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The Haro Station Wine Experience will hold its most gourmet edition in June

On Saturday, June 16th the seven wineries that make up this emblematic wine neighbourhood will offer their premium wines accompanied by some of the most renowned food from the Rioja region, led by Francis Paniego and the Echapresto brothers.

The day dedicated to professionals will take place on Monday, June 18th and will feature Sarah Jane Evans MW, renowned Master of Wine who is an expert in Spanish wines, as the 2018 “Maquinista del Año”.

The Haro Station Wine Experience (La Cata del Barrio de la Estación) is preparing its most exclusive and gourmet edition yet, which will take place on Saturday, June 16th in Haro. An unmissable event for anyone who is passionate about wine and food around the world.

A day of celebration in which the seven wineries that together make up the Haro Station District will open their doors so that guests can enjoy their premium wines accompanied by an outstanding selection of food, led by several Michelin star chefs from the Rioja region: Francis Paniego with his three Michelin stars (two of them at El Portal de Echaurren) and the Echapresto brothers (one Michelin star at Venta Moncalvillo).

The third edition of this highly prestigious oenological event is organised by the most emblematic and historical wineries of the entire Spanish wine scene: López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, CVNE, Gómez Cruzado, La Rioja Alta, S.A., Viña Pomal Bodegas Bilbaínas, Muga and Bodegas RODA. All located within a short distance from each other on foot, they will welcome thousands of visitors as they explain their history and their know-how on a day when the streets in Haro Station District will be closed off to traffic and filled with music.

The day open to professionals will be held on Monday, June 18th and will gather the best wine and cooking professionals from all over Spain. Among the planned activities, highlights a Master Class led by the renowned Master of Wine in Spanish wines, Sarah Jane Evans MW, who has been awarded the 2018 “Maquinista del Año”, taking over for Tim Atkin MW and Pedro Ballesteros MW.

The Haro Station District wineries thus have the chance to show the world the philosophy, culture, tradition and recognised quality of their wines, something that has been instrumental in helping Rioja wine to evolve.

The Haro Station Wine Experience celebrated two successful first editions with more than 10,000 wine and food lovers from all over the world, and received the 2016 “La Rioja Capital Award to the Singular Initiative Tied to Agrifood Resources” from the Government of La Rioja, the 2016 “Best Wine Tourism Experience Award” at the International Wine Challenge Awards in MW Spain, and the 2015 “Best of Wine Tourism Initiative” awarded by the International Network of Great Wine Capitals.

The Haro Station District is an economic, agricultural, touristic and cultural powerhouse both nationally and internationally, and is holding this festival with the goal of showing the world the potential of Rioja wines and the beauty of their destination.

The Haro Station District, the birthplace of Rioja wine and a destination unlike any other in the world

In the centre of Haro (La Rioja, Spain) you can find a truly unique place that gathers the largest number of hundred-year-old wineries on the planet. A neighbourhood built around a central axis, the railway station, which serves as the magical enclave for its main protagonist: wine.

The Haro Station District, birthplace of Rioja wine, began to take shape in the second half of the 19th century in the midst of the Industrial Revolution, as a result of the new railway replacing horses as the traditional means of transport for the wine. This fact ended up influencing the name of the place, the birth of the area’s wine-producers, and the successful marketing of their wines all over the world.

There are many factors that make this district second to none. In addition to being home to the aforementioned largest concentration of centennial wineries with their international prestige, you can also find remarkable architecture in the area that combines historic buildings from the 19th century with other more avant-garde constructions, such as those designed by Zaha Hadid or Gustave Eiffel, located in a privileged environment surrounded by historic vineyards that have made this district one of the leading wine tourist-destinations in the entire world.

Of the wineries that are currently located in this enclave, the first to be founded was R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia in 1877, followed by Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España (CVNE) in 1879, Gómez Cruzado in 1886, La Rioja Alta, S.A. in 1890 and Viña Pomal Bodegas Bilbaínas in 1901. Bodegas Muga (founded in 1932) transferred its headquarters to the district in 1970 and Bodegas RODA came in 1987, building their winery on an old cellar.

They are all internationally renowned within the Rioja D.O.Ca. designation of origin and are known not only for their wines, which have received international recognitions and awards, but also for their innovative wine tourism proposals that are open to the public throughout the year, representing an indisputable path that contributes to the development and progress of the region (last year in 2017, the number of visitors exceeded 120,000).

Third Haro Station Wine Experience to be held in June 2018

The organisation wishes to avoid the grape harvest season, when the wineries are extremely busy.

