A weekend of wine and culture
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If you have chosen La Rioja to spend a weekend or if you are thinking about it, here's a suggestion to make good use of your time and discover the basics:
If you arrive in La Rioja on Friday afternoon, visit Calle Laurel or Calle San Juan in Logroño or the Herradura in Haro. Trying the specialities of each bar, along with the House Rioja is the best way to start your visit to La Rioja and learn about the culture of wine.
On the Saturday you can begin by visiting the Vivanco Museum of the Culture of Wine, located in Briones. There you will learn how wine is made, barrels are manufactured, bottles are made, wines are transported, the wines of the world, the history of wine and, above all, the extensive culture that wine has created across the world, from Egyptian times to modern Picassos.
After this visit, we suggest taking a wine tasting course at the museum or elsewhere across La Rioja: The Rioja Wine Guild, The Control Board, wineries and associations offer these courses, some very complete, with certifying diplomas.
If you would like to know the process of making wine a little better, you can approach one of the hundred wineries that open their doors to tourists. Knowing their wines and how they make them will allow you to enjoy this Riojan product even better.
When you stop to eat, do not hesitate to try the lamb chops grilled over vine cane embers or the potatoes with chorizo; typical dishes of Riojan cuisine. that can be found in many restaurants across the region and in some wineries too. You can also discover the new Riojan cuisine, refreshed classics with surprising presentations and tasty flavours.
After the meal, we recommend another way of getting to know about the culture of wine: vineyard activities: On foot, by bike, on horseback or even kayaking in the Ebro or flying in a hot air balloon over the vineyards, you learn about the different grape varieties and the strict rules governing viticulture in the Rioja Designation of Origin.
To finish the day take a treasure with you: a bottle of Rioja specially chosen now that you know everything about this world-famous wine or a wineskin made by hand by an artisan in La Rioja.
On Sunday we suggest a unique cultural visit: The monasteries of Suso and Yuso in San Millán de la Cogolla, a World Heritage Site.
The Monastery of Suso, the older of the two, is situated between mountains. There, the hermits in the middle ages wrote in its scriptorium the first words in the Spanish language.
The Monastery of Yuso, is bigger and wealthier. It houses the Spanish Language Classroom and a unique library.
On the road to San Millán, you will pass Berceo, the village where Gonzalo de Berceo, the first poet of the Spanish language was born.
From San Millán, we recommend a visit to Santo Domingo de la Calzada.. Make sure to visit the Cathedral, where you will find the saint's tomb and a chicken coop! Inside the church! Ask about the miracle of the cock and chicken and you will find out why. Be sure to stroll through its streets and take a break at the Parador de Turismo, ancient Pilgrims' Hospital.
You will pass by many places that are worth stopping. Take your time. Stop and enjoy the landscape, the people and the Rioja-style hospitality. If you don't have not enough time to do it all, don't worry. La Rioja is very close and we will be delighted to welcome you back.
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