Which wineries to visit in La Rioja?

Towards the north of Spain and with a wine industry is located one of the autonomous communities, called La Rioja; which includes, in the northern area or north, part of the Ebro Valley and towards the south the Iberian System; that is to say, the mountainous system of medium altitude. This community has only one province, called La Rioja, whose capital is Logroño; it also has 174 municipalities.

Following the course of the river Ebro, from west to east, it is divided into three sub-regions: La Rioja Alta, La Rioja Media, and La Rioja Baja; each one has the north with a valley and the south with one of the Sierras. For example, the Rioja Alta is the most privileged since its terrain is a long strip of land that begins on the river banks up to the Sierra de la Demanda. As its name suggests, the Middle Rioja is the central part of the valley, governed by Logroño.

The Rioja Baja covers the eastern part of the Ebro, sharing with some regions. So, as we can see, vineyards have been occupying the Ebro valley and surrounding the ancient city of Haro. The local wine production varies, from small and traditional wineries to large producers; in addition, it has a little more than 500 wineries, of which 80 offer various activities and guided tours.

Some wineries in the city of Haro: 

The city of Haro is a town but, at the same time, a municipality located in the northwestern part of the community of La Rioja. In Haro are concentrated the centenary wineries of the world and, therefore, the most significant population of the Rioja Alta. Some of its wineries are the following:

Las Bodegas de Muga: it is located in the neighborhood of Haro, a family business founded in 1932, which enjoys excellent recognition. Among its wines we have Garnacha, Graciano, Chardonnay, Mazuelo, Viura, Malvasia, among others; but in 2017 Prado Enea Gran Reserva won the 3rd prize as best wine, by Decanter magazine.

Visiting these wineries is a great pleasure. You will learn about their traditional winemaking methods; in addition to the wine tasting, you get a gift and high-quality food in one of the restaurants in Haro.

The Bilbaínas Wineries: it is said that they are the most extensive in the area, and since their beginnings, their wines could reach anywhere, thanks to the train that was used as a means of transportation. Their wines are made from 100% Tempranillo grapes. It acquires Viña Pomal wine in 1911, then in 1921 Viña Zaco, in 1923 Viña Paceta and so on until today.

They own the most prestigious wines and cellars in La Rioja. Apart from those already mentioned, they also have El Royal Carlton, Ederra, and La Vicalanda. They also have other singular wines, such as Tempranillo Blanco, Maturana, Graciano and Garnacha. They also prepare activities and tastings during guided tours.

Bodegas CVNE: its acronym stands for Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España, and dates back to 1879. For 143 years, the winery has been growing, and its first wine was called CUNE, which is currently the market leader. These wines have been produced every year since the Company has existed, and its challenge is to be able to reflect a fine, long-drinking Rioja Alta wine.

Among the variety of Cune we have Cune Crianza, Cune Reserva, Cune Gran Rserva, Cune Ecológico Orgánic, Cune Blanco, Cune Blanco Reserva, Cune Rosado, Cune Rueda, Cune Ribera del Duero and Cune Semidulce. You can take a guided tour and taste their wines, accompanied by acorn-fed ham and Cameros cheeses.

Some other wineries in the Rioja Alta sub-region: 

Las Bodegas de Roda: a project founded in 1987 and located on the banks of the Ebro. One of its main characteristics is that they use old vines because they provide many qualities for elaborating their wines. The grapes mostly grown are Tempranillo, Garnacha, and Graciano; their red wines are very respectful of the traditions.

Their wines are launched to the market as reserves, and the grapes are harvested by hand. Visits and tastings of their wines are also available; they have a beautiful exhibition of photographs.

The Lecea Wineries: located in the old and historical center of the famous Caves of San Asencio, which dated back to the XVI century and were built by the farmers to keep the wine at a temperature of about 13 degrees Celsius. There are approximately 300 of these caves in the area. The Lecea family has owned 4 of them in perfect working order.

We are talking about a labyrinth with about 300 tunnels underground. In addition, in 2018, they received an award for this beautiful architecture carved into the rock. They have a variety of wines, including Eluan, Lecea Blanco, Corazón de Lago, Lecea Crianza, Lecea Reserva, Lecea Gran Reserva, Cuevas de Lecea, among others. There are guided tours and tastings of their products.

Some wineries in the Rioja Alavesa:

The Rioja Alavesa belongs to the seven cuadrillas that make up the province of Alava and is located in the south of this province. It borders to the north with the Sierra de Toloño and the Sierra de Cantabria and to the south with the River Ebro. Some of its wine cellars are:

Bodegas Marqués de Riscal: this winery began its first steps around 1860; therefore, it is the most traditional and oldest winery in La Rioja. It has stood out not only for being the pioneer but also for its innovation, introducing the French technique in elaborating its wines, thus combining tradition with the future. 

In 1998 it created the idea of the City of Wine, in which not only the history of wine is made known, but also its philosophy and culture, as well as having spaces for the wine museum, oenological training, research center, and all the structure of a winery of its category. During your visits, you can taste their wines, which are complemented by the restaurant’s gastronomy in the village of Elciego.

The Ysios Wineries: its name is due to 2 of the divinities of Egyptian times, such as Isis and Osiris. These wineries are located at the foot of the Sierra de Cantabria, with a mountainous landscape and creating a unique scenery, but in harmony, thanks to its architecture designed in 2001, with avant-garde style. 

As a boutique winery, it offers beautiful walks through the vineyards and the usual tastings. It also offers exclusive tours to enjoy all its facilities, both with friends and family. An excellent option is to visit the Rioja Alavesa.

Posted in Europe, Spain.