This is a fortified village surrounded by vineyards just next to a hill in upper Rioja, It is worth walking through the medieval streets, visiting the two churches (the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción and the Chapel of Santo Cristo de los Remedios), as well as its civil architecture (House of Gadea, House of the Díaz-Lizana, and the house-palace of the Marquis of San Nicolás, which today is the city-hall).
I recommend getting to the viewpoint in the northern area of the village, where you will be able to see the sea of vineyards surrounding a lovely part of the Ebro River. In the surroundings, you will find the Wine Museum in the Dinastías Vivanco winery.
In these wineries, apart from making a visit, you can take courses on wine tasting at various levels. I took the introductory one: you enter a room conditioned for this purpose along with other people, all of them sit down at the table where there are various glasses full of wine. One of them has white wine and the rest are red wines of the year, "crianza", "reserva" and "gran reserva", according to the different stages of the age of the wine. Next to the wine there is a spittoon because although you taste them all, you only drink the good ones.
Every table has a fluorescent tool used to analyze the colors of each wine. In the beginning, the teacher of the course made us smell an essence to see whether we could guess which aroma it was, and afterwards we started the analysis and the characteristics of each one of the wines.
You learn some interesting things about wine harvest, the varieties in La Rioja, the elaboration and the ageing of wine, especially some little tips to taste wine, like the phases of tasting, the reasons why wine should not fill more than one third of the glass and many other curious information.
In the end you get an information folder and a diploma. It is a lot of fun and very enriching. I recommend it to everyone who goes to La Rioja.
As for the museum, it is a journey through the culture of wine. You have to book it beforehand because it's very popular, especially during the weekend. You can do it via the internet or calling +34941322323.
The museum has five permanent exhibition rooms and another one for temporary ones. In total it has a surface of 9.000 square meters. There is a free parking lot and a children's playground. Apart from the beautiful structure, the Rioja landscape surrounding it is striking, with large vineyards.
The visit is about two hours long and ends with a nice surprise: the tasting of a "crianza" of the winery. You can choose to have a guide but you can also do it by yourself, since there is enough information on the boards. If you ask for it, you can get the tour in different languages. You can also eat in their restaurant. Like most of the museums, it remains closed on Mondays. It is worth it.
Since the church is situated in the middle of Briones and on the top part of the town, you can see it as you approach the town. The Baroque tower is impressive, but the interior is what makes it a must-visit. The starry Gothic vaults and the rib complex deserve a look up at the ceiling.
Have a sit in the square in Briones and enjoy the moment. In that moment, you'll realize that time has stopped in the town, and you can see the oldest inhabited house. The church is ultimately a jewel both outside and inside. It's La Rioja in its purest form with architecture and history. Enjoy a good red wine on the terrace. What more could you want?
Briones is a villa community of La Rioja. It consists of about 1000 inhabitants and 6 wineries that cultivate both red and green grapes on over 1300 hectares of vineyards. Like other towns in the area of La Rioja Ala and Alava Rioja, Briones has an important historical heritage, which still maintains its 13th century medieval castle. In one of the squares, there is a very well preserved house, which experts and researchers have declared the oldest house in all La Rioja. It's a small two-storey stone house attached to another part of newer construction. Every year, Briones celebrates its medieval days, and perhaps in view of this house, you can see just a bit more of the 14th century.
Built between 1737 and 1748, this small chapel is located on the edge of the rock, where the town of Briones sits. From there you can enjoy beautiful views.
The chapel has a robust appearance. Inside, there is a rococo altarpiece and a museum of liturgical vestments, some of which have more than 500 years old. To visit inside, you need to contact the tour desk.
This place is situated to the northwest of the town. It is worth taking a closer look at what remains of the tower, and climbing the spiral staircase to admire the beautiful views from the top. It consisted of a large irregular enclosure, forming part of the fence. You can access it via a gate manned by two towers. The the magnificent keep stands at the top, next to the outer wall. The fence was used as a quarry and in the 19th Century, and as is the case of the tower, it was a wonderful trapezoidal building, and it was in perfect condition until one fateful day in the year of 1940. You can still see the ruins of this tower, the remaining three of the four walls. It is worth a visit for many reasons, and especially for being the best medieval ashlar masonry in all of La Rioja.
Following the plans of Juan Bautista Arbaizar, the Palacio del Marques de San Nicolas, the current town hall in Briones, has been, until recently, one of the most interesting civic buildings throughout La Rioja. It retained its original plan in all its purity, both in relation to the partitioning of the interior spaces as to the qualities of the materials, up to the physical image with an open space used as an orchard and poultry yard. Built by Ignacio Elejalde, the balcony displays on its underside a victor with the date 1755, alluding to the date it was completed. The facade is divided into three symmetrical bodies of the three articulating streets by superimposed pilasters. The wealth that the central street resolves and the grounds built to last until the last floor, make this building one of the fundamental references of the Square and a model for other houses.
This Haunted House is a stately traditional style palace near the Rioja town of Briones. It was chosen to host much of the province's popular heritage. This beautiful and well maintained home was built in 1755 and displays everyday household objects.
The charming Miguel Merino Winery, with beautiful architecture, is in the wonderful town of Briones. The wineries have their own vineyards with different varieties and clones. While they are limited and numbered with grapes from old vines, the achieved flavors of each wine are very original and unique.