Are you planning a trip to España and want to discover the best wineries in Spain? You’re in luck! Spain is a paradise for wine lovers. And one region, in particular, stands out: La Rioja.
Finding it’s home in northern Spain, the province of La Rioja is home to some of the best wineries and wine tourism experiences in the world. With its capital city, Logroño, and other picturesque towns like Haro and Elciego, you’ll immerse yourself in Spanish wine culture in no time.
Taking center stage, the “grape” stars of La Rioja is the Tempranillo grape. Famous for creating the region’s delectable red wines, these little gems are in the wine spotlight. But fear not, white wine aficionados – La Rioja boasts more than 500 vineyards. Throughout them, you’ll discover a delightful medley of grape varieties, such as Garnacha, Graciano, and Viura. And the wine styles? Oh, you’re in for a treat! From lively, fruity joven wines to the slightly bolder crianza, reserva, and gran reserva offerings, your taste buds are in for a thrilling ride.
Now, with so much great wine around, it’s hard to choose where to begin. But don’t worry – this guide will teach you everything you need to know about Rioja wine! It will showcase some of the finest picks to make your Spanish wine tour in La Rioja truly unforgettable.
Picture tasting rooms with awe-inspiring views, delicious food pairings, and charming boutique hotels nestled among lush vineyards. This blog will help you toast to the high life in no time!
How to Get to Rioja
Eager to kick-start your Spanish wine tour and immerse yourself in the magic of Rioja? You’re in luck – getting there is easy! Most major airports offer direct flights to cities like Barcelona (3-4 hours away), Madrid (3-3.5 hours away), or Bilbao (1.5-2 hours away). To get to La Rioja, simply hop on a train to Logroño and soon enough, you’ll witness the picturesque vineyards that make this region truly unforgettable.
There are a myriad of options, like hopping on a bus, renting a car at the airport, or even indulging in a private transfer from Bilbao. On a budget? Give BlaBla Car a try. It’s a wallet-friendly favorite among savvy travelers just like you. With countless ways to reach La Rioja, you’ll be savouring world-class wines and uncovering the best wineries in Spain in no time.
Where to Stay in Rioja: Unwind in Style After a Day of Wine Tasting
Seeking the ideal accommodation to unwind after a delightful day of wine tasting in the stunning Rioja wine region? Don’t worry – here are some fantastic recommendations for lodging options in Rioja. Even better, these cater to all budgets from luxurious indulgences to budget-conscious travelers.
Luxury Option: Áurea Palacio de Correos (5-star hotel)
If you’re looking to spoil yourself, the Áurea Palacio de Correos is an absolute must! This 5-star gem in Logroño boasts exquisite architecture, top-of-the-line amenities, and outstanding service, ensuring you feel like royalty. Unwind in the beautifully designed rooms and serene spa after a day exploring Spain’s finest wineries. Don’t forget to log in and take advantage of the Genius discount at this Eurostars Hotel Company property!
Just 200 metres from Laurel Street, the hotel features a restaurant, private parking, a fitness centre, and a bar. Enjoy seamless service with 24-hour reception, room service, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Rooms offer a desk, air-conditioning, a safe, a flat-screen TV, and en-suite bathrooms, while a delightful buffet breakfast. Explore nearby attractions, including Logroño City Hall, Saline Spa, and Riojaforum Conference Centre. At the end of the day, relax on the hotel’s picturesque terrace.
The Áurea Palacio de Correos is just 11 km away from Agoncillo Airport, making it an accessible and luxurious haven.
Midrange Option: Sercotel Calle Mayor (Logroño)
If you’re seeking a comfortable and affordable stay, Sercotel Calle Mayor in Logroño’s city centre is an excellent choice. First, it’s close to the Church of Santa Maria de Palacio and Church of Santiago el Real. Second, it’s also just a short stroll from the renowned Calle del Laurel and a mere 0.3 miles (0.5 km) from the famous Franco Españolas winery.
When hunger strikes, make the most of the hotel’s room service (available during certain hours), or unwind with a drink at the bar/lounge. A tasty buffet breakfast is available daily from 7:30 AM to 11 AM for a fee.
