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Rioja Bicycle Tour through the Vineyards and Mountain Scenery
Small group bicycle Tour through Rioja wine country. You’ll bike along the endless vineyards where the excellent Rioja wine is produced.... Read more....Tours in La Rioja

La Rioja, Spain Travel & Accommodation Guide

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La Rioja - Spain's Wine Capital   by Seb Jay

Descending from the foothills of the Sierra del Moncayo in North East Spain is a - Spain's smallest region. It is an area renowned for its natural beauty and, of course, for its wines. Flanked by mountains to its north and south - and with the River Ebro running through it - La Rioja benefits from a unique microclimate. The land here is protected from cold winds and low temperatures, making it a very special place in which to grow vines. Indeed, the first thing you notice on entering the region is the uninterrupted view of vineyards that seem to spread across the rolling countryside.

Three distinct wine-growing areas exist in La Rioja. In the far east, and stretching across the regional border into Navarra, is Rioja Baja. This is the hottest and driest part of the region. The soils are also very fertile, making it a prime location in which to grow the Garnacha grape.

Vineyard on a Landscape, La Rioja, Cellorigo, Spain
Vineyard on a Landscape, La Rioja, Cellorigo, Spain 
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Coming westwards we find the Rioja Alavesa region. Here the climate is moderated by cooler breezes that descend from the mountains. The soils in Rioja Alavesa are of the calcareous clay variety and lend themselves well to producing the finest of La Rioja's red wines from the Tempranillo grape.

Rioja Alta is the third wine-growing area in La Rioja. The climate here is much cooler and wetter owing to its height and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The soil composition in Rioja Alta is similar to that of Rioja Baja. It is the climate though that has the biggest impact on wines from this area.
Visiting La Rioja Wineries

As you might very well imagine, La Rioja is packed full of wineries to visit. Logrono and Haro should top the list, but don't ignore the more rural areas. Visitors can expect a warm welcome at whichever winery is chosen.

Getting to La Rioja

Bilbao on the North Spanish coast is the nearest international airport to La Rioja. From there the region can be reached within a couple of hours. Closer in there are small domestic airports. Vitoria and Zaragoza are both served by the international airports at Madrid and Barcelona. Car hire can be booked in advance for pick up at any of these airports by visiting 

Large Oak tanks holding wine, Bodega Muga Winery, Haro village, La Rioja, Spain
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About the Author - Seb Jay is a freelance writer specializing in the origination of web content for

Latest update: September 28, 2012