Basque Day 5

Some Fine Wine and Food before heading to Barcelona

We struggled along in the morning still suffering from food poisoning, but still managed to drink a lot of electrolytes and some bulk to absorb stuff.  Marucia is still not very well, although Michael, I are starting to feel a little better.  After another lovely breakfast spread, GL, Michael and I headed out to check out Bodega Bia Gorri.  It is a local winery with lovely views all around.  They have a tour at 1pm followed by a 6 course meal with 4 wines for E40.  So Mike and I signed up (we were going to share 1 meal, but ended up getting two – glad we did)  We took GL back to Abalos and off we went.  There was another group of seven also, but they had their won guide.  We ended up as the only tour members – so a personal tour.  Our guide was only there 1 month but spoke very good English

The building was by a Basque architect.  The Bia Gorri family ran the winery for years and the latest son in charge wanted to do something distinctive.  They did a lot of research and had tanks custom designed.  The system uses gravity to fed the various tank instead of pumps.  The whole building is heat controlled much by special black rocks on slanted slope roofs.  The structure goes down 7 stories along the hillside.  You enter at the top where the deliveries are made.  Grapes weighed, La Rioja monitors all shipments, hoppers and hands on separate stems, leaves etc.  Some wines made with pure grapes 40% and 60% of grapes with stems gives a woody “green” flavour.  they make a rose, a white(I really liked bought 1 bottle), several typical tempronallio reds – varying barrel treatments and grape (top of bunches only) selections.

They employ around 14 usually but it balloons at harvest time (which is Sept/Oct) to 80 or so working 6/7am to 8/9pm.  The current owner (purchased around 2006) is from Murcia – he is a pharmacist specialist at a hospital.  Hot a wine expert historically, but he is passion it and comes 6 times a month and helps in lab work.  He likes to control carefully product development.

A well done tour and it was just what we wanted to experience here; so glad we did it!  The meal started with a rose and a couple of appetizers, then moved to white and 3rd appetizer.  Mike liked the rose more then I did.  The white was quite unique with a nose of toast and very velvety.