I visited La Rioja in September 2015 and made it around a fair few bodegas. La Rioja is a great spot to visit from the United Kingdom with reasonable transport links, and the wines represents great value for money at both the low and high end. In the coming months I will be filling out this section of the site and highlighting bodegas, things not to miss, and even a museum of wine (it is that good that even Hugh Johnson makes a mention).
La Rioja comprises 3 distinct regions, the Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. During this trip I focused on the Rioja Alta and Alavesa which are the main focus for this section. The Rioja Alta is known for slightly lighter and often traditional wines, whilst the Alavesa wines have a fuller body. La Rioja is a brilliant region to learn the distinction between the modern and traditional in wine making, and this conflict permeates from the bottle to the juxtaposed modern architecture and ancient agricultural landscapes.
If you only have one day in Rioja then the most efficient use of time would be to visit the station district in Haro where a host of historic bodegas are clustered. If you have the chance to extend your trip and visit the area more widely then even a week is hardly long enough.
[To be added soon]