It boasts stylish rooms with memory foam beds, premium bedding, complimentary Wi-Fi, a and a mouth-watering breakfast buffet. With a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, you’ll feel right at home as you embark on your wine-tasting journey in Spain. Remember to make the most of the on-site fitness centre, terrace, and tour guidance, which will enhance your stay and create lasting memories.
Budget Option: Tinto Dreams Hostel (Haro, Spain)
Travelling on a tight budget? No worries! Tinto Dreams Hostel in Haro is your go-to spot for a wallet-friendly stay. This adorable bed & breakfast style hostel is a mere 3-minute walk from the town centre and is within walking distance to most wineries. With its warm and welcoming vibe and proximity to some of the region’s best wineries, you’ve got a winner.
The hostel also offers a common living room, kitchen, and facilities such as contactless check-in/out, a game room, a family room, luggage storage, and tours. The dorms are clean and comfy, while the shared spaces are ideal for mingling with fellow wine enthusiasts. Don’t forget to ask the friendly staff for their insider tips on nearby bodegas!
Food and Wine Guide to Rioja
Picture this: you’re meandering down Logroño’s Calle de Laurel, boasting more than 60 bars and restaurants. Inside of these bars are scrumptious “pinchos” (small plates) that are bursting with unique flavor. Your senses heighten at the tantalising aromas of Spanish delicacies and the lively banter of fellow food enthusiasts. Here’s the thing, this isn’t just any ordinary culinary scene – you’re in the heart of the Rioja wine region, home to some of the best wineries in Spain.
In La Rioja, dining transcends mere sustenance and morphs into a social experience that connects people. Tapas and pinchos, alongside a glass of wine, takes centre stage in this gastronomic adventure. Sharing these mouth-watering bites with friends while sipping on Spain’s finest wines creates a truly delightful experience.
But here’s a little secret: Rioja wines aren’t limited to just reds. You’ll also discover refreshing whites and charming rosés. The region’s signature wines include four types: Joven (the youngest grapes), Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva. Each boasts their own unique characteristics, making them ideal for pairing with your favorite Spanish dishes.
Crianza: Young and Bold
Crianza wines are aged for at least two years, with a minimum of one year in oak barrels. These vibrant reds are perfect with flavourful dishes like Gambas al Ajillo (garlic shrimp), patatas bravas, semi-cured Manchego cheese. The Pincho de Foie (foie gras on a slice of bread) is also a great pairing. The bold flavours of these wines will make your taste buds sing!
Reserva: Sophisticated and Elegant
Reserva wines are aged for at least three years, with at least one year in oak barrels. These full-bodied reds are ideal companions for Spanish-style jamón, chorizo, Iberico meat, and cheeses such as Manchego or Port Salut. Don’t forget to add lamb skewers to the mix – they’re a match made in heaven!
Gran Reserva: The Crème de la Crème
Last but certainly not least, Gran Reserva wines spend a minimum of five years ageing, with at least two years in oak barrels. These worldly reds are sublime with dishes like champi or champiñón (mushrooms with olive oil, shrimp, and garlic) and pinchos Morunos (pork skewers). Trust us, your taste buds will thank you for this luxurious experience.
Best Wineries in Spain: La Rioja
La Rioja may be home to the best wineries in Spain, but here’s the thing: you can enjoy them without being a wine connoisseur! These bodegas offer so much more than just great wine. They boast amazing history, culture, and delicious culinary experiences. With a warm and welcoming atmosphere, stunning scenery, and fascinating wine production insights, they are captivating from the moment you arrive.
Below, you’ll learn everything you need to know from the famous tempranillo grape to delectable white wines. Ready to embark on a Spanish wine tour? Let’s go!
1. Bodegas MUGA
Address: Av. Vizcaya, 2, 26200 Haro, La Rioja, Spain
Bodegas MUGA is a family-owned winery founded by Isaac Muga and Aurora Caño in 1932. This exceptional winery is known for its inviting atmosphere and the harmonious blend of traditional production methods with avant-garde techniques.
