Search results for rioja

Navaridas spain la rioja alavesa

The stunning region of La Rioja Alavesa.

We’ve said it before and we stand by the statement that the best travel experiences are never the ones that are planned. There’s no question iconic sites are important for a reason, but usually the most memorable moments are the ones that are unexpected. Case in point, we recently travelled from Bordeaux to Rioja with Iberian Wine Tours, and despite incredible visits that included Chateau Mouton RothschildChateau Pichon Baron, San Sebastian, and Roda, we still reminisce about our most unique wine tasting to date: our visit with Javier Guzmán Aldazabal.

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Pichon baron wineryIn the 1860’s, Phylloxera, a tiny plant louse, hit Bordeaux hard and virtually all of the vineyards in the region were ruined. Desperate not to lose their wine entirely, Bordeaux winemakers travelled to Rioja and invested heavily in the region in order to continue making wine until a solution could be found. Our trip with Iberian Wine Tours followed this “phylloxera trail” and what we experienced was a journey filled with terrific wine, culinary delights, and a lifetime of experiences we won’t soon forget.

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Rioja Spain wine

The tasting room at Remirez de Ganuza

We had the privilege of touring and tasting at Remirez De Ganuza in the Spanish Denominacion de Origen (the Spanish term for viticultural region) of Rioja while we were a part of the Fine Vintage Tour of Northern Spain. Over the last 3 decades Remirez de Ganuza has experimented and come up with new techniques both in the vineyard and in the winery which have elevated their wines to the top echelons of Rioja and even earned a 100 point score.

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Valpiedra Winery

View of the Ebro River

Rioja is Spain’s best known wine region. It occupies 63,593 Ha along both sides of the Ebro River in Northeastern Spain, spanning 100 km between the towns of Haro and Alfaro. The Rio Oja, a tributary of the Ebro, is where the region takes its name. Rioja is Spain’s oldest Denominacion de Origen (D.O.), the Spanish equivalent of a viticultural region, having earned the designation in 1926. In 1991 it earned the highest designation of Calificada (D.O.Ca.), and remains only one of two region in Spain to hold this designation alongside Priorat. It produces both red and white wines though over 90% of the production is red. Over 600 bodegas (wineries) call Rioja home. As a region it is capable of producing excellent wines, not just in the premium category, but it also can produce some incredible bargains.

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spanish wine1999 Remelluri La Granja Rioja Gran Reserva

Wow. A lovely example of a more classic style Rioja. Incredibly elegant and sophisticated with tons of complexity. Both black and red fruits on the nose backed with earth, spice, and some vanilla. Medium in body with less acidity than expected, it had a structure and smoothness that was simply beautiful with a nice savory finish. Drinking perfectly in our estimation but in no danger of breaking down for a while yet.


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