Jan 13, 2024

The Rioja Wine Culture Center: Cultural Encounters in the Heart of Logroño’s Old Town

Located in the heart of Camino de Santiago, the Rioja Wine Culture Centre is the centerpiece of the golden triangle of wine tourism in Logroño's Old Town.

The Centro de la Cultura del Rioja (Rioia Wine Culture Center) is the centerpiece of a project by the Logroño City Hall to revitalize the city’s Old Town with its rich history where winemaking and commerce have played an important role for centuries.

The Center’s site is a 16th century palace built by the Yanguas family of merchants. It takes up an entire block, with its main entrance on calle Mercaderes (the aptly named Merchants’ Street). With the adjacent Plaza del Mercado (Market Square), the area was the center of commercial transactions during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

The Center is an unmissable landmark for pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago on their way through the Old Town to the Pilgrims’ Hostel on the Ruavieja and other lodgings.


The Rioja Wine Culture Center. Photo: Ayuntamiento de Logroño.

From a Renaissance Palace to a 21st century center of wine culture

Local architect Jesús Marino Pascual and his studio drew up the plans for the building’s restoration. The architectural challenge was to maintain the essence of a 16th century Renaissance palace on the outside while transforming the inside into a 21st century cultural center. One of the walls recreates a multi-story wine bottle rack that can be seen from both the outside and inside of the building. The outer first story wall features the original ashlar stone building blocks while the outside of the upper walls has been painted the color of red wine. Both the bottle rack and the color of the outside walls provide a striking image that leaves no doubt in visitors’ minds that the building is devoted to the culture of wine.

The main entrance is framed by a semi-circular stone arch with the Yanguas family crest on the adjacent wall. A window with a Gothic arch has been cut through the corner of two outside walls, providing light and reminding architecture lovers of niches in the walls of palaces with statues of virgins, saints, martyrs and other religious figures.

Inside, the ground floor features a soaring multi-story atrium with a translucent roof, ideal for activities for large audiences.

Attractive programs of activities for a wide range of wine lovers

A glance at the program upcoming activities includes:

An extensive exhibit, Una copa para dos (A Glass for Two), part of the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture collection, with paintings, sketches, lithographs, posters, corkscrews, and other items highlights the role of women in wine culture throughout the ages.

“Un vino con…” (A glass of wine with…) features stimulating talks by famous actresses and actors where a Rioja winery introduces them to their wines which the audience shares.

The January event spotlights Pepe Viyuela, a film star born in Logroño, who will discover the wines of Bodegas Viña Ijalba. In February, Spanish TV star Macarena Gómez will learn about the wines from Marqués de Vargas.

In February, Las mujeres del Rioja (the Women of Rioja) showcase the creativity of both grapegrowers and winemakers in small and large wineries at a roundtable discussion and tasting.

Throughout the year, the Riojan Sommeliers Cultural Association holds tastings and seminars for winemakers, sommeliers, service personnel at restaurants and other wine professionals.

Three fully equipped tasting labs and several meeting rooms are available for presentations and seminars by wineries and other groups.

Underground cellars attest to the storied past of Rioja winemaking

Below ground, the Center has restored the calado, a space with an arched roof where wines were once made and stored. This calado is one of several in the old town that have been painstakingly restored by private organizations and the Logroño City Hall. You can learn more about these underground wine cellars at

This is an auspicious opening act for a space that promises to excite, educate and entertain visitors about the storied history of Rioja wines.


Calado (underground old cellar).


CCR – Centro de la Cultura del Rioja
Calle Mercaderes 9
26001 Logroño (La Rioja)

Opening hours:
Mondays through Thursdays: 9am to 2pm and 5pm to 9pm
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: 9am to 9pm


Text by Tom Perry, Inside Rioja

Photos: Centro de la Cultura del Rioja (Rioia Wine Culture Center). Ayuntamiento de Logroño.

Learn more about Bilbao-Rioja Great Wine Capitals