Haro and Bordeaux will come together next 21 March at the first of the Barrio de la Estación International Wine Encounters (BEIWE), a meeting that will underscore a link that dates back more than 150 years, when the phylloxera crisis decimated French vineyards.
The assistance the two cities provided each other has transcended the centuries and significantly contributed to the success and development of the great wines of La Rioja. BEIWE builds ties with the great wine regions of the world, and this first edition will feature six châteaux representing Bordeaux’s seven most famous appellations: Saint-Estèphe, Pauillac, Saint-Julien, Margaux, Pessac-Léognan, Pomerol and Saint-Emilion.
The exceptional nature of this meeting lies in the fact that it is rarely possible to bring together a group of internationally renowned Bordeaux châteaux to represent each of their major appellations outside the international tastings organized by l’Union des Grands Crus, where those châteaux wishing to participate only bring their latest vintages in order to promote them.
The guest châteaux traveling from Bordeaux are Château Smith Haut Lafitte (Grand Cru Classé de Pessac-Léognan); Château Rauzan-Ségla (Deuxième Grand Cru Classé de Margaux); Château Lynch Bages (Cinquième Grand Cru Classé de Pauillac); Château Léoville Barton (Deuxième Grand Cru Classé de Saint-Julien); Château Petit Village (Pomerol) and Château Canon La Gaffelière (Premier Grand Cru Classé de Saint-Émilion).
Bordeaux wines will be tasted alongside the most special wines from the Station District’s six wineries: Bodegas Bilbaínas-Viña Pomal, CVNE, Bodegas Muga, Gómez Cruzado, La Rioja Alta, S.A. and Bodegas RODA. “The Haro Station District Winery Association is going to host six great houses in a unique twinning, in which two great world-class wine regions meet to show their particularities and how that Haro-Bordeaux connection, which had special relevance since the late 19th century, is still somehow kept alive in the work of producers with a common goal: to make the best possible wines in their territory,” says the association president and promoter of the event, María Urrutia.
Complementary activities in the Station District wineries
The day will be completed with a gastronomic area and various activities taking place in each of the six wineries: Bodegas Bilbaínas will show the mastery of disgorging of its sparkling wines, now under the Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja; CVNE will hold a vertical tasting of four vintages of Real de Asúa; Bodegas Muga, which has its own active cooperage, will teach attendees the importance of wood in wine, from the cultivation of oak trees to the toasting of the barrel; Gómez Cruzado will show six years of its most emblematic white, Montes Obarenes, from 2013 to 2018; La Rioja Alta, S.A., will host a horizontal tasting of the extraordinary 2001 vintage, the first great vintage of the century; and Bodegas RODA will give a tour of its history through a tasting of wines that have never been marketed.
Participants may attend upon reservation and registration for the activities of their choice. All required safety measures will be fully implemented at BEIWE.
About the Station District association
The main purpose of the Haro Station District Winery Association, whose members are Bodegas Bilbaínas Viña Pomal, CVNE, Bodegas Muga, Gómez Cruzado, La Rioja Alta, S.A. and Bodegas RODA, is to promote the wines of the wineries in Haro’s iconic Railway Station District, as well as promoting the District as a historic centre, an international focal point for Rioja wine and a quality tourism destination.
The association organizes and promotes activities, including the Haro Station Wine Experience, a regular event showcasing Rioja wine and food. The event has been very well received by the national and international press and critics, winning the Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences Best of Wine Tourism award given by the Great Wine Capitals Global Network in 2015, the Prize for the Best Wine Tourism Experience at the International Wine Challenge Awards Spain and the Rioja Capital Award for a Unique Initiative granted by the Government of La Rioja in 2016. More recently, the Haro Station Wine Experience earned the 2018 award for Best Wine Tourism Initiative given by Wine Routes of Spain and the Mass Vino association of media wine communicators Best Wine Tourism Experience of the Year award.
This year marks the first edition of BEIWE, events uniting the great wine regions of the world with Haro and the wineries of the Station District, the cradle of great Rioja wine.
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Bilbao-Rioja Great Wine Capitals – Photo Credits