Camino del vino. Part 2 Rioja
Camino del vino: Walking the Camino is not only a religious, sportive or spiritual experience, it is also a good opportunity to get acquainted with Spain in terms of food and drinks. Merel has a passion for wine, is a member of a wine society and regularly writes about wine and her preferences. In Albergue Villares de Orbigo, Merel has put together the wine assortiment and this produces fantastic and very affordable wines that we serve to our guests and with which we try to distinguish ourselves.
When you walk the Camino Frances you pass through several wine regions. If you want to go well-informed about wine, read the articles that Merel has written and enjoy all the beauty that Spain and the Camino have to offer. So enjoy your camino del vino!
Part 2: The Rioja
The capital of the Rioja is Logrono. Two rivers flow through this region, the Ebro and the Rio Oja from which the region owes its name. Wine was produced here before Roman times. The area consists of three parts, in the north the Rioja Alavesa, in the northwest the Rioja Alta and in the east the Rioja Baja. The Rioja Baja is less elevated than the other two areas and the climate is relatively drier and warmer.
Many wineries are located in Haro, where wine festivals are organized every year on June 29, La Batalla de vino de Haro. There are both red, white and rosé Riojas. The red wine is by far the most produced. The Tempranillo is the most used grape and the Granacha follows in second place. Viura is popular with white grapes.
There are three wine types ; de vino joven, spanish for young wine. It is a wine that has been in the bottle for two years and mainly tastes fresh and fruity. The Crianza has been in an oak barrel for a year and at least a year in the bottle. These barrels have been used before and therefore give off less flavor.
The reserva is a better quality wine that develops for a year in oak barrels. Previously these were barrels of American oak which provided a lot of vanilla flavor which made the wines very cumbersome. Nowadays French oak is used which makes the wines more elegant and more pleasant to drink. The gran reserva is aged for two years in oak and a minimum of three years in bottle.
The Rioja has soft tannins and a low acidity. The tempranillo has a fruity aroma such as red fruit, vanilla and caramel. The annual production is close to 300 million litres.
See also the other parts. Navarra