The approximate dates for the third Haro Station Wine Experience have been set. It will be in June 2018 when Haro again hosts this great wine event. The first two editions coincided with the grape harvest, when the wineries are extremely busy, so the organisation decided to choose a different time of the year to ensure the success of 2015 and 2016 is repeated.

After these two years, the Haro Station Wine Experience has become a key wine event, confirming this unique district as one of the best wine destinations in the world. In total, more than 10,000 wine lovers and industry professionals enjoyed the first two editions of this great celebration of wine culture, which was named Best Wine Tourism Experience at the 2016 International Wine Challenge Awards Spain and received the 2015 Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences Best of Wine Tourism award granted by the Great Wine Capitals network.

For 2017, the member wineries of the Station District Association have chosen to give the event a greater international focus. For several months now, they have been working intensively on a major event abroad to forward the philosophy, culture, tradition and recognised quality of the wines produced in this special place; home to the largest concentration of prestigious hundred-year-old wineries in the world and considered the birthplace of Rioja wine.

Haro Station Wine District establishes itself among the best wine tourism destinations in the world

Huge success of the 2nd edition of Haro Station Wine Experience: Haro welcomed over 4,500 wine and food lovers who came from all over the world to attend a unique international event, organised by seven iconic Rioja wineries.

Its wine, history and culture are the true protagonists of Haro Station Wine District, founded in the 19th century and an emblem of quality wine tourism.

Over 4,500 wine and food lovers have made their way to Haro Station Wine District to enjoy the 2nd edition of the Haro Station Wine Experience. A unique wine festival promoted by seven Rioja wineries: López de Heredia Viña Tondonia; La Rioja Alta, S.A.; Bodegas Muga; Bodegas RODA; CVNE; Bodegas Bilbaínas and Bodegas Gómez Cruzado.

Throughout the whole day, the people attending were able to visit the entire premises, of an exceptional cultural and historic nature; taste a selection of 14 wines, accompanied by seven Riojan tapas; participate in different activities related with the world of wine; discover the architectural features of the district; and enjoy live music performances.

The wines offered for the occasion were Gran Reserva 904 2005 and Viña Ardanza 2007, from La Rioja Alta, S.A.; Viña Tondonia Tinto Reserva 2004 and Viña Bosconia Tinto Reserva 2005, from López de Heredia Viña Tondonia; Muga Reserva Selección Especial 2011 and Prado Enea Gran Reserva 2004, from Bodegas Muga; RODA 2011 and RODA I 2009, from Bodegas RODA; Asua Crianza 2012 and Cune Reserva 2010, from CVNE; La Vicalanda Reserva 2010 and Viña Pomal Rosado 2015, from Bodegas Bilbaínas; and Gómez Cruzado Blanco 2015 and Honorable 2012, from Bodegas Gómez Cruzado.

On the other hand, the people enjoying the activities found them to be both appealing and original. R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia showed his ‘Historical Exhibition’, in which they use photographs and centenary works to go through the winery’s history; CVNE invited everyone to visit the ‘Caro at CVNE’ exhibition, a selection of sculptures distributed around the winery, created by Anthony Caro, one of the leading British artists of the 20th century; Gómez Cruzado presented ‘Wine craftsmen: the wineskin maker’, an exhibition of the trade of goatskin flasks and wineskins for transporting and drinking wine; La Rioja Alta, S.A. offered the ‘Manual racking by the light of a candle’, an ancient technique carried out by the winery to clean wine sediment naturally; Bodegas Bilbaínas gave demonstrations of manual ‘Cava disgorgement’, a process for removing the lees that come from the second fermentation of cava; Bodegas Muga performed a demonstration of ‘Barrel stave bending’ to show the people attending how to make a handcrafted wineskin; and much to everyone’s enjoyment, Bodegas RODA opened the doors of their admirable cellar.

A workshop for professionals 

Prestigious chefs and sommeliers, together with national and international press members of the wine sector, met up the day before the Haro Station Wine Experience was held. During the event, Pedro Ballesteros, the only Spanish Master of Wine, was named ‘Maquinista del Año’, a prize awarded to Tim Atkin in the previous edition.

Especially for the occasion Pedro Ballesteros, accompanied by the oenologists of the seven wineries, offered an extraordinary Master Class. An interactive and unrepeatable en primeur tasting that allowed the participants to discover the origin and secrets of the blended wines so characteristic of Haro District and which form part of the genesis of the Rioja wines produced today.

