Feb 05, 2024

The Ceramics Museum at the FyA Hotel and Winery: a Homage to the Art of Pottery Making in Navarrete

The story of pottery making in Navarrete from prehistoric times to the present day earned the ceramics museum at the FyA Hotel and Winery in Rioja a 2024 Best Of Wine Tourism award for Art & Culture.

The Ceramics Museum at the Hotel-Winery FyA in Navarrete in Rioja Alta is a testimonial to the ancestral art of ceramic pottery and large earthenware jar making, at one time the occupation of 70% of the population of the village. Small workshops were located on Mount Tedeón in Navarrete near large deposits of clay of excellent quality.

A museum that tells the story of pottery making in the village of Navarrete

The purpose of the museum is to pay homage to the more than 1,000 potters whose artistry created pieces for decorative purposes but also for the Rioja wine industry: to age and store wine, as shipping vessels, as official devices for measuring wine in commercial transactions, and for serving wine.

Visitors to the museum are introduced to ceramic pottery making in a small amphitheater to watch an audiovisual presentation on a 180-degree screen that shows how and where clay was mined  and shaped into vessels from prehistoric times to the present day.  

The museum’s collection has more than 1,000 vessels made of clay in all shapes and sizes, the most comprehensive in northern Spain. Guides explain in detail the use of clay vessels as measuring devices that were officially certified for use in commercial transactions of wine.  Even today, the Rioja wine industry refers to prices of bulk wine in terms of so many cántaras (a 16-liter container) rather than liters.

The story of pottery making in Navarrete from prehistoric times to the present day and the important link to the Rioja wine industry earned the ceramics museum at the FyA Hotel and Winery a 2024 Best Of Wine Tourism award for Art & Culture.


Clay vessels for aging wine at the winery

FyA is a working Rioja winery and uses clay tinajas or large jars to store and age the FyA brand.  Some of the labels are aged exclusively in tinajas while others are aged in a combination of tinajas, French and American oak barrels. Aging in clay allows the wine to gracefully mature without the effect of oak that partially masks the fruity primary aromas and flavors of the grapes.

A compact wine museum

Above the barrel and tinaja aging cellar, FyA has created a small museum that tells the story of the origin of grape growing and winemaking. An especially illustrative exhibit shows the differences between barrels made from French oak, whose trunks must be split and those made with American oak, whose trunks can be sawn. Staves with different levels of toast show the effect of fire on the aromas and flavors that barrel aging provides wine. There are also exhibits of different qualities of corks and other closures. Finally, visitors can test their knowledge of wine aromas and defects. 

A four-star hotel

The FyA complex features a 4-star hotel with 29 rooms, a gym, sauna, bike storage room and a wine bar where the parent company Piérola group’s wineries can be tasted by the glass or purchased.


A gourmet restaurant that is becoming the talk of Rioja

A restaurant seating 129 with a panoramic view of Navarrete, the Riojan countryside and the Sierra de la Demanda, features well-known chef Juan Nales. Chef Nales prepares tasting menus of seasonal Riojan cuisine with a modern twist with wines from the Piérola group.



The FyA Hotel and Winery near Navarrete, on the Pilgrims’ Route to Santiago de Compostela, offers the visitor a look at the traditional art of ceramic pottery making, as well as its importance for the Rioja wine industry. Travelers can enjoy the hotel’s many amenities and sample a range of wines from the Piérola group, some of which are aged in ceramic tinajas. It is food for the intellect, the palate, and the soul.



Bodega-Hotel FyA by Carlos Bujanda Piérola

Carretera de Navarrete a Entrena, Km. 1,5

26370 Navarrete (La Rioja)

Tel. +34 941 560 560

Book your visit


Text by Tom Perry, Inside Rioja

Photo credits: FyA – Daniel Acevedo.

Learn more about Bilbao-Rioja Great Wine Capitals