At Bodegas MUGA, you can indulge in expert tours from Monday to Saturday, where you’ll uncover the secrets of wine production, explore the wine cellar, and sample a range of grape varieties in the tasting room. Espacio Torre Muga’s tasting experience offers a comprehensive introduction to the terroir, grape varieties, and wine styles of the Rioja region. You’ll also enjoy hands-on activities to sharpen your wine appreciation skills.
Among the many tastings available, the signature Prado Enea Gran Reserva, made from the Tempranillo grape, stands out as one you won’t want to miss.
2. Bodegas Gomez Cruzado
Address: Av. Vizcaya, 6, 26200 Haro, La Rioja, Spain
In the historic Barrio de La Estación de Haro, you’ll find Bodegas Gomez Cruzado. It is a century-old winery that has been delighting wine enthusiasts since its founding in 1886. This boutique winery is known for its commitment to sustainability and respect for the environment. It’s become a shining example of the perfect balance between tradition and innovation.
Visitors to Bodegas Gomez Cruzado can embark on comprehensive tours with wine experts. Guests can explore the winery, learn about its history, and discover the unique winemaking process that sets it apart from others in the region. The tastings available showcase a diverse range of wines, from refreshing whites to bold reds, with something to suit every palate.
The winery’s most popular offering is the Cerro Las Cuevas, a single-vineyard red wine using the tempranillo grape. This exquisite wine is highly sought after for its elegant structure and intense fruit-forward profile.
3. Bodegas Santalba
Address: Carretera N-232, KM 445, 26221 Gimileo, Spain
The scenic village of Gimileo is home to the stunning Bodegas Santalba. This family-owned winery has been crafting exceptional wines since 1964. The winery combines traditional winemaking methods with cutting-edge technology to create wines that embody the essence of La Rioja.
For a truly unforgettable experience, Bodegas Santalba offers a one-of-a-kind family experience focused on wine. As you step inside their welcoming home, the world of wine will captivate you. You’ll discover their cherished traditions, idyllic vineyards, and the enchanting corners of Rioja. This immersive journey into winemaking combines with the warmth of the family and guarantees a truly memorable visit.
During your tour, you’ll have the opportunity to taste a variety of wines, from crisp whites to robust reds, all made with a focus on quality and respect for the terroir. The Abando Crianza, primarily made from the tempranillo grape, is a popular choice, known for its balance, elegance, and intense flavour profile.
4. Campo Viejo
Address: Camino de Lapuebla 50, 26006 Logroño (La Rioja) Spain
Campo Viejo is a world-famous winery known for its vibrant wines that capture the essence of modern-day Spain. By blending traditional and progressive winemaking methods, Campo Viejo produces a wide range of exquisite wines. These blends include red, white, rosé, and sparkling varieties that cater to the tastes of all wine enthusiasts.
Visitors to Campo Viejo can indulge in a range of custom experiences, such as tours of the impressive barrel rooms, the vineyards, and the state-of-the-art, eco-friendly winery. During these tours, you’ll learn about the winery’s commitment to innovation, sustainable practices, and the passionate team behind each bottle.
Among the diverse selection of wines available, the Campo Viejo Rioja Reserva stands out as a popular choice. This elegant red wine is made primarily from the Tempranillo grapes from oak barrels, resulting in a harmonious balance of fruit and oak flavours.
5. Bodegas Riojanas
Address: Av. Don Ricardo Ruiz de Azcárraga, 1, 26350 Cenicero, La Rioja, Spain
With a rich history dating back to 1890, Bodegas Riojanas invites you to experience the essence of their esteemed winery. Here, you’ll discover the century-long winemaking tradition behind their exceptional wines. As you explore this remarkable winery, you’ll learn about the fascinating journey from vine to bottle.
Embarking on a tour at Bodegas Riojanas, you’ll make your way through captivating facilities. These include the original 130-year-old building, production halls, the atmospheric barrel room, bottle racks, and the impressive ‘Sensations room’. To make your visit truly memorable, the tour concludes with a delightful wine-tasting session. During the tasting, you’ll have the opportunity to savor three wines (White, Crianza, and Reserva). Tastings also come with a delicious assortment of Iberian sausages. The entire experience lasts for around an hour, plus an additional 45 minutes for the wine tasting.