Haro, one of the world’s unique wine tourism destinations 

There is no other place in the world like Haro Station Wine District, located in the heart of Haro (La Rioja, Spain) and home to the highest concentration of 100-year-old wineries in the world. Built around a central axis, a railway station, it is a magical spot for its most important protagonist: wine. It is considered the birthplace of Rioja wine, which first began to appear in the second half of the 19th century, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, as a consequence of using recently-invented trains instead of the traditional transport system of horses and carts. Hence the name of the place that, furthermore, due to successful marketing campaigns that have spread its name around the world, has become firmly established.

The first edition of this great festival, held in September 2015, was the winner of the ‘Best of’ prize for the best wine tourism initiative awarded by the international network of great wine cities, ‘Great Wine Capitals’.

Haro Station District (La Rioja), only wine-tourism destination of its kind in the world, presents second edition of great wine festival

 The Haro Station Wine Experience will be held on 17 September 2016, a festive event where participants can enjoy the wines of seven of the most emblematic Spanish wineries.

 On 17 September, Haro will welcome visitors to the second edition of the Haro Station Wine Experience, a unique wine-tourism event organised by seven of the most emblematic Spanish wineries. The event is open to the public, with the emblematic Station District in Haro (La Rioja) transformed into a huge party and the doors to the wineries open so visitors can enjoy their great wines along with the best of La Rioja cuisine. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the region with the greatest concentration of hundred-year-old wineries in the world.

The Haro Station Wine Experience is a not-to-be-missed event for wine lovers, organised by the seven wineries located in the Station District of Haro: La Rioja Alta, S.A.; López de Heredia Viña Tondonia; Muga; Bodegas RODA; CVNE; Bodegas Bilbaínas and Gómez Cruzado.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.lacatadelbarriodelaestacion.com for 50 (early-bird price €40). The ticket includes tasting 14 great wines (two at each winery) and seven La Rioja tapas, as well as wine-related activities and live music at each winery.

Several travel packages have been created for this event, for those coming from other areas of the country or the world, in order to offer an unforgettable weekend in Haro and its surroundings.

National package: includes two nights’ accommodation at three- and four-star hotels in Haro and its surroundings, ticket to the Haro Station Wine Experience, transfer from the hotel to the events, and travel insurance.

International package: from the Bilbao airport, includes two nights’ accommodation at four-star hotels in Bilbao and the Haro area, ticket to the Haro Station Wine Experience, transfer from the hotel to the events, travel insurance and optional visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

The Station District and its wineries, which are open to the public every day, attract more than 100,000 national and foreign visitors each year. People come from countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the United States, Brazil and Mexico to get a first-hand experience of winemaking in this neighbourhood which is a benchmark in wine tourism, a great tradition within the Spanish winemaking community and the cradle of Rioja wines. The wineries in the district, which have seen an increase in visitors (up nearly 30% in the past five years), have developed a wide variety of wine-tourism experiences and all have wine bars where visitors can taste wines with small dishes.

Haro, unique wine-tourism destination 365 days a year 

Cuisine plays an important role in La Rioja, which is known for its agriculture and produce-driven culinary specialties. Tradition and innovation come together at the hands of talented Rioja chefs, who have put the region’s cuisine on the map. The architecture surrounding the Station District is also a great reason to come to the second edition of this great festival. In this setting, structures from the 19th century commingle with the most cutting-edge architecture, such the wineries designed by Zaha Hadid, the first woman to win the Pritzker architecture award. In addition to the hundred-year-old vineyards, the microclimate in the area –near the Ebro River, sheltered by the Sierra de Cantabria and the Obarenes Mountains– also gives this area a unique landscape.

The cultural offering in the region is complemented by other popular tourist attractions, such as the Way of St. James and the monasteries route. Given its great location, Haro is easily accessible from foreign destinations via the Bilbao airport and, on a national level, Madrid (by motorway or toll road) and Barcelona (by long-distance train) are also easy to reach. And, of course, other regional capitals are also nearby, including Logroño, Vitoria, Bilbao, San Sebastián and Burgos, among others.

The Haro Station District is a unique destination in terms of wine tourism all year long. However, there is no time better than during the second edition of the Haro Station Wine Experience on 17 September, a day in which the seven wineries open their doors and offer visitors great wines in a festive setting, full of activities and live music and entertainment.

The first edition of this great festival, held in September 2015, brought together more than 5,000 visitors for unique experience that won the “Great Wine Capitals” Award for the best oenotourism initiative.