Rioja Wine Region
By Viator, August 2010
Where better to start than the unique medieval village of Laguardia? With a wine-making tradition dating back centuries, Laguardia has a real old-world atmosphere, and boasts plenty of historic bodegas (wine cellars) along its narrow cobbled streets. Many of these offer tasting sessions and guided tours. Step back in time as you wander the village, its imposing old churches, ancient walls and house shields evoking centuries past.
At the heart of La Rioja Alta is picturesque Haro, surrounded by vineyards and worth a visit for its vibrant old quarter. Haro’s bodegas, taverns and wine museum will keep you busy at any time of year but if you’re there in late June, don’t miss its annual Wine Battle. Dress in white and join the throngs squirting each other with red wine from leather drinking bottles!
Of course, visiting La Rioja is not all about quenching your thirst – its historic attractions are equally compelling. Tiny San Millán de la Cogolla is known for its two World-Heritage monasteries: Monasterio de San Millán de Yuso (16th-18th centuries) with its rococo sacristy and medieval manuscripts; and, towering above it, the pink sandstone Monasterio de San Millán de Suso (10th century). Nájera is the place to go for ancient royal tombs and mysterious Virgin statues; while lovely Logroño (the region’s capital) will seduce you with its culinary and cultural riches, not to mention its magnificent riverside location.
Wine, history and natural beauty…¡qué sensacional!