Among the array of wines crafted at Bodegas Riojanas, Reserva wines are an obvious favorite thanks to their exceptional quality and elegant profiles. This upscale harmony is a testament to the winery’s devotion to upholding its rich traditions and commitment to excellence.
6. Bodegas Franco Españolas
Address: Calle Cabo Noval, 2, 26009 Logroño, La Rioja, Spain
Just a short walk away from Logroño across the Ebro River, Bodegas Franco Españolas is a hidden gem. With a history dating back to 1890, this impressive winery has been producing exceptional wines for over a century. The winery even has a reputation as a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts.
Bodegas Franco Españolas offers a range of tours that provide a wealth of insight. into the winery’s history, production methods, and unique approach to crafting their exquisite wines. As you explore the beautiful facilities, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the picturesque vineyards, visit the atmospheric cellars, and learn about the winery’s fascinating legacy. To complete your visit, you’ll partake in delightful tasting session. The tasting includes samples of of their finest wines.
When it comes to the remarkable array of wines crafted at Bodegas Franco Españolas, their Reserva and Gran Reserva wines truly stand out. These exceptional wines are celebrated for their sophisticated and effortless profiles which embody the unique terroir of the region.
FAQs: Best Wineries in Spain
Check out these FAQ’s to help you navigate the best wineries in Spain with ease and confidence.
How many days do you need in La Rioja?
You’ll want to set aside at least 2-3 days to explore the beauty of La Rioja and fully immerse yourself in the wine tourism experience. This will give you ample time to visit several wineries, taste the region’s diverse wines, and enjoy the breathtaking landscapes.
How should you drink Rioja?
When savouring a glass of Rioja, be sure to serve it at the right temperature – 16-18°C (60-64°F) for reds and 8-10°C (46-50°F) for whites. To enhance the wine’s flavours, let it breathe for a few minutes before sipping, and pair it with dishes like grilled meats, aged cheeses, or tapas to bring out the best in both the wine and the food.
Does Rioja go in the fridge?
Storing your Rioja depends on the colour. While red Rioja doesn’t need to be cold, it’s best to keep it in a cool, dark place. White and rosé Rioja wines, on the other hand, should be kept in the fridge and served chilled for optimum enjoyment.
Why is La Rioja famous?
La Rioja has become well-known thanks to its exceptional wines, particularly those made from the Tempranillo grape. The region’s unique climate, fertile soil, and centuries-old winemaking traditions combine to create world-class wines that captivate wine lovers and connoisseurs alike.
Final Thoughts on Wineries in La Rioja
You’ve come a long way on this incredible journey exploring the best wineries in Spain! La Rioja Alta left us giddy with excitement, and we still can’t get over the incredible wine tourism opportunities in the Rioja wine region. Wine lovers, unite! With such an array of fantastic bodegas, luxury hotels, and boutique accommodations, you’ll be spoilt for choice. And let’s not forget the olive oil tastings that perfectly complement your wine-sipping experience.
But let’s face it, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful country. From wine cellars and pinchos to rolling vineyards and mountainous landscapes, Spain has so much to offer. So, grab your fellow wine enthusiasts and embark on a Spanish wine tour that’ll leave your taste buds tingling and your heart yearning for more. Cheers to the best wineries in Spain!
To ensure your La Rioja wine experience goes off without a hitch, here are some of my favorite travel resources to ensure a safe, fun, and wine-filled adventure:
- Be aware of potential weather conditions, political unrest, or possible safety hazards prior to your arrival by download the OZZI Travel Safety App. It provides alerts in real time to help you save money by avoiding mishaps.
- When making the journey to Spain, travel days often involve multiple layovers or long layovers. Spend your time wisely and enjoy the airport lounge life with an affordable annual membership with Priority Pass.
- Want to read more about my adventures abroad? Explore my website to read my other international travel guides here and here.
- Most travels are fun and enjoyable, but you should always be prepared for unforeseeable emergencies. Buy a reliable travel insurance plan to safeguard your safety and your wallet.