Rioja

With its beautiful rolling landscapes, medieval hamlets and exquisite wines, La Rioja is Spain’s Tuscany. The wine country is sub divided into three regions-

Rioja Alta (where most of the oldest wine “chateaux” are located in and around Haro).

Rioja Alavesa (which also belongs geographically to the Basque Country, and is home to some of the prettiest hamlets like Laguardia and Samaniego)

Rioja Baja (further southeast, a larger, more arid region whose main hub is Calahorra, and where you will find some of the largest dinosaur prints in Europe).

The flagship grape of Rioja is the noble Tempranillo, used to create delicious reds and blended with other regional grapes like Mazuelo, Garnacha Tinta, and Graciano. The Viura (also known as Macabeo) is the main white grape, often blended with Garnacha Blanca to create rich dry white wines. Food and wine lovers will be in heaven in Rioja, with soul satisfying dishes on offer like baby lamb chops roast over grape vines, velvety bean and slightly spicy chorizo stews, sautéed vegetable “menestras” and more.

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