Those traditional wineries

Those traditional wineries

Azagra belongs to a natural region, the mid Ebro river valley, which has been distinguished by its well-kept traditional wineries and the appreciation of its inhabitants for the fruits of the vine. There are written references, dating back to the end of the 19th century, in which the wine made in the village, in small family wineries, is defined as a good, strong, highly alcoholic and colourful wine, a wine of frequent and abundant consumption.

It was common, on a festive day, to end it in the wineries along the village, whose owners were chearing and offering their wines to everyone passing by. It was consider a slight if someone did not accept their invitation to try them.

Traditional wineries and bottles

Those fully artisan wineries, scattered throughout the village, followed, at the beginning of autumn, a similar method of operation. Farmers transported (in carts or galleys) the stocks full of freshly harvested grapes. Once in the winery, they were emptied into the tank and the grapes were stepped on. When this work was considered finished, everything was passed to the basket press to obtain the maximum amount of must possible and, at the end of this process, the liquid was deposited in the barrels for the fermentation. You had to be very careful with the stinks and gases caused to avoid fatal accidents. The oil lamp or the candle were essential items in this delicate task. Once the wine was obtained –red or claret according to the various procedures used– a small amount was kept for family consumption and the rest was sold, luckily, to buyers from La Rioja or the Basque Country. It seems that they had a high assessment for Azagra’s wine and they usually said: There’s not better wine in this región than the one from Azagra, making everyone in town proud of their product.

Nowadays, immersed in the 21st century, with facilities and production systems much more evolved than those, but which maintain traditional wineries roots, the people of this land experience the satisfaction of offering the world a Rioja wine with personality and quality that is worth knowing and enjoying.

A good, strong, highly alcoholic and colourful wine, a wine of frequent and abundant consumption

Text ©Luis Sola Gutiérrez