The wine and the activity that has grown around it have left their mark on this region over the years, marking its peculiar landscape and forming part of the history and culture that we can enjoy today in every corner of La Rioja Alta. A perfect fusion between the traditions, the architecture and the history of this land in which the vine plays a leading role, serving as a link between all of them.
The Route of the Wine of La Rioja Alta transports us through this region discovering each corner, with the wine as conductor of a route that will guide us through museums, old and noble buildings or true exponents of the architectural modernism, making us cross paths that take us from landscape to landscape passing by Lagares, Chozos and places that resist the passage of time being silent witnesses of the activity that during years has been carried out there where we passed, allowing us to know not only the wine but also the places, the history and the people that surround it.
In the municipality of Haro we find one of the best viewpoints in La Rioja, the hermitage of San Felices de Bilibio, located at the top of the Riscos de Bilibio, in the place known as Las Conchas of Haro, allows us to enjoy a magnificent view from its privileged location. Gateway to the Ebro in La Rioja and world famous for the unique Wine Battle that is held here every June 29th, is undoubtedly a good place to begin to immerse ourselves in the culture of wine. From the top, next to the figure of San Felices, we will be able to contemplate the sea of vineyards that extends to both sides of the Ebro following the capricious course that this one has to its passage by La Rioja. The protection of Sierra Cantabria, a mountain range that stretches out from our location, delimiting this fertile valley, contributes part of the special climatology that this area has, contributing to obtaining the precious wines that are created here.
We bid farewell to San Felices returning by the road that brought us here and that communicates Miranda de Ebro with Haro, where we go wrapped by the vineyards that populate the route. Haro, the capital of Rioja wine, keeps in its interior innumerable samples of its important history such as the Tower, the Palace of the Counts of Haro, the Basilica of Santa María de la Vega..., which together with its gastronomy, which we can enjoy visiting for example the street of La Herradura famous for its varied tapas, make this city an ideal place to realize the special union that exists between wine, culture and gastronomy. The Station Neighbourhood that we passed through on our arrival in Haro awaits us, where we will be surprised by some of the century-old wineries that are located in Haro. Walking around the district we will be transported back in time, by the perfectly preserved vestiges of the industrial activity that was developed in this place and that is still developed today. Ancient and royal buildings that coexist in perfect harmony with the modern architecture that represents the new wine culture and that are a clear example of the present moment in which we are.
Once we have dedicated the time that Haro deserves, we head towards our next stop. There are many optional stops that knock on our door, all of them tremendously attractive. Briñas and its Viewpoint of the Rollo or the Ebro next to the singular chimneys that arise from the earth and that serve as ventilation for the tufo of the cellars, or Rodezno and its countless caves and centenary cellars, many of them particular and still today in active, are a small sample of what this land offers to us. Following the road that connects Vitoria with Logroño we head towards the beautiful medieval town of Briones, municipality in which is located the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, in it we will find ourselves walking through its well-kept streets, discovering beautiful corners or going up to the top of its Torre del Homenaje from where you can contemplate a wonderful panoramic view of Briones and the environment that surrounds it. The museum allows us to immerse ourselves in the history and culture that for years has surrounded and surrounds wine and its special relationship with human beings. Thanks to its magnificent permanent exhibitions we will be able to go from period to period putting ourselves in the skin of those men and women who in one way or another had a relationship with wine. A collection of objects and pictorial works of great artistic value that make this museum one of the most important of its kind in the world.
After our journey through the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, we embark on the journey that now takes us back to another of the singular values of this land, the Wine Landscapes. For it we have again magnificent options like those that offers us San Vicente de la Sonsierra and the senderistas routes that from this locality leave taking us between vineyards, winepresses, hermitages and huts or guardviñas, enjoying once again the perfect fusion between the wine, the culture and the nature. Also from the top of the Castle of San Vicente we will have a privileged panoramic view of the valley of the Ebro and the Sierra Cantabria that we can not fail to contemplate. In this panoramic view that we have been able to observe from Briones or from San Vicente de la Sonsierra, stands out in the middle of the sea of vineyards a promontory that like an island welcomes the Castle of Davalillo, another of the strategic corners from which to contemplate part of La Rioja Alta. Situated in the municipality of San Asensio, towards which we go taking up the course of the national road that leads to Logroño, we can reach its vicinity by car or on foot following in both options the Davalillo Castle Route that starts from the vicinity of San Asensio and takes us to him through the vineyards that mark the passage of the river Ebro through this area. This locality, San Asensio, in which another colossal battle is also disputed, the Battle of the Clarete, offers us the opportunity to visit the Sensorial Center of the Wine located in the middle of the neighborhood of the warehouses of San Asensio in which we will be able to feel the wine and to discover calados escavados in the rock of several centuries of antiquity.
