Tucked away in the North of Spain is an area called La Rioja. Most renowned for its wine, this area is home to over 500 wineries. It is typically overlooked by many tourists, as they tend to flock to Madrid, Barcelona, or various cities in the South for the beautiful beaches. Due to this, La Rioja maintains an authentic charm. It is complete with well-preserved medieval cities, in the foothills of mountains, whilst being surrounded by vineyards.
While there are many things to love about this region, here are some my favourites from my visit to La Rioja!
Wine in La Rioja
While I’m no sommelier, wine is my go-to drink. Whether it be in other parts of Spain, like when I was tasting Catalunya wine, or doing a wine and bike tour through Mendoza, Argentina, wine is certainly something worth travelling for. Or not travelling, I’ll go to food and wine festivals in my own hometown too!
As I mentioned, La Rioja is home to over 500 wineries. During my visit to the region, I stayed in the town of Haro, La Rioja’s wine capital (the actual capital of the region is Logrono). The town itself, as well as the major wineries, can easily be explored by foot, but to get there, I highly suggest renting a car.
Haro is home to some of the best wineries in the region. They are also located conveniently close to one another. We started off our tour at Muga, found in the railway district in the building over two centuries old. The grounds and facilities are huge as you can take a whole tour and learn about wine, have a fine tasting session, or even go on a hot air balloon ride! We didn’t venture beyond the tasting in the wine shop as we planned on hitting quite a few wineries that day.
We continued our walking tour to find ourselves at Bodegas Gomez Cruzado. Comparatively, it was much smaller and less busy than Muga, but we liked that as we were told about each wine and had our questions answers during each tasting. I found this place to be the most informative.
Across the street was one of the more visually impressive wineries, Lopez de Heredia Viña Tondonia Winery. Beautiful buildings with a nice large patio area with Adirondack chairs to enjoy your glass (or flight!) of wine. Here, we ordered inside, got a brief description of each one before placing our orders and they were brought out.
We finished our wine tour at CVNE – The Compañía Vinícola del Norte del España (the Northern Spanish Wine Company). CVNE is one of four wineries owned by this company. CVNE hosts a myriad of events, workshops, and courses.
- A flight of wine (4-5) tasters allowed me to try many varieties. Most flights were only 8 euros!
- Some wineries require reservations for tastings, plan ahead so you don’t miss out.
- Don’t forget to eat! While many of the wineries also serve full meals, make the most of your visit to Haro by exploring the local town’s restaurants – the garlic mushrooms are to die for.