The autonomous region of La Rioja, with its capital Logroño, is located in the north of Spain and covers 5,045 km². It borders the regions of Castilla y León and Aragon to the west, south and east and the Basque Country and Navarra to the north. The northern border of La Rioja is roughly identical to the course of the River Ebro.
The Rioja wine-growing region is one of the most important in Europe and is classified as a DOCa. Although the majority of the 60,000 hectares of vineyards are in La Rioja, some of them are also located in the Basque Country (Alavesa subzone) and Navarra (parts of the Rioja Oriental subzone). The area has a very old wine-growing history. Numerous stone-carved fermentation basins have been preserved, which bear witness to viticulture as far back as ancient times. The guardaviñas found in Rioja Alta in Ábalos, Briones and San Asensio are particularly typical. These dome-like stone constructions were used as a shelter for winegrowers and their livestock in bad weather and for monitoring harvests.
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