What is wine tourism? The best experiences in wineries in La Rioja

Wine tourism is a type of tourist activity that takes place in wine production areas with the aim of promoting wine. This type of activity is closely related to gastronomic and cultural tourism. Those who choose to enjoy an oenological experience of these characteristics do so with the intention of tasting different high-quality wines, typical of the area in which they are located, as well as learning about its history.

Wine tourism has been gaining a lot of fame and followers in recent years. So much so that more and more people end up opting for this option when they think of vacations or getaways. Although it is not essential that you be a wine lover, especially good wine, it is highly recommended, since if you are, you will enjoy this experience incredibly.

Below we explain in detail what is done in a wine tourism experience, what is its origin, when and how to enjoy it and where to go to enjoy it. We make a small spoiler for you : to one of the most famous regions internationally for this type of tourism: La Rioja.

When does wine tourism arise?

It is estimated that about 2,000 years ago since wine tourism was born in Spain. According to written sources, the production of wine arrived in the Iberian Peninsula with the Phoenicians and this led nobles and monarchs to become fond of visiting the most emblematic wineries in our country.

What is done in wine tourism?

Taste good wines, that is the main objective of those who come to a wine tourism experience. And as for those who organize this type of activity, the intention is to promote the wealth of wine in the area. To make this possible, the wineries are associated with other agents in the same territory, such as lodgings, restaurants and centers of cultural activities. In addition to tasting good wines, visitors can learn about the history of the region in which it is located, its wines and understand their origins.

How many wine cellars are there in Spain?

According to the Spanish Wine Federation (FEV),there are nearly 4,300 wineries in our country, of which 3,075 are exporters. In addition, our wines are sold in 189 countries around the world. But this is not all, since we also have 941,086 hectares of vineyards in 2021, which represents about 13% of the world total. For this reason, they affirm that “We are the first vineyard in the world”. In addition, our average annual production of wine and must is between 40 and 42 million hectoliters (37.3 million in 2020), which makes us the third largest producer in the world.

Likewise, the turnover of Spanish wineries amounts to 5,381 million euros per year with wines and musts, and the activity of the wine value chain accounts for 2.2% of the Gross Added Value in Spain.

When is the best time to do wine tourism?

Although many wineries offer oenological experiences throughout the year, you should know that there are times when you will be able to learn more than others. One of the best dates is during the harvest season, from mid-August until well into October. And it is that during these months, agriculture, economy and folklore go hand in hand in the harvest celebrations. Delight yourself with the fields full of vineyards with ripe fruit and enjoy seeing how the grapes are harvested and stomped. In addition, before the beginning of each harvest period, a popular festival is held to welcome it.

Now, this does not mean that if you cannot go during these dates you cannot enjoy a wine tourism experience. In fact, during the rest of the year the wine goes through different phases of maturation and going to the cellars is an activity that will surprise you a lot, if you haven’t done it yet.

How can I enjoy wine tourism more?

Choose a good warehouse. Of course, try the wines. In addition to visiting wineries and vineyards, you have to try the wines in a tasting. Appreciate the different flavors and nuances and listen to the explanations of the experts.

Of course, try the wines. In addition to visiting wineries and vineyards, you have to try the wines in a tasting. Appreciate the different flavors and nuances and listen to the explanations of the experts.

Don’t hesitate to ask. When you go to a visit, listen to the explanations and if there is something you have not understood or you have doubts, do not feel ashamed to ask. What’s more, the questions are always appreciated by the rest of the attendees who most likely have asked themselves the same questions. Those who are dedicated to this will be happy to answer any questions.

Where can you do wine tourism?

Every year, the Spanish Association of Wine Cities (ACEVIN) publishes together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment the guide of the Wine Routes. At the beginning of 2021 there were already 32 routes, including the Rioja Alavesa Wine Route and the Rioja Alta Wine Route, both with DO Rioja Qualified wines.

Undoubtedly, all wine tourism experiences are very interesting, but if you have to opt for one, we advise you to travel to La Rioja. And it is that in this land with the name of wine, the conversations in the parks, the life of the people of La Rioja and the news in the media revolve around this star product: wine.

In La Rioja there are more than 80 wineries with tourist visits out of the more than 500 in the community, so you have a lot of variety to choose from. Now, if you want to enjoy a real wine tourism experience, a quality tasting and an experience that you will always remember, then we invite you to come to Bodegas Altanza. Located in Fuenmayor, Rioja Alta, Altanza was founded as a shared dream of making high quality 100% Tempranillo wines, with a modern and authentic touch.

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