From San Asensio we can start in search of the fusion of the Rioja Alta Wine Route with one of the routes par excellence, the Way of Saint James, a union enjoyed by pilgrims who on their way to Santiago pass through La Rioja from Logroño to Grañón. This option gives us the chance to get to know this area of vineyards located at the foot of the imposing Sierra of La Demanda, while visiting monasteries such as Yuso and Suso, the birthplace of Castilian, or winemaking towns such as Badarán, Cárdenas, Cordovín... or we go along one of the paths that cross the vineyards, such as the one that leads us to know the old guardaviñas that, together with the landscape that surrounds them, make this a route of special beauty. Continuing in the opposite direction of the Way of Saint James through La Rioja, we will continue to immerse ourselves in the relationship that this Jacobean route and the culture of wine have maintained for years. Landscapes and experiences that countless pilgrims keep in their memories of their passage through this Rioja land. From Nájera, historic city, capital of ancient and powerful Christian kingdoms, we head towards Logroño following the Way dual carriageway passing by towns fully linked to the Jacobean route and wine culture. Ventosa, Sotés or Navarrete, known for the quality of its pottery industry, are almost an obligatory stop for pilgrims and a visit that will allow us to learn more about its history and its people is advisable. From here we are only a short distance away from Logroño, the capital of La Rioja, and a meeting point with the other route we can take.
Another of the options that we can choose takes us to continue close to the course of the river Ebro, offering us the opportunity to know one of the zones with greater production of wine of the region. Cenicero is home not only to world-famous wineries but also to a landscape marked by the mouth of the river Najerilla in the Ebro which, together with the meanders it draws in the surroundings of Cenicero, make this an area of special scenic value. The archaeological sites found here tell us of the importance wine had in the ancient societies that inhabited this region. Fuenmayor, hidalga locality, is another obligatory visit in which we will be able to transport ourselves through the history of this ancient locality, that goes back to the prehistory of which remains of the inhabitants who settled here are conserved, before the creation of Fuenmayor in the Middle Ages. From here we go on to Logroño where we can see its caves such as San Gregorio next to the Wine Culture Centre with permanent exhibitions related to wine culture and various activities that will help us to better understand wine. In the city we can get lost in its streets, walking and enjoying them, as for example the cinematographic Portales Street or tasting some of the pinchos, perfectly paired with tasty broths, in the well-known Elephants' Path, taking advantage to know its architectural monuments that together with its people mark the character of this city. We cannot forget the magnificent environment that surrounds Logroño, to its important wineries we can add simple walks such as the Path of El Cortijo that leads us to the Viewpoint of the Vineyard, a special balcony from which to contemplate some of the great protagonists of this route, the vineyards, the Ebro and Sierra Cantabria. But the surroundings of Logroño hide much more, Agoncillo and its archaeological remains, Murillo de Río Leza and the spectacular landscape that form the union of the valley of Leza and Jubera or Clavijo and its mystical castle from which to contemplate another perspective different from the route we have taken. These are some of the towns that, in one way or another, either because of their vineyards or because of their history, are still linked to wine and its culture.
Map of the route
This map is a sketch made as an example of the route, in no case represents the best or the only itinerary to follow. Its development has not taken into account the current rules of circulation or the state of the places through which it passes and that could affect its layout.
Una buena idea visitar lugares relacionados con el vino, un buen punto de partida para conocer esta zona de La Rioja.
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¿Did you know that...
The lagares are cavities excavated in the rock by the man to press the grape in a first process in the elaboration of the wine, in him the must was separated from the skin of the pulp. The winepresses at the foot of the vineyard were normally used by the grape harvesters to avoid the transport of the bunches in the elaboration of rosé wine in which it was not necessary to leave the pulp and must together too long, on the contrary that happens with the elaboration of red wine.
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The rich gastronomy that is given in the places that this route visits, from the skewers of the typical streets full of bars each one with its specialty, happening through the traditional Riojan kitchen full of spectacular plates up to restaurants of world-wide stature some of them with Michelin Stars.
Distance of the route
82 Km This distance is the sum of both routes and may vary depending on the variants we provide.
Duration of the route
2h 00min It is the approximate time that will take us to cross the distance that separates us from each place, to which we will have to add the time that we dedicate to each one of them.
Time of year
Autumn and spring, although we will find different attractions and activities throughout the year.
Cultural, landscape and architectural. This route takes us through different corners of La Rioja Alta related in one way or another to wine.
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Route information updated on 12-04-2019. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.
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