First ever Barrio de la Estación tasting, a huge success

Gómez Cruzado unveiled their newest wines developed by David González and Juan Antonio Leza

24 of September of 2015

Haro, 24th September 2015.- September 18th and 19th marked the first ever Barrio de la Estación Tasting. Seven wineries from this neighborhood of Haro joined forces to organize this event with the goal of highlighting this area as an international wine tourism destination and, at the same time, establish this tasting as one of the best in the world.

For Gómez Cruzado in particular, this event was an opportunity to present their revamped project, led by David González and Juan Antonio Leza, to wine professionals and wine lovers. Founded in 1886, Gómez Cruzado is the third oldest winery in the Barrio de la Estación. It is also the Barrio's boutique winery with production limited to 250,000 bottles per year. Gómez Cruzado remains faithful to its founding principals of creating fine Riojan wines, while at the same time exploring the original expressions of its vineyards located across different subregions within the Rioja. DO.

This event was an opportunity for David González and Juan Antonio Leza to share Gómez Cruzado's primary collection with the wine professionals, such as Gómez Cruzado’s Blanco, Reserva, Gran Reserva, and Honorable. Likewise, the winery also introduced its terroir collection to professionals and journalists. These wines, which as the name states are faithful to their terroir, reflect the know-how of locals in exceptionally notable regions, which were carefully selected from a designation of origin region as diverse and vast as Rioja. This project is rooted in unique terroir and local know-how. Three wines: Pancrudo, Montes Obarenes and Cerro Las Cuevas; the former two will be launched in 2016. And three villages: Badarán, Haro and Leza.

Street art: a live painting of our history

Saturday September 19th was a festive day for wine lovers with over 5,000 guests enjoying wine and tapas' tastings at all the wineries, in addition to activities showcasing the Barrio's history in winemaking. Over the course of this two day event, Riojan painter José Uriszar (Briñas, 1960) completed a mural reproduction of an advertisement from the 1920s when Gómez Cruzado was looking for sales representatives in new locations. The tie between José Uriszar, Haro’s Barrio de la Estación, and the Gómez Cruzado Winery is rooted in the artist's childhood memories. From age 10 to 14, the artist would walk through the "magical world" of the Barrio de la Estación on his way to school everyday. The artist’s father worked at this century-old winery, founded in 1886. At Christmas time, Uriszar's father would take sweet wine home which the whole family loved, and for which Uriszar, still a child, playfully painted the Gómez Cruzado family crest. And now, Urizsar has revisited his own past and the winery's as well, by painting an outdoor mural of this 1920s advertisement.

The event's guests travelled to Haro's Barrio de la Estación from all over Spain (primarily hailing from Basque Country, Navarre, Madrid and Catalonia), as well as some from other European countries and even the United States, to enjoy a wide range of activities.

The first day was reserved for wine professionals with a historical tasting presented by Riojan anthropologist Luis Vicente Elías and led by Wine Master Tim Atkin, including 14 wines from the 20th and 21st century. Following the tasting, the group of over 100 specialized journalists and 400 wine sector professionals (sommeliers, distributors, and owners of restaurants, wine cellar and bars, etc.) visited the Barrio's wineries to meet the wine makers and oenologists in person, and taste the new vintages soon to be released on the market.

Since the events on Saturday September 19th were designed for wine lovers and the general public, a festive agenda of activities was planned: tastings at 7 wineries (21 different wines) and tapas made from top-quality Riojan products, outdoor performances, live music, photography and sculpture exhibits, and even barrel-making demonstrations, and visits to several century-old cellars. Over 5,000 people attended the day's events. More than 4,500 tickets were sold and nearly 50% of them were VIP passes. And over 500 more people, who did not want to miss out on the event’s great atmosphere, enjoyed Riojan tapas in the gastro tent.

The special train running between Logroño and Haro during this weekend was also very popular. More than 1,200 people opted not to drive and took the train directly to the event location.

Likewise, an app created for this special event was downloaded by almost 1,000 people It was designed to let visitors know about the occupational levels at different wineries in the Barrio and allow them to better plan their visit.

This tasting event was masterminded by the Barrio de la Estación Association for Tourism Development; and they plan on making it an annual tradition. The Association is comprised by the Barrio's 7 wineries. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, La Rioja Alta S.A., Cvne, Muga, Roda, Bilbaínas and Gómez Cruzado. This year's debut event also received significant support from institutional sponsors (La Rioja Capital, Rioja Turismo and Haro's town hall), as well as private businesses (Banco Santander, Audi, Mapfre, Ramondín, Verallia, Argraf, Víctor & Amorim, Tonelería Berthomieu, SchottZwiessel and 22 ArtesianWater). Other associations and businesses also collaborated: Accira, Ruta del Vino Rioja Alta, Estuchería Vargas, Emesa, Queso los Cameros, Verema and Vinoselección.

The Barrio de la Estación: a truly unique corner of the world

Haro's Barrio de la Estación is an extraordinary place that came into being at the height of the Industrial Revolution. As Spain's first train stations were being constructed, winemakers decided to set up shop near Haro’s station to take advantage of 19th century progress, and thus get their wine to international consumers at a faster pace. Over 100 years later, some of these wineries have closed down, while others have opened. Today, Haro’s Barrio de la Estación is home to a total of seven wineries: Bodegas Bilbaínas, Gómez Cruzado, La Rioja Alta S.A., López de Heredia, Muga, Roda and CVNE; all of which represent significant points of reference for Rioja’s Designation of Origin thanks to their high quality wines.

The goal is for this event to become an annual tradition for wine lovers and also to promote Haro's Barrio de la Estación as an exceptional and world-class wine tourism destination, on par with Bordeaux, France; Toscana, Italy and Napa Valley in the US.


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