Surprisingly, or maybe not, this 3900 year old dolmen, a bronze age tomb, wasn’t discovered until 2009 by Roberto Ibáñez of Villabuena de Álava. It sits just north of the village on the high ground in the middle of the vineyards, which today belong to Bodegas Badiola.
Interestingly enough, there is another “dolmen” located nearby, just a few meters away, but it only dates back to 2012, and is now a city park. Ibaola Harriak, the atheist cemetery, is a unique open-air museum of sorts that simulates a megalithic site. It was created by a local farmer, Joseba Ibáñez, and became known in 2016 when it was chosen as a place of honor for those from the area where murdered during the Franco regime.
We happened to be at Bodegas Badiola to meet with Fabiola, who took us out to the vineyards for a tasting, stopping by Ibaola Harriak before sampling an excellent Cabezadas Viura before returning the the winery to finish tasing a few more of their new wines, L4GD4 from Laguardia, V1BN4 from Villabuena and L3Z4 from Leza, which we first experienced at Madrid Fusión 2022, when we met the wine maker Tao Platón of Península Vinicultores.
Route of the Dolmen
El Montecillo joins the other seven dolmen which you visit as you explore the vineyards in the Rioja Alavesa by car, bike or walking.
Travel Planning, Bespoke Travel
Exclusive Travel Planning Services by Iberian Traveler & Maribel’s Guides. Contact Maribel to arrange a custom itinerary for your next trip to Spain, Portugal, or France.