The western parts of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa
By Tom Perry
This Guide was last updated on 12 February 2010
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Address: Calle de la Estación 3,
Tel: 941 30 01 47 Fax: 941 31 07 06
Geo-coordinates: Latitude: 42:35:3N (42.58424) Longitude: 2:51:0W (-2.84995)
Bilbaínas was one of the first wineries in the railway station quarter of Haro. It was built in 1859 by a French company, Sauvignon Frères, who came here in search of wine following the invasion of the phylloxera louse. In 1901 a group of businessmen from Bilbao bought the company and gave it its current name. To visit the grounds is to understand the vision of the founders 150 years ago as the property is a city unto itself, with vineyards, warehouses, offices and cavernous cellars, all of which are being lovingly restored by the Codorniú group, who bought the winery in 1997. Mabel Oyono, the PR director of the winery, puts on a great show for visitors, which she describes as “a didactic and cultural experience”; in 90 minutes you are taken from the vineyard to the winemaking and ageing processes, followed by a tasting of the flagship brand, Viña Pomal. If you can, ask to taste Viña Zaco, one of Rioja’s classic brands that has been completely made over by the talented young winemaker Diego Pinilla.
Useful information: Visits by appointment. Cost €5. Open every day. English and French spoken.
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