HISTORY AND CULTURE
RIOJA ORIENTAL WINE ROUTE
Oriental Rioja owes much of its popularity to an excellent wine, highly appreciated in the region. Tradition and technology join together to create an excellent wine with unique features and the strictest standards of quality.
Over time, a fascinating culture has been created around the vine-growing and wine-making processes in Oriental Rioja. One of its most emblematic towns is Aldeanueva de Ebro, with a captivating Wine Museum, where we learn about wine heritage, state-of-the-art winemaking plus the nuances of Rioja wine appreciation.
Yet, visitors who want to sightsee in this wine region must cover much more. The towns Alfaro, Autol, Quel, Tudelilla, Arnedo, Alcanadre or Grávalos are without a doubt worth visiting. This is a journey where the past comes to life: Lovely places to admire the coexistence of family winemakers and industrial wineries.
In Roman times vineyards were established at different settlements and bodegas soon sprang up in order to supply the Roman troops. Thus, Ancient Rome played a pivotal role in the history of Rioja wine and the vine-growing. Later, it was the religious communities that were in charge of traditional wine-making processes.
Phylloxera reached La Rioja in the 19th century. This is one of the main diseases that affect grapevines and sadly devastated most vineyards. Once these challenges were overcome, in 1920 the name “Rioja” was protected, and a few years later, in 1925, the first D.O. Ca in Spain “Qualified Designation of Origin” was established, DOCa Rioja.
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KNOWS OUR ROUTE
Rioja Oriental Wine
DOCa Rioja wine usually comes from the harmonious reflection of the grape varieties grown under this qualified designation, spreading through three areas: Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. These wines have perfect aroma composition, balance and vivid flavours. They are fresh, medium bodied, zesty, with excellent bouquet. Red, rosé and white wines feature this variety.
Rioja Oriental, perfecto maridaje de vino y patrimonio
La diversidad de su paisaje y geografía te permite escoger entre la ciudad o la montaña; la huerta riojana nos ofrece manjares que, de manera tradicional o novedosa, sabemos poner sobre el plato para obtener sabores espectaculares; nuestros vinos son la mejor manera de acompañar esos platos; nuestras ciudades son amables, de fácil recorrido y mejor paisaje urbano; y nuestro medio rural, declarado en gran parte Reserva de la Biosfera, un lugar apacible donde descansar y degustar las riquezas culinarias que allí mismo se producen y elaboran. Todo esto, acompañado de nuestras gentes, que saben hacer sentir como en casa a todo el que llega, hace de La Rioja un lugar excepcional para vivir, con la calidad de vida como bandera.
La magia de la historia
La riqueza de La Rioja Oriental se centra en sus paisajes, en sus municipios y en sus gentes, pero es mucho más que eso. La zona ha ido reivindicando poco a poco su sitio en lo patrimonial y cultural, así como en el terreno del vino y el enoturismo. La Rioja Oriental cuenta, en su amplio territorio, con numerosos recursos turísticos. Desde la propia naturaleza que nos brinda su belleza durante todo el año, con rutas BTT, rutas ecuestres o de senderismo, miradores y espacios naturales singulares, como los Sotos del Ebro; hasta la riqueza arqueológica de Contrebia Leucade, los yacimientos de Icnitas repartidos por Aguilar del Río Alhama, Cornago, Igea, Préjano, Peroblasco, Munilla o Enciso, las cuevas del Ajedrezado en Santa Eulalia y las de los Cien Pilares de Arnedo, y los castillos de Cornago, Herce, Préjano, Quel, Autol, Arnedo, o Arnedillo, algunos de ellos visitables y todos ellos de interesante historia y relato. O lugares singulares y únicos, como el Picuezo y la Picueza en Autol o el único molino de viento harinero reconstruido de La Rioja, en Ocón. Todo ello teniendo en cuenta también el patrimonio religioso, con enclaves como la Colegiata de San Miguel de Alfaro, la Catedral de Calahorra o la ermita del Salvador, de Herce, que ofrece unas vistas espectaculares del Valle del Cidacos.
