November 04 2016
“I haven’t been a winery here yet.” Say what!? I’ve been here for almost two months and though I’ve been drinking wine, I haven’t visited a place where they make it.
Hence the trip to Haro with one goal in mind. Drink wine at a winery.
The bus ride is around an hour and a half because we have to travel from Calahorra to Logroño to Haro, but it only costs around 8 euro and the bus ride is beautiful. All the leaves on the grape vines are changing colors and this past weekend was the peak time to see them. Miles and miles of vines turning red and orange and yellow. It was also an amazingly beautiful day.
Haro is the town where the soak-your-friends-in-wine-fight takes place every year in June. It is also known for its fabulous wines. Haro is a big tourist spot so along the way there are markers and maps with tidbits of history and information. (Which the history nerd in me loves.) I stumbled on an old-looking wine shop and inside were bottles dating back a hundred years and up. Some were dirty, some were different colors and designs, it was so cool to look at the dates on the bottles, and of course the prices.
Wine shops used to have great vats of wine and you could carry any size container in and fill it for a buck or two. I had my friend ask the shop keeper and he said that this shop used to do that, but not anymore. It was a little detail of Spain that my mom had told me about before I left. But how cool does would that be if it were still a thing? (Considers how big a container could be acquired and carried…)
As I walked through the shop, I stumbled across a sales shelf, and on the shelf was a bottle from 1972 for 4 euro. And just because I could, I bought it. I’m anticipating it will taste like vinegar and the earth it looks like it was found buried in.
The wineries are across the bridge on the other side of town, and there are a lot of them. One of the great things about Spain is that most of the cities and their attractions are within walking distance. Haro is great because all of the wineries are clustered together on the same side, which makes wine-hoping very easy.
Another great thing about Spain is the cost of wine. Our first winery offered a tasting in a giant storeroom of theirs, filled with barrels and an old filtering bucket from the 1800’s. The tasting was for five wines with food and their home-pressed olive oil for 8 euro. Another great thing- their tastings aren’t splashes to get an idea. Their tastings are pretty close to a glass of wine. So we stood there, sipping our five glasses of wine for about an hour. It was perfect.
The next winery was the oldest one in Haro with three wines of varying ages. They didn’t have a tasting selection but rather wine by the glass at 2 euro. So we decided to try all three and sat out on the patio as the sun began to set and our buzz really kicked in.