Good wines are produced near rivers… You may disagree with this statement, but this is confirmed by a simple look at most of the important wine producing regions in the world. Why would this be of interest if we were to think of tourism? We can simply say a river adds to the beauty of a region… but it also means many other tourist attractions are made available: kayaking, fishing, trekking…
Spain´s most famous wine region is one of these cases – Rioja is well-known for the quality of its red wines, and the region is becoming increasingly famous thanks to the spectacular combination of modern architecture and old medieval villages.
A master piece
Well-known architects like Frank Gerhy or Spanish Santiago Calatrava have transformed some vineyards in actual Master Pieces. A simple look at the Ysios vineyard in Laguardia summarizes the essence of the region: the futuristic vineyard can only hardly rival with the presence of nature: the Sierra de Cantabria mountain range puts a limit to the wine region…
At a short distance, the Walled city of Laguardia keeps an eye on both the vineyard and the mountain. Laguardia deserves a trip: you will go back to the XIIth century while you walk along its cobbled streets and get seduced by its old houses and palaces and its two fortified churches.
Old & modern
Any traveller to this region of Spain would want to visit a vineyard… or 2. Hundreds of cellars are awaiting the tourist and in most of them English is spoken. Some of these vineyards have existed for over 100 years, and the same families that initiated the business are still working there.
The visitor will always find a good hotel to stay at. Many old palaces have been refurbished and new hotels have also appeared, offering spa services and a wide range of services.
The wine regions
Rioja is only one of the many regions Spain has for wine tourism. You can find information on wine tours and wine holidays at www.winetourismspain.com.
Wine regions such as Jerez, Barcelona, Rioja or Murcia are holiday destinations by themselves. The proximity to the sea and the many beaches in these regions attract millions of tourists every year… Yet wine tourism is not considered as an alternative for many of them today.
Other less frequented regions also offer very good value for money and great opportunities to combine wine tours and historical tours:
Galicia and Saint Jacques Route, Navarre, Rioja, la Mancha, and even Madrid are all good places to enjoy culture, gastronomy and wines.
Spain is putting lots of efforts to increase the awareness of what it can offer as a gastronomic tourist destination, a quick look at the Spanish official Touristic information webpage confirms this.