Wine tour around La Rioja Alavesa’s wineries

This wine tour will take you to some of the most famous and well known wine cellars of La Rioja, also visiting the typical touristic attractions you’ll come up with. Small villages, green landscapes, gentle and calm villagers… is what, contrarily to any big cities, awaits you.

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Starting line:

Bilbao, Pamplona, Burgos, Soria

Off to the Briones and Vivanco winery!

Stopping at Briones, La Rioja

If you have come from Bilbao and you’ve left around nine in the morning, you’ll arrive at this village around eleven. Arrange with the bus driver to drop you at Briones, which, surrounded by hills and vineyards, looks like has come out of nowhere among such greenery. Once you’re here, you can stroll around, go on its various jaunts, enjoy the views, visit the place’s ancient houses and churches, etc. After doing some tourism you might think that the village isn’t particularly special, but the Vivanco winery will change your mind, since it is precisely what makes it unique.


Photo credit: turismohispania

First winery Bodega Vivanco in La Rioja

The first winery of the tour can be Vivanco, at Carretera Nacional 232. I recommend you to leave Brianes around 12:30pm, in order to see Vivanco before lunch time. Awarded with the pr ‘Best winery in 2013’ award among others, this place offers wine tasting sessions, workshops for children and wine courses. Mr Rafael Vivanco, the boss, writes on his website that the goal of his cellar is that the visitors get to learn a bit more about viniculture, and, above all, enjoy themselves. If you want to visit both the winery and the wine museum, there’s a € 15,- entrance fee which includes the tasting of two different wines. The visits are organised at fixed times; what is to say, from Tuesday to Friday at 11am, 1pm and 4pm, and Sundays at 11pm, 1pm and 5pm. You’ll be able to enter the museum at the time you prefer, and the recommended time for the visit is 90 minutes.

On TripAdvisor, the tourists state they’ve never seen such a good wine museum, since it shows every single product related to wine’s culture. Last but not least, the ticket sale is online, and you should check all the different options as there are also museum + cellar + restaurant tickets, etc.

The Vivanco-winery restaurant

For you to be easier, instead of going somewhere else for lunch,I recommend you can stay at Vivanco Restaurant, which is part of the winery buildings. Its wide variety of dishes in their menus ranges from meet to fish, and there are also group menus, for those who come in groups of more than 10 people. What makes it special is its wine cooking, apart from using wine as a companion of the meals, the cooks also include it in sauces, desserts, etc. 

Vivanco Restaurant

Vivanco Restaurant
Photo credit: vivancoculturadevino

Visit Laguardia, Elciego and Marqués de Riscal in the afternoon

So once lunch has been taken care of ask the coach driver to give you a ride to Laguardia, a half an hour long ride.

Laguardia, La Rioja

When you get here, ask the driver to park at the entrance of the village. It is located at Ebro’s river bay, and what you’ll find here is Santa María de los Reyes church, San Juan church, Cigüeña walk, etc. a must once you’ve come.

The 12 apostles accompanying Maria at the Santa María de los Reyes church

The 12 apostles accompanying Maria at the Santa María de los Reyes church
Photo credit: moemígomezpereda

After seeing Laguardia, you can ask your diver to take you to the next stop: Elciego

Elciego in La Rioja

You’ll get here after a fifteen minute ride, were you’ll see, at the background, a weird looking building. It’s Marqués de Riscal wine cellar, designed by Frank Ghery, who also designed the Guggenheim museum of Bilbao.

Elciego in La Rioja

Elciego in La Rioja
Photo credit: riojaalavesa

Next stop in this Rioja wine tour: Marqués de Riscal

The amazing roof top of the Marqués de Riscal winery

The amazing roof top of the Marqués de Riscal wineryl
Photo credit: inbasque 

The winery is covered with titanium, just like the Guggenheim, with pink tonalities that resemble the wine, and gold and silver that resemble de bottle’s mail and capsule. To visit the winery you must get your tickets online, with a maximum of 30 people per visit. Adults pay € 10,25 and the timetable varies according to the day, something you’ll have to check on the mentioned website. If you have any doubts feel free to contact them via email When you’re in, I highly recommend you to try Ghery Selection 2001 and Barón de Chirel 2006, although all the wine types are of high quality. You can have dinner at Bistró 1860, the winery’s restaurant. The specialities of the menu are several traditional dishes. The restaurant is open from 8:30pm to 10:30 at dinner time, which will enable you to chat when the sun goes down.

End of the wine tour and back in the bus to Bilbao

When you feel like it, ask your coach driver to pick you up and to take you to your hotel. If you’ve come all the way from Bilbao, you’ll be home in around an hour and a half, and if you come, for instance, from Soria, you’ll be home shortly. I hope you have enjoyed this wine tour!

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If you liked this bus tour and plan to organize this or a similar tour in the area of La Rioja Province than we advise you to view our list of mini bus and coach hire companies in Logroño . You can also start organizing your La Rioja Province bus trip by directly requesting multiple Logroño coach hire quotes so you can compare bus rental options online before booking.

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