La Rioja

Area: 5029 km²
Population: 276,702
Capital: Logroño

The Monastery of Suso, in the town of San Millán de la Cogolla, has a special place in the history of the Spanish language.  Here, in the 10th century, appeared a Latin codex with marginal notes in several languages, amongst them a new, hitherto unknown tongue: Spanish.  This is why La Rioja is known as the cradle of Spanish; moreover, the first poet to write in Spanish, Gonzalo de Berceo, was born in this land.  Wine is another key aspect of the region’s identity.  The aromas and flavours of La Rioja are bound to its winemaking tradition, which today boasts its own official Denominación de Origen (Designation of Origen) status.  The region’s 40,000 hectares of vineyards annually produce 250 million litres of wine, enjoyed around the world.

This region also hosts an important stretch of the so-called French Route of the Pilgrims Way of St James, which bears witness to the many architectural traces that Celtiberians, Christians, Visigoths, Romans, and Arabs—amongst other civilisations—left behind as their legacy.

For more information:
La Rioja tourism website