Wine Tourism in Rioja Alavesa - arabaturismo
Wine tourism has become quite popular over the last several years and Rioja Alavesa is certainly one of the top destinations for both national and international visitors given its stunning landscapes, Medieval towns and offering of hundred-year old and avant-garde wineries making some of the best wines in the world.
Rioja Alavesa offers visitors not only the opportunity to learn first-hand about the winemaking process and wine tasting, but also to enjoy a wide variety of activities and experiences showcasing the region's beauty, famed cuisine and local culture.
Wine tourism is a form of tourism combining interest in wine with traditional tourism. It consists of visiting wineries, wandering through vineyards, touring other facilities associated with winemaking and taking part in activities like tastings, pairings and oenology events.
Wine tourism offers travellers the opportunity to learn about the history, tradition and process of winemaking, while enjoying picturesque landscapes and immersing themselves in the local culture. Rioja Alavesa is becoming one of the most appealing wine tourism destinations for a number of reasons:
Rioja Alavesa has long been making high-quality wines. Its vineyards and wineries date back centuries and the region is included in the DOC Rioja Designation of Origin, the top class of Spanish wines. DOC Rioja is one of the most prestigious designations of origin in the world.
Rioja Alavesa’s landscapes are breath-taking, with sprawling vineyards stretching out into the horizon through hillocks and small valleys along the Ebro river and the ridges of the Sierra de Cantabria mountains at over 1,400 metres tall.
The Mediterranean climate and combination of clay and calcareous soil create the perfect conditions for growing high-quality grapes. The region is also quite biodiverse with a number of natural spaces to explore.
Renowned wineries and vineyards
Rioja Alavesa is home to some of the most prestigious wineries and vineyards in the world. Many of these wineries are open to the public and offer guided tours so that visitors can check out their facilities, learn about winemaking methods and taste a wide variety of wines.
These more traditional activities are now being rounded out with experiences like enjoying lunch or dinner among the vines, riding through the vineyards on electric bikes, spending a day as a harvester and stargazing among the vines while savouring a great wine. There are so many options.
Charming Medieval towns
You cannot visit Rioja Alavesa without meandering through its charming Medieval towns. They have a rich heritage as well as exciting culinary and shopping options.
Laguardia, the capital of the region, has notably kept intact its Medieval framework, walls and gates; Elciego is known for its manor homes and the unforgettable silhouette of Marqués de Riscal’s City of Wine, a project by Frank Gehry; Labastida has a carefully preserved old quarter and stone winepresses; the small walled towns of Labraza y Salinillas de Buradón; Villabuena de Álava, the town with the most wineries per capita in the world... Need we say more?
Wine activities and experiences in Rioja Alavesa
When it comes to wine tourism, Rioja Alavesa offers a wide array of activities and experiences for all tastes. Here are some of the highlights:
Exploring the vineyards on foot or by bike is a great way to immerse yourself in Rioja Alavesa. There are a number of marked routes allowing visitors to discover the region's natural beauty while learning about winegrowing and enjoying panoramic views. These routes have varying levels of difficulty, meaning there's one for everyone.
Cuisine plays an outsize role in wine tourism in Rioja Alavesa. The region has a strong culinary culture, and many restaurants offer menus pairing local dishes with wines from the area. Pairing is a unique experience that highlights the flavours and qualities of both the wine and the food.
There are also workshops and courses where visitors can learn about pairing food and wine.
The combination of a rich winegrowing tradition, stunning landscapes, unforgettable experiences and delicious cuisine make this region an unparalleled destination.
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