Underground cellars

Underground cellars and winery quarters are fundamental components of our landscape and our wine heritage. There is a whole underground landscape consisting of hundreds of dug out caves of varying sizes and types, well organised into neighbourhoods or under the houses in the old towns.
The large number and diversity of their shapes and construction techniques constitute one of the core values of the La Rioja and Rioja Alavesa Wine and Vineyard Cultural Landscape. It is a truly unique and exceptional heritage.

But the preservation of these underground cellars is not a simple task. There is a need to reflect on different issues in order to ensure their conservation in the future. Therefore, the La Rioja Architects’ Association is carrying out a study to provide private owners and towns with recommendations on conservation, restoration and management.
There are many aspects that can affect the cellars and winery quarters, including non-specific urban planning, neglect or infrequent use, converting usage, etc. The problems have some very specific aspects that require specific solutions.
The large number of elements to be protected and preserved makes it necessary to first set up preventive actions to prevent deterioration and ensure their preservation. It is undoubtedly a complex problem where prevention will play a fundamental role.

Underground cellars
Understanding the technical aspects of the underground cellars and winery quarters and disseminating conservation and intervention recommendations among owners and managers is a key factor in handling this issue.
Initiatives like these contribute to the common priority goal of preserving our cultural landscape. It is an effort that is gradually becoming a collective task for the entire territory. The initiative of the La Rioja Architects’ Association shows that the most important aspect is for all stakeholders to work together to preserve this common heritage. It is expected that there will be new initiatives aimed first and foremost at ensuring the future of our Rioja wine cultural landscape.