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Unforgettable experiences enjoying wine in La Rioja

La Rioja

Drink La Rioja with these ideas

La Rioja is known as one of Spain’s best wine tourism destinations. Tasting its famous wine can be quite an experience. And the wineries, hotels and companies in the area are competing for the attention of travellers with a plethora of different activities, some of which we show you below, such as floating over the vineyards in a hot-air balloon, tasting wines with an expert sommelier, discovering a winery by a top designer, or visiting one of the world’s best wine museums. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to differentiate the aromas of a fine wine, see how wine is made, or take photos of endless vineyards, La Rioja is the place for you. A culinary adventure.

Going out for tapas on Calle Laurel in Logroño

Calle Laurel in the capital of La Rioja is famous for its tapas, and is always full of people wandering from bar to bar trying something different in each one. The counters of every bar are covered with little plates, and you’ll see that each bar has its own speciality, some of which have become traditions, like the mushroom tapa “champi”. Of course, there’s Rioja wine, and a lively atmosphere that keeps you wanting more.There are more unusual ways to explore Logroño through wine. For example, you can take part in one of the wine pairings and tastings accompanied by music in the CATARTE programme, or go on one of the narrated walks through the old town centre. These walks tell you local legends about wine, and usually end with a tasting at one of the city’s wineries. And if you’re a tapas fan, other good places to try them in La Rioja include Calahorra and the Herradura area of Haro.

Logroño bridge

Be amazed by one of the world’s best wine museums

This is the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, located in the village of Briones. It’s the perfect place to learn about the history of wine, see ancient utensils or great works of art (by Picasso, Sorolla, etc.) relating to the world of wine, and best of all, attend a tasting with a wine expert and a professional sommelier. You can also take a walk through the vineyards - the museum’s Garden of Bacchus has over 220 varieties of grapevines, from all over the world.

Vivanco Museum, La Rioja

Choose from over 80 wineries with guided tours

There are over 500 wineries in the area of Rioja, and more than 80 open their doors to the public to show us their vineyards, their production processes, how barrels are made, where their legendary vintages and wine collections are stored... Visiting one of these “temples of wine” is an experience for all the senses. Some of them even offer tasting courses with a diploma at the end. One place you must stop on your trip is Haro, where you’ll find some of the oldest and most famous wineries in the entire area of La Rioja. Haro’s devotion to wine is pure passion.

Barrels

Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant in a village of 48 inhabitants

This charming little village surrounded by nature is Daroca de Rioja. It’s home to the restaurant Venta Moncalvillo, run by the Echapresto brothers. As well as its menu and its impressive wine list, it offers several interesting options: a “History Tasting” in which the sommelier Carlos Echapresto guides you through wineries in caves and castles in La Rioja; a wine pairing meal with seasonal ingredients; a visit to the organic vegetable garden, followed by an aperitif on the terrace overlooking the kitchen; or an exclusive meal surrounded by wine barrels, with views of the vineyard. In addition to this one, La Rioja has three other Michelin Star restaurants: El Portal de Echaurren, Kiro Sushi and Ikaro.

Caparrones (kidney beans) with chorizo and morcilla

Touring vineyards on foot, bicycle or horseback

You can also explore the world of wine with activities among the vineyards. Many hotels and companies offer experiences like photo walks, segway tours, or pony trekking in the vineyards, or picnics surrounded by grapevines, family games and competitions, fun mountain bike routes… There are activities to suit the needs of all travellers.

Seeing the grape harvest… from a balloon?

Yes, flying over the vineyards, especially in October and November when they turn yellow and red, is an amazing experience worth trying at least once in the area of La Rioja Alta. From the balloon you can see villages and castles, and the river Ebro surrounded by yellow and ochre poplars. You can toast your flight with sparkling wine from La Rioja, and follow up with a light lunch of local dishes.Once back on the ground, there are other ways to experience the grape harvest. Several wine tourism companies offer a chance to take part in the harvest, and give you the chance to be the first to try the new vintage in a winery, or bottle it yourself to take home.

By bike

Wine-based spa treatments

It may seem unlikely, but natural extracts taken from grapes can be very good for your health and your skin. Not surprisingly, there are several spas in La Rioja offering wine-based treatments. Just imagine! A massage, a bubble bath with vinotherapy products, and a free glass of wine.

Sleeping among vineyards

You wake up, look out of the bedroom window, and see the sun rise over the vineyards… This is one of the experiences you can enjoy in La Rioja’s wine hotels. Can you imagine staying in an 18th-century mansion attached to a 17th-century mill or in a hotel with its own winery?

Hotel Arnedillo

Get on the wine train

“Rioja and the 5 senses” is a programme designed to promote wine culture, organised every year in March, May, June, September and November. One of the activities in the programme is the wine train, which runs from Logroño to Haro to visit the wineries in the area. Travellers are accompanied by actors in period costume, talking about fun facts and anecdotes about the world of wine. 

Scenery in La Rioja
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