It is located in the municipality of Briones, La Rioja, of whose medieval reminiscences it looks proud. In this environment, under the shelter of Sierra Cantabria and irrigated by the Ebro, the Museum of Wine Culture Dinastía Vivanco rocks between vineyards, origin and purpose of its existence. Although its journey in time is not far away, as it was inaugurated by King Juan Carlos in 2004, in its bowels it houses centuries of history, showing the importance that wine, for more than eight thousand years, has had in cultures, religions and human relations, being, why not risk to say, in all of them a nexus of union and often indisputable protagonist. Before the visitor enters this modern and cosy building, an open space, where nature plays with architecture and forms part of it, even taking the front of it and lending it its palette of colours and shapes, it submerges him and prepares him for the sensations that await him inside.
A large picture of a spectacular landscape, as if it were a still life of a famous painter, in which the vineyards with San Vicente and his castle in the background are the oil on canvas, is the precursor of the marquee entrance to the building. The central hall is the link of cohesion of the spaces and rooms that make up the museum. On the upper floor, a gallery with its viewpoint, like a watchtower, crown the building. The first floor is the study floor with its assembly hall, Wine Documentation Centre or Tasting Room. Returning to the vestibule, where the visitor reception and information centre is located, the tour begins with the temporary exhibition hall and an audiovisual projection. Then, from room to room, it is shown how wine from its origins has been linked to man, its culture and its history, how vines have been cultivated and worked, the different ways in which it has been tried to rid them of plagues and diseases, the ripening of the fruit and finally the long-awaited harvest.
Afterwards, old and different forms of presses and trujales tell their laborious work to obtain the precious juice that after passing through the laboratory and the hand of the oenologist, rests in barrels within the quietness of the winery that is only clouded by the tasks themselves necessary to get a quality wine, the best wine. All this is present in the great exhibition that these three rooms, and during their tour, are showing and where the utensils, tools and machinery, corks and barrels of different oaks, stills, aromas and essences show the evolution and complicity that over the years have had with the wine. The visit to the museum enters, through a viewpoint, in the Octogonal Crianza Room, where the wines wait inside the barrels for the optimum state for commercialization. Not only the hand of man has influenced the vine and its wines, rather both have traveled together in time and since its inception the wine and its culture have been the subject of myths and religious beliefs as well as a source of artistic inspiration.
The fourth room of the museum houses a large collection of works of art and archaeology from different periods ranging from antiquity to contemporary art. Little by little the route is coming to an end, and as all work has its purpose, the aim of such careful and painstaking work with the vine and its precious juice is to be able to taste it and for this in room five are shown more than three thousand copies of corkscrews of very different shapes and sizes, curious works of art of which the first models are from the late eighteenth century, coinciding with the widespread use of the bottle, as a container for marketing wine, with cork stopper. Logically, the collection is completed with glasses, glasses, porrones, decanters... which from time immemorial to the present day have been present in this liturgy of such a precious liquid. As a culmination of such a pleasant journey through the history and art of wine that it is better than enjoying a good gastronomic pairing, because in the museum building, the restaurant is a real temptation, as well as in its enotienda the possibility of transporting home this good experience with any of the products it offers.
Such a noble building cannot be without a garden that this at its height and the Vivanco Museum has it, is the Garden of Bacchus, made up of plants that such a god can offer, a great variety of grapes, native and not, Graciana, Garnacha, Malvasía, Tempranillo, Mazuelo .... progenitors of elaborated wines.
For many, many centuries, in difficult and famine times, wine helped to compensate for the scarce calories of a deficient diet. Those people of yesteryear knew that if the bread crust was soaked in wine they could survive while other better times came. This popular wisdom has always given rise to a great number of sayings such as "With bread and wine the way is walked".
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Briones is in the middle of the N-232 between Logroño and Haro. You can also get there by following the AP-68 motorway to Haro and from there head towards Briones. The locality is also reached by different regional roads such as the LR-314 that joins Briones with Hormilla on the A-12 between Logroño and Burgos, while the LR-210 joins Briones with San Vicente de la Sonsierra and the N-232a that crosses the other slope of the Ebro valley, passing through Labastida, Ábalos or Laguardia, among other localities. Briones has a daily bus service at different times that covers the line Logroño-Haro-Miranda de Ebro and from Monday to Friday there is another service that covers the line Haro-Nájera. The bus stop is at the marquee. We can also arrive by train since the Briones train station is located on the road from Briones to Peñacerrada.
The access to the Wine Culture Museum can be found following the LR-210 road that joins Briones and San Vicente de la Sonsierra, more specifically the entrance to the enclosure is located near the junction of this local road with the N-232 on its arrival in Briones from Logroño. Once in the enclosure we will have an ample zone of parking where to be able to park our vehicle.
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Romanesque jewel from La Rioja
An emblematic place where devotion and tradition come together
Emblematic place that reflects the stages of history, art and culture of the area
Cradle of the Castilian and pantheon of the seven Castilian heroes
Location of the Virgin of Valvanera, Patron Saint of La Rioja
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