Rioja wineries, up-to-date tradition

By Sergio González | 10:15

"Marqués de Riscal" titanium fantasy

 

Arguing about wine usually arises hot debates on which one is better, what region ferments the finest or which techniques are the most suitable for proper aging. Truth be told, such thing as the best wine does not exist -the book of likings is an empty page.

Moreover, history brings us some facts that should loose heated positions. In 19th century France was invaded with phylloxera, a pest for vines imported aboard steam ships from North America. It meant the destruction of every vineyard and wine industry -but also a boost for California wines, which covered market demand.

Among other solutions, like grafting European vines into phylloxera resistant American ones, France bought vines from Spain to recover their national production. On the other hand, the Spanish wine industry would have never emerged if it weren’t for the imported French techniques. In other words, wine has been keeping up with mankind steps into globalization.

Rioja wines perfectly show this pattern of profitable international collaboration. It was in the 19th century when the British realized the countless possibilities and extreme quality of the soil and vines from Rioja, as they had done with Sherry. Industralization arrived –Jerez and Haro were the first places in Spain to display electric light- and several wineries were founded by local families -still up and working after 150 years- starting the succesful path Rioja will never abandon. Let’s peek into the next steps of Rioja.

"Bodegas Ysios"

 

The first picture on this post will surely have brought Guggenheim Bilbao Museum to your mind -it’s not a trick, Frank Ghery designed Marqués de Riscal too. As a luxurious tribute to wine, this titanium construction offers a Michelin-starred restaurant, a cooking school and vinotherapy spa -the tannins in grape skin are the secret to Spanish eternal youth. Under the flashy building, the centennial cellar offers the visitor a tour on traditional wine making and bottles that were already there when A. Lincoln was still the president of USA.

Bodegas Baigorri is a very special winery. Its design is almost invisible from the surface, just a glass window over the hills of Samaniego, as if it were a bank vault and the treasures were kept under the ground. Taking advantage of the landscape and gravity, architecture has been put to service in wine making. The cellar was built in a smart terrace system that prevents the use of filters and chemicals, producing truly organic wines.

Bodegas Ysios was the pioneer in this avant-garde architecture for Rioja wineries. Created by Santiago Calatrava -a Spanish architect known worldwide because of his white boned buldings– it grasps majestically the nearby mountains and sights. Respect for Rioja wine identifies ceaseless innovation are their essential philosophy, forming the style of 21st millenium wines.

Zaha Hadid, the Iranian architect winner of Pritzker Prize, is a name that attracts lots of tourists interested in modern design‘ says López de Heredia manager and founder descendant María José L. de Heredia. Inspired by a decanter, the tasting room and boutique are a stainless steel dream. Absolutely compulsary is the visit to their traditional cellar in Haro: stylish and classic like only the patina of time can achieve.

Bodegas Darien is another one on this impressive list of first class high-tech designs. The local architect who set it out meant a continuity with the surrounding vegetal layer, achieving a perfect thermic balance in the best interest of wine. Awarded in 2009 as the best place for wine tourism, their tasting courses and the chance to have a meal over a shiny colorful vineyard are the pillars of their huge success in attracting tourists and wine enthusiasts from all over the world.

Rioja wine territory covers several regions of Northern Spain, but Logroño is the city that links all of them up. Barely driving several minutes from La Rioja capital you can reach each and every one of these up-to-date wineries. NH has two modern hotels in Logroño that perfectly match with this fresh movement of innovation. If you like wine, fashion architecture and friendly people, start booking now your flight to La Rioja!

Photo Credit: Wojtek Gurak

Photo Credit: Steven2358

 
  • posted by Amy | 09 August 2012, 15:34,

    very nice i like so much

     
  • posted by Courtney Imel | 10 August 2012, 13:14,

    Thanks for the comment Amy! We’re glad you enjoyed it! Vist us daily for more interesting posts!

     

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