La Rioja is mostly known for its wine production and its never-ending vineyards with views to the Cantabria mountains, is also a great area for rural tourism. There are plenty of charming little towns, like Haro, Laguardia or El Ciego, to have a gourmet meal, accompanied by great wine and a nice walk to discover the secrets of this region.
With over 600 wineries -bodegas-, travellers can stay and visit many of them, learning more about the production process together with tasting some of the best red wines in Spain. In fact, in La Rioja, we can find hundreds of beautiful bodegas. But for those looking for a great wine experience together with outstanding contemporary architecture, we can organize for you to visit the bodegas Marqués de Riscal and its hotel building designed by Frank Gehry, Bodega Ysios designed by Santiago Calatrava, and our favourite, bodega Bai Gorri of the local architect Inaki Aspiazu.
San Vicente de la Sonsierra wine tasting and visit to López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Winery in Haro. Two emblematic towns to taste the wine in an exceptional atmosphere with a lot of history in a landscape of remarkable beauty.
San Vicente de la Sonsierra main square is where the town hall and the Gil-Auguirino palace are located, both built in the 18th century. Going up the main street it’s possible to admire emblazoned houses and it leads towards the castle-fortress, built during the 9th century. Once inside the walls, ruins from the Roman era await or you can visit the Mayor tower to enjoy spectacular views of the entire town with the medieval bridge in the distance over the Ebro river.
Entering the parish church of Santa Maria la Mayor is a must. Built-in the late Gothic style, early 16th century, it was declared a national monument in 1933 and houses several treasures such as the 13th century baptismal font and various altarpieces from the Renaissance period.
On the way to the winery, on the side of the hill Tuferes chimneys catch the attention of everyone’s eyes: they were used as aeration for the old wineries.
Viña Ane Monge Garbati winery is a young winery with signature wines. Here, some secrets of oenology will be discovered-not all of them! And the visit to their vineyards with a tasting of their gorgeous wines is a treat!
Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia in the town of Haro is a centenary winery, the oldest in La Rioja. Its labyrinth of wineries has earned the name of ‘Cathedral of wine’. Visiting the wineries and tasting the wines in the boutique, designed by the Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid offers a perfect blend: tradition and modernity, wine and aesthetics, nature and architecture. This winery is an essential visit on our route through La Rioja.
Any visit to a winery can be combined with the day excursion or overnight stay at Logroño.
The excursion lasts approximately 5 hours, it requires a minivan or a minibus (from San Sebastián or Bilbao, it is an hour and a half away). Wine tastings are included.
First wine-growing region in Spain, La Rioja; wine tasting, Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia winery, Viña Ane Monge Garbati winery, Santa Maria la Mayor in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Gil-Auguirino palace, Ebro river views.
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