Which wineries to visit in Rioja
A list of 15 of the most interesting winery visits in La Rioja
Much of the success of the wines of La Rioja is due to geography. Northern Mountains (Sierra de Cantabria) protect La Rioja from cold northern winds. The Ebro is the river (as in other important wine regions there is always a river present) goes from west to east, from Haro to Logroño and further East… and to the South, we encounter the Sierra de la Demanda limited La Rioja to the south.
In Spain, the rivers were natural boundaries during the Reconquista. This fact explains the presence in Rioja of many villages on top of hills, and fortifications every few miles.
Rioja's name is known in the world thanks to wine. Politically the area is located in two different regions of Spain: La Rioja and the Basque Country (Alava Rioja)
Overall, La Rioja is a land of beautiful medieval villages, wineries and beautiful scenery. "The cultural landscape of the wine and vineyard of La Rioja and Rioja Alavesa" is on the list for potential Unesco World Heritage Sites.
One of the biggest attractions to visit La Rioja region is its wineries. The visitor finds a combination of small family-owned wineries and major brands, traditional and avant-garde architecture.
We are going to show here some of the most interesting winery visits in Rioja. If you are planning to visit La Rioja we recommend you get reservations well in advance. Many wineries do not have visits in English language, most do not have a schedule showing when the wineries can be visited. At winetourismspain.com we offer a service to support you with the reservation process, not only taking care of the reservations in a way that make sense from the perspective of distance, time needed and pure logistics, but also, and most important, making sure that you visit the most interesting wineries available on the day. You can make your reservations to visit wineries in Rioja but you should always book in advance to avoid problems. In case you are looking for a guide wine tour in Rioja we suggest you have a look at our wine tours in Rioja section.
The Viña Real winery is a very modern and impressive winery. The winery belongs to Cvne group, one of Spain´s most important wine groups. This is winery is located half way between Logroño and Laguardia, on top of Cerro de la Mesa. It combines a prime location and modern architecture. It was designed by French architect Philippe Mazières. This winery is an interesting visit to understand the role of architecture in wine production, and also to understand how a large producer can manage to transform very large amounts of grape production into wine.
Franco Españolas is a winery located in the center of Logroño. It is a logical choice if you find yourself in the city of Logroño. Logroño is a large city, very different from Haro or the small villages in Rioja. In Logroño you may forget a bit that you are in Rioja (despite wine is everywhere!) Franco Españolas is a logical visit if you are in Logroño. The winery has huge history. To start with, its name: Franco-Españolas, which explains the ties between France and Spain in the history of the use of methods from Bordeaux in Rioja.
Finca Valpiedra is a winery surrounded by a beautiful vineyard near the river Ebro. The winery offers a very interesting visit for anyone who wants a visit where winery and vineyard form a whole. This winery has become famous in Spain for being the protagonist in a popular television series. The owners, Martinez Bujanda Family are one of the families with more wine tradition in Rioja.
Cvne is one of the most emblematic wineries in Haro and as an extension in Rioja. Cvne has a long history and their wines are among the most famous ones in Spain. The winery was designed by Eiffel and during the visit you will understand the long connection between wine and architecture.
Ramon Bilbao is an atypical winery in Haro. Its facilities are not in the Barrio de la estación, but in the other direction of the town. Ramón Bilbao is surrounded by vineyards, which is rare in Haro. The wines from this winery are among the best known of Rioja. This is an interesting wine cellar to understand call behind one of the most popular wines of Rioja.
A wine cellar with more than 4 centuries of history. This is the way in which we can summarize what you will find in Sampedro. This winery is located in the center of Laguardia, in the very center of the village, in one of its pebbled streets. The visit offers a different view of all the other wineries shown here: we are at a very small winery, where the wine has been kept for centuries in the "stomach" of the town.
Yet another winery which is different to the rest. Jilaba is a family owned winery where the visitor feels at ease. This winery provides us with different view of Rioja wine. Located on a hill with views over the river Ebro, the winery offers an aging room that looks almost like a church. The vineyard, a beautiful tasting room and a visit to very old wine cellars... highly recommended
Gomez Cruzado is located in the Barrio de Haro station. It is one of the best known wineries in Rioja, but it is a highly recommended visit. Actually it has everything to be a very interesting visit: long history, wines with personality and really delicious and exceptional personal service.
Like other wineries in the neighborhood of the station, can be visited on foot from the center of Haro.
Lopez Heredia. Located in the “Barrio de la Estación” in Haro. Lopez Heredia offers a long history and a clear personality in both its facilities and also in the way they understand wine production. This is a winery where wine is stored for years in oak barrels in long tunnels. Their wines are not on fashion since their wines are aged for much longer than it is now the common practice. A very interesting visit to understand how the important wines in Rioja looked like a century ago and beyond.
Dinastia Vivanco is a recent winery. The winery has been somewhat overshadowed by the Vivanco Museum, certainly one of the best wine museums in the world . Winery and museum are together and can be visited independently. The winery also has a restaurant which overlooks the vineyards. Vivanco Dynasty is a must for lovers of wine culture. Normally you should count on a minimum of 2 hours to visit the museum. These two hours can be extended considerably if you're curious. Lots of interesting things to see!
Remirez de Ganuza
Remirez de Ganuza is a relatively young winery founded in 1989 in the town of Samaniego. This is a project looking at the quality its identity. The winery, despite being modern, combining tradition with modern production techniques in their wines. With wines like Trasnocho the cellar Remirez Ganuza has earned a reputation more than justified their wines.
Located at the foot of the Sierra Cantabria, in the beautiful setting of Laguardia, Bodegas Campillo is an example of the integration of architecture with vineyard. The winery stands as a "chateau" Bordeaux. 7 different vineyards surround the winery. A good choice to visit from Laguardia (you can walk without a problem since it is no more than 2km from the center)
The Baigorri Winery is located in the beautiful town of Samaniego. It is a modern winery noted for its glass surfaces. The complex where the wineries are located, has been designed by local architect Iñaki Aspiazu and is fully integrated into the surrounding landscape. The winery offers spectacular views of the Sierra de Cantabria.
Marqués de Riscal
Marqués de Riscal is a winery with a long history of Rioja. Its founder started a transformation for the production of wine in Rioja.
Many people confuse the spectacular Frank Gehry designed hotel pro with the winery. They are not the same! On a visit the hotel is not part of the tour ...
The winery offers different wine cellars inside. Given the large volume of current production, the winery has been extended several times. This is an interesting visit, but sometimes we get comments that it is not very personal and that is meant only for large groups.
Possibly the most photographed winery in Rioja. His wavy image with the mountain behind it is very evocative. Inside the winery less impressive, but his situation and his vineyard Ysios make a highly recommended visit (at least from the outside) located in Laguardia, about 2 kilometers from the city center, Ysios by architect Santiago Calatrava.
You can learm more about the best wineries in Spain in this post. wines from Rioja and the sub-regions in Rioja in Rioja Wines, the official site form the Rioja wine Appelation. If you want ideas about a wine route in Rioja we recommend you have a look at the one we suggest. You can get your hotel in Rioja near vineyards booked with us at excellent prices. More information on La Rioja and things to do can be found here.