Rioja

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La Rioja is one of the most prestigious and well-known of all the Spanish wine regions. The most traditional and modern wineries can be found here.

La Rioja is divided in three sub-zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. The most famous wineries or bodegas are located in the first two. We have made a good selection from the wineries of Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta for this wine tour. If time permits we could also visit at least one winery from the nearby Navarra region.
You will find very different bodegas in Rioja. Discover a bodega built in a farm that was part of a medieval monastery and still makes its wine in the most traditional way, then another one that employs state of the art wine technology, and also visit one of the oldest in Rioja among others. Enjoy a typical Spanish lunch in a bodega where sarmientos (dry grape vine branches) are used to roast the meat, giving it a unique and delicious flavor. Open your senses and prepare to learn in the new interactive thematic center dedicated to wine in Laguardia, Villa Lucia or the New Museum of Wine Culture Dinastia Vivanco.
Art and history are well represented in the Human Heritage monastery complex of Suso and Yuso in San Millán de la Cogolla (10th century village) were the Spanish language (castellano) was born, and in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a small medieval town very important for the pilgrims in their way to Santiago. A stroll through arcade streets will allow you to admire the noble stone mansions with their coats of arms. The cathedral is famous because of its beauty and its legend of the "Cock and Hen". Enjoy a walk in the walled village of Laguardia (13th century walls), capital of Rioja Alavesa. Underneath the stone paved streets and homes of Laguardia there is a maze of underground cellars, and over them there are many historic monuments and sites, like the Gothic facade of Santa Maria de los Reyes church from the 14th century. Logroño, the capital of Rioja is a modern and historic town with a great architectural and artistic heritage where one can also find multiple shopping opportunities.
Since Bilbao is very close to Rioja, it is easy to visit the famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao designed by architect Frank Gehry.
One day can be dedicated to the Spanish tradition of wine and tapas. Tapas are small dishes that you have in bars or casual restaurants instead of a formal meal. The old part of Haro or Logroño are great for this!

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