A few weeks ago I finally made it to Haro, the wine capital of La Rioja. I had been wanting to go for a while and when a few friends came to visit, I figured it was the perfect excuse. Wine tourism season is coming, with the high season being in the fall, so there were many tour groups already visiting! My friends and I caught the bus through the villages on an early Saturday morning and walked in the heat to reach our destination: Bodega Bilbainas.
The history of Bilbainas
The visit itself was very similar to many of the ones I have been to. The tour guide explained the fermentation process, the type of wood each barrel is made of, tasting red wines, etc. However, I did like the additional treats that Bilbainas offered. For instance, I got a wine pouch and a wine glass to keep! I’ll probably only end up taking the pouch since I’m not sure I want to deal with broken glass on my flight home. I also loved the history of Bilbainas as an unexpected savior for French winemakers. Back in the 1800s there was a disease in the plants and grapes in Bordeaux, France so they came to Haro to grow their grapes, make the wine and then export it to France. Bilbainas is one of the oldest wineries in La Rioja and Haro used to be the capital of La Rioja before Logroño!
How to get to Haro
To get here, just take the bus from Logroño to Haro! Or, you can rent a car if you so choose. If you take the bus, you will need to walk from the bus stop to Bilbainas. Haro is a small town, so getting lost is not the biggest deal. For a bit of help, Bodega Bilbainas is located right off the train tracks!
I think it was very fitting that my last bodega tour in La Rioja was in Haro. Of all the bodegas I’ve visited and seen this year, I can’t pick a favorite because there are parts I liked more than others. However, I am grateful to live in a region where wine tasting is seen as both a profession and a hobby. Traveling through La Rioja to visit each bodega has been a fun way to get to know the people here and I will definitely miss it when I return home next week!
Thanks for reading! PIN it for your next wine adventure!