En Rioja Alavesa

Villabuena de Álava -

The town with the most wineries per capita in the world.

Villabuena de Álava Eskuernaga

Villabuena de Álava (Eskuernaga in Basque language) is a small town located in an amazing place in Rioja Alavesa. It’s famous because  of its wineries and the quality of their wines.

Villabuena Wine Fest festival is the perfect scenary to promote all the engaging places of Villabuena, its wines, the gastronomic offer, its people and the landscape.

Villabuena de Álava Eskuernaga, la villa con más bodegas por habitante del mundo

Villabuena de Álava - Eskuernaga

Here are some points of interest about our town. A town linked to vineyard cultivation, with just over 300 inhabitants and located in a magnificent enclave of Rioja Alavesa, only 8km from Laguardia, and 42km from Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the province.

Formerly known as Villaescuérnaga, Villabuena de Álava changed its name to the current one in 1688, apparently because the old name sounded bad. In honor of this old name, it takes its Basque appellation as Eskuernaga.

Villaescuerna became part of Laguardia in 1164 when Sancho VI the Wise, King of Navarre, founded it. Until 1461, after several changes of ownership and under the rule of Henry IV of Castile, it definitively ceased to belong to Navarre.

Since 1657, the patron saint festivities have been celebrated every May 15th in honor of San Torcuato.

Walking through the streets of Villabuena, you will find numerous manor houses and palaces built from the 16th century to the mid-18th century, the heyday of the region.

Among the vineyards surrounding the municipality, you can find the Montecillo Dolmen, evidence that there was settlement in the area thousands of years ago.

In the past, the traditional wineries were concentrated in the neighborhood presided over by the proud iron statue of a man in a press.

The town extends on both sides of the Herrera stream, a tributary of the Ebro, and borders with Samaniego, Leza, Navaridas, Elciego, and Baños de Ebro. All of them are municipalities of Rioja Alavesa.

In 1486, Villaescuerna became part of the Brotherhood of Álava, by order of the Catholic Monarchs, just like the nearby populations. It was in 1661 when Philip IV granted it the title of village, which meant its independence from Laguardia.

Every November 30th, San Andrés is also celebrated, to whom the parish is dedicated.

The Church of San Andrés began to be built in the 16th century, mixing numerous styles due to the long time it took to build. It was very large for the size of the village.

In addition to the Dolmen, you can find rock presses and the only pine forest in Álava, classified as a Natural Space of Special Interest. Walking along the paths surrounding Villabuena is healthy.

The growth of the wineries has facilitated the growth of Villabuena, to the point of achieving its current size.

Amazing landscapes

Amidst a sea of vineyards

The town boasts a ‘pagan cemetery,’ named Ibaola Harriak, created by Joseba Ibáñez, which serves as a true open-air museum.

To learn more about Villabuena, Francisco Martínez de Cañas wrote a book about the town that provides «data for its untold history.»

cementerio ateo de Villabuena Escuernaga
Ayuntamiento de Villabuena-Eskuernaga