Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Bordeaux and Rioja intertwined as ever at BEIWE event in Haro

Published:  25 March, 2022

The Barrio de la Estación International Wine Encounter (BEIWE) combined two great wine regions, Rioja and Bordeaux, as five hundred wine professionals visited the historic Haro Station District for a tasting to remember.

The wines of Bodegas Bilbaínas (Viña Pomal), CVNE, Gómez Cruzado, La Rioja Alta, S.A., Bodegas Muga and Bodegas RODA were joined, for the first time, by wines from the event’s guest region, Bordeaux.

The link between Rioja and Bordeaux began more than 150 years ago when the phylloxera crisis decimated French vineyards; propelling the wines of the Haro region. 

READ MORE: Tempranillo becomes most planted grape in Spain

María Urrutia, president of the Haro Station District Winery Association said: “This event has shown how close Rioja and Bordeaux are in their philosophy and pursuit of excellence; traits that place both among the world’s top wine regions. 

“That Haro-Bordeaux connection has been kept alive because our goals in the 21st century are the same as in the 19th century – to make the best wines possible in our land.”

Among the exceptional wines on offer was the Gran Reserva 904 2011 from La Rioja Alta, bottled in early 2015 and released in 2020, with the potential to age over the next decade and beyond – and perfect with the lamb served. 

Another highlight was the Monopole Blanco Seco 2018 from CVNE, a white blend based on Viura. Harvested from the Villalba de Rioja vineyard, a 5 hectare site planted in calcareous soils.

From Gómez Cruzado the 2017 Cerro Las Cuevas Selección Terroir inviograted the senses; a mix of varieties with 80% Tempranillo, 12% Graciano, 3% Mazuelo and 5% Garnacha; the wine is aged for 12 months in French oak foudre

The Château Canon 2011, from Saint-Émilion, showed the best of Bordeaux, a blend of 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc, coming from 22 hectares of limestone.

It was clear, from visiting the wineries of Rioja how influential the French connection remains, and this was none more evident than at Bodegas La Rioja Alta.

Reflecting on the history of the winery, Guillermo De Aranzabal Bittner, deputy director general for La Rioja Alta said: “Of course, we are constantly looking to innovate our methods, but there are some traditional processes that are still just as effective today. For instance, we don’t do the manual racking with candlelight because it’s tradition, we use it because it improves the quality of our wine.”

The old technique, known as soutirage, was brought to Rioja Alta by its first winemaker, Monsieur Vigier in 1890.