatment based on the power of antioxidants in wine and grapes. Make the most of your visit to La Rioja by experiencing their relaxing and hydrating effect on your skin. There are plenty of hotels and spas that offer this service. One of the most famous is the Balneario de Arnedillo and their massage with vinotherapy which lasts almost an hour.
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