According to the Real Academia de la Lengua (Spanish Royal Academy) wine, “is an alcoholic liquor made from the juice of squeezed grapes and cooked naturally by fermentation”. The academic institution itself distinguishes the least four tens of types of broths. Drunk in a glass, in a chato, skin or porrón, well in almost all places, but not in La Rioja. Here there are only two ways to take the brew: to drink it or to experience it. The region's rural houses open their doors to understand the tasting from the vine. The pleasure of ‘ experiencing’ wine.
The Puelles family cannot understand the land without grapes. Residents of the village of Ábalos for centuries, engaged since the distant past in barrelling the broth in wood, iron, stone and tradition, one day they understood that the place where they cultivated and from whence they sent their product had as much body as the juice itself. The purity of the lands that bring forth the dish. Why not let visitors enjoy it too?
La Rioja offers a wine tourism that is unique in the country. The Puelles realised that their winery on an estate alongside a 17th-century mill could be a place for good wine tasters to appreciate the product on site. Its vines, the guests’ garden of recreation. A corner with reserve and shrubs in a rural enclave to taste the wine amidst the aroma of its own harvest.
With its own and neighbouring vines, the offer is multiplied over the four winds of this denomination of origin in capital letters. History and broth. The chance to sleep amongst barrels and bottles barrelled up in contexts such as a 16th century Dominican monastery (Señorío de Casablanca – in Cuzcurrita del Río Tirón-), a 500-year old manor (Señorío de Moncalvillo – in Sotes de Casona-), a traditional stable, barn and natural bodega (Casa Tila – alongside the Clavijo castle-) and even a refurbished 18th-century chair factory with rooms in original style to end up being soaked in the red soup of autonomy (El Real de Siota – in Castañares de Rioja-).
An unending offer in the lands of which wine has caught the attention of visitors. More than thirty hostels put forward full programs for seeing, understanding and trying the Rioja’s best product. Casa de Legarda (Briñas), Casa del Cofrade (Albelda de Iruega), Villa de Ábalos (Ábalos), Señorío de Casalarreina (Casalarreina), Casa Río Zambullón (Zaldierna)… there is even one, El Cerro de Mirabel (Grañón), on the Camino de Santiago for pilgrims wishing to make a stop for devotion on their march of faith.