The cultural legacy of a region is widespread throughout its traditions and customs
In Oriental Rioja culture finds expression in many different frameworks. There are countless museums to discover special exhibitions, displays and events about our history, interpretation centres which host vibrant collections and didactic exhibitions. Festivals and traditions will leave a memory in your heart.
It is worth mentioning the following music and wine events: Entreviñas Festival in Aldeanueva de Ebro of great cultural Heritage, Arnedillo Smoke Procession, Saints Theft in Arnedo Fall Festival, Burning of Judas in Alfaro, Grinding Festivity in Ocón and Bread and Cheese Festival in Quel.
Key cornerstone of our culture
Quality food has become an important factor when visiting a place, a sensation for the palate will make us come back again and again. Gastronomy has always been a basic ingredient in La Rioja. Your palate will get surprised discovering traditional cuisine with modern flavours, some of the most vivid and inspiring dishes that have passed on from generation to generation as a cornerstone in our gastronomy.
The beauty of the natural
When visitors arrive in Oriental Rioja, charm landscapes welcome them. Biosphere reserves and extraordinary animals such as storks or vultures feature a magnificent environment. It is worth visiting on foot or by bicycle, seeing the sunset and vineyards: a breathtaking view from above…
Come to share a country’s cultural heritage through vineyards, wineries and museums. Enjoy the bakery process of Fardelejos (a delicious typical sweet in Arnedo). Visit Olive Mills, Mushroom Interpretation Centers, Ichinites, Celtiberians Sites, handmade espadrilles, olive oil, vegetables, Sotos de Alfaro, vulture routes…
Our landscape has a wide range of interesting places, your route will be guided by our castles and monasteries. Besides, the Way of St. James passes through our land to inspire the visitors to marvel at some of the wonders of nature. As a result, La Rioja becomes an exchange of cultures, and it is known for its rich cultural heritage, beautiful landscape and friendly people.
A route through La Rioja is a real treat for the senses any time during the year, come and find out more.
HOW TO GET THERE
Bordering the provinces of Álava, Navarra, Burgos and Soria, La Rioja has excellent connections to visit Oriental Rioja
La Rioja airport is located in Agoncillo, the 38 km drive from Calahorra and 40 km from Arnedo takes about 40 minutes.
AENA offers routes to Madrid throughout the year, Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza in the summer period. Following airports aren’t far away: Bilbao 193 km, San Sebastian 192 km, Pamplona 96 km and Zaragoza 140km.
How to get by train:
Renfe train network provides daily connections with other provinces, such as Burgos, whose station has a large crowd of travellers both in national and international lines.
Together with Logroño station, Adif manages Calahorra and Alfaro stations in Oriental Rioja. In addition, Castejón station in Navarra is 7 km far from Alfaro. It is another great reference across the rail network. Train services in La Rioja include high-speed lines and regional services.
How to get there by road:
The main road is AP 68 (Bilbao-Zaragoza), which runs through La Rioja from Haro to Alfaro and has an exit in Alfaro, Calahorra, Agoncillo. It can also be accessed from Madrid, by N-I or by N-II.
From Levante and Catalonia, you can take connections from AP-2 to Zaragoza and then take AP-68.
How to get there by bus:
Many companies cover the distance between several Spanish cities and La Rioja, as well as several international destinations. Some of the companies that cover national destinations are Alsa, Bilmabus, Grupo Jiménez, La Estellesa and Unión Alavesa.
Alsa also works international routes. Some of the national destinations are Valencia, Alicante, Murcia, Burgos, Zaragoza, San Sebastián, Pamplona, Soria and Madrid. Both the capital of La Rioja, Logroño, and the main administrative places in Oriental Rioja, Calahorra, Alfaro and Arnedo, have bus station and destinations to different Spanish provinces.