Sunday, February 27, 2011

Revamped Rioja

Spain, Spain, Spain. I just laid eyes on this:

Marqués de Riscal
 BBC online just published a video on La Rioja's modern architectural wineries, like the "City of Wine" which opened in 2006. Frank Gehry designed it (surprised?), same architect of the Guggenheim museums (Go Bilbao!), Walt Disney Concert Hall, Dancing House in Prague etc.

I guess all it took for him to design it was a bottle of wine ;) And the trend-setter that he was, these are some of the wineries transformations that followed:

Bodega Ysios
Bodega Darien

 There's a lot more, those were a few of my favorites. Kinda surprised to see all of this! The wineries look so over the top! Granted, I've only gone to Temecula and Napa wine countries but none of their winery architecture could compare to these. And its not like La Rioja wine country has to advertise the quality of their wine! The tourist attention to put themselves on the map, I suppose. 

I unintentionally went to La Rioja while studying abroad in 2003, meaning that I didn't do any research on La Rioja before heading out there, except for knowing that its super old wine country. This is what I did:

Glam huh? :) I met these two sisters in Bilbao, Nerea (on the burro) and Nagore (left). I think they go here every summer so it was fun to see their cozy vacation town home. It'd definitely be interesting to see all of the changes while walking through the town now! In a way, sad to see traditional buildings go, but good for them to get more exposure they deserve and to see these architects duke it out on creating cool looking wineries.

Info and beautiful pictures sources: 

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