The Best Wines to Try From La Rioja

Wine from Sagrantino
Wine from Sagrantino | © Michela Simoncini / Flickr
Esme Fox

La Rioja is Spain’s best wine region, and its largest producing one too. Located in the north of the country, just below the Basque Country, it has approximately 63,593 hectares of vineyards and produces 280 to 300 million litres of wine per year. Here are some of the best wines to try from La Rioja.

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva

La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva is a red wine made from Tempranillo and Graciano grapes, grown in 60-year-old vineyards in the villages of Briñas, Labastida and Villalba. It has a cherry-red colour and is a bright and clean wine with notes of cinnamon, vanilla and chocolate, with coffee-caramel aftertaste. The Gran Reserva 904 from 2007 was a particularly good year.

Wine

Cirsion

Baron de Chirel

Baron de Chirel is made by the Marqués de Riscal winery – one of the oldest in La Rioja. It was first created in 1986, from vines that were around 100 years old. It has a dark cherry colour with spicy aromas of toasted French oak and red berries. The wine goes well with ham, mature cheeses, wild game and spicy sauces.

Baron de Chirel wine, La Rioja

Viña El Pisón

Viña El Pisón is an elegant wine made by the Bodegas y Viñedos Artadi, located just outside the village of Guardia. It is made from Tempranillo grapes and has aromas of ripe black fruit and toasted notes. The wine is aged for 13 months in French oak barrels and pairs well with roasts, grilled meat, stews and cured cheese. 2014 was one of its best years.

Cheese and Wine

Contador

One of La Rioja’s newer wineries that has made a great name for itself is Contador, founded in 1995 by Benjamín Romeo, when the wines were made in his parents’ garage and aged in caves beneath the Castle of San Vicente de la Sonsierra. Today, the wines are made in a new, state-of-the-art winery, built into the hillside. The Contador wine of the same name is made from Temperanillo grapes and is aged for 18 months – it features notes of blackberry and spice. 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015 were all good years, but the best award-winning Contador wines were the 2004 and 2005 vintages.

Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva

Viña Tondonia Gran Reserva is made by the famous López de Heredia Viña Tondonia winery in the town of Haro. It’s made from a mix of Tempranillo, Garnacho, Mazuelo and Graciano grapes and is a very dry, rich, bright red wine with notes of vanilla and berries. 1995 was one of its best years, and it goes well with red meats.

Viña Tondonia wine, La Rioja

Viña Real Rioja Blanco

La Rioja is famous for its red wines, however it does produce a few excellent whites too. The Rioja Blanco from Viña Real is made from Viura and Malvasia grapes. It’s a pure wine with floral and citrus aromas, notes of grapefruit and subtle toasted and biscuit flavours from the American oak barrels it’s stored in. It pairs well with paellas and seafood.

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article