Rioja’s most memorable winery and wine tourism scenes

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Located in the vineyard-carpeted valley of the Ebro river beneath the majestic Cantabrian mountain range and dotted with wineries, Rioja is a photographers’ paradise.  Here are some of the best views in our region. We encourage you to take your own shots!

Bodegas Ysios, framed by the Cantabrian mountains, is described by architect Santiago Calatrava as a permanent dialogue between the building and nature. #bodegasysios

Photo:  Domecq Bodegas

Hotel Marqués de Riscal, designed by Frank Gehry, in Elciego, with its undulating titanium roof, luxuriously appointed guest rooms, a Caudalie vinothérapie spa and a Michelin-starred restaurant, is a “must-visit” in Rioja. The Marqués de Riscal winery, founded in 1860, is one of Rioja’s oldest, where ‘modern’ Rioja winemaking was perfected. @marquésderiscal

Photo:  Quim Roser

 

Bodegas Campo Viejo, designed by Ignacio Quemada, with its ochre walls, blends perfectly into its hillside location. Inside the winery is a spectacular barrel ageing cellar where Campo Viejo’s wines slowly mature in perfect conditions of temperature and humidity. @campoviejo

Photo:  Domecq Bodegas

 

A visit to R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia in Haro is a step back to the 1870s and the vision of Rafael López de Heredia, whose dream was to make ‘the supreme Rioja’.  His great-grandchildren are the custodians of his vision.  The López de Heredia wines are vinified following the founder’s instructions, but in the words of María José López de Heredia “our wines have always been modern”. #vinatondonia

Photo:  Tom Perry - Inside Rioja

 

CVNE (Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España), founded in 1877 in the Railway Station District in Haro is one of Rioja’s classic wineries.  One of the winery’s least known but at the same time, most interesting features is an ageing cellar whose roof beams were designed by Gustave Eiffel. @cvne

Photo:  CVNE

 

Conde de los Andes in Ollauri.  The winery tells us, “The calados (underground cellars) of Ollauri, whose construction began in the late Middle Ages, boast large masonry foundations and architectural details in the Moorish style. The excavation of the famous square calados was started by Galician quarrymen in the 17th century. Their work stands nowadays as a model of preservation.” Twenty generations have visited this architectural jewel, among them the American author Ernest Hemingway, who enjoyed tasting wines here with the legendary bullfighter Antonio Ordóñez. @condedelosandes

Photo:  Conde de los Andes

 

Bodegas Lecea in San Asensio is a perfectly maintained network of underground cellars that illustrate how wine was vinified before the industrial era.  Luis Alberto Lecea has created an interesting wine tourism experience where visitors can see and participate in a grape crush just like it was done in the 19th century and earlier.  Lecea also leads a movement to preserve these unique cellars in Rioja and throughout Spain. @bodegaslecea

Photo:  Bodegas Lecea

 

The glass façade of Bodegas Baigorri in Samaniego hides an ultramodern winery that uses its hillside perch to make wine using the force of gravity, starting from the grape reception area on the upper level and ending at the shipping dock at the bottom of the hill.  The winery has a restaurant featuring spectacular views of the Ebro valley. @bodegasbaigorri

Photo:  Bodegas Baigorri

 

Baron de Ley near Mendavia is a modern winery complex located on the grounds of a 16th century monastery, which has been lovingly restored. It features a chapel, the monks’ quarters and a beautiful underground dining room. The bell on the grounds of the winery complex is the image of the company and appears on the wines' labels. #barondeley

Photo:  Baron de Ley

 

Vivanco Cultura de Vino  is a vineyard-winery-museum complex in Briones, near Haro.  It was the dream of Pedro Vivanco, his wife Angélica and sons Santiago and Rafael “to give back to Rioja what Rioja has given to us”. 

The museum, a testimonial to the history of wine and wine culture throughout the ages, houses part of the Vivanco family’s immense private collection of wine antiques, memorabilia, paintings and sculpture dating from the Phoenician through the Greek and Roman periods until today.

On the grounds is Bacchus’s garden, a collection of most, if not all of the grape varieties cultivated around the world today as well as a working winery where the family’s award-winning Vivanco wines are made. The sculpture of a hand holding a cluster of grapes greets visitors at the entrance to the museum. #museovivanco @vivancoculturadevino

Photo:  @Vivanco.  Bodega, Fundación, Experiencias