On the weekend of September 18th and 19th the First Edition of the Haro Station Wine Experience took place. The event was promoted by 7 century-old wineries from the Haro Station District, which joined forces for the first time to elevate this area to a world-renowned wine tourism destination and the event to one of the finest annual wine tastings globally. The event’s First Edition was an utter success both from professional’s and the general public’s appraisals as witnessed by over 500 wine sector and specialised journalists and experts who participated in the day for professionals, and the more than 5000 people who enjoyed the day designed for the end consumer.

Participants mainly came from different parts of Spain, and also Europe, America and Asia to take part and benefit from the event’s varied programme and activities.

The first day, focussed on professionals, kicked off with a historic tasting of 20th and 21st Century wines, which was introduced by Luis Vicente Elías, an anthropologist from Rioja, and led by Tim Atkin, Master of Wine, award-winning wine journalist and the ambassador of the 2015 Haro Station Wine Experience. Close to 100 journalists and 400 viniculture professionals (e.g. sommeliers, distributors, restaurateurs) then had the exceptional opportunity to visit the century-old wineries and taste en primeur the new vintages under the guidance of the winery-owners and oenologists.

The event on the second day, Saturday, was for the end consumer and it was conceived in a more festive manner. This included tastings at the 7 wineries (of up to 21 different wines) accompanied with tapas made from premium Rioja quality products, street animation, live music, and art and viticulture exhibitions. In addition to the more than 4500 tickets sold, around 500 people joined the Haro Station District to enjoy the ambiance and other Rioja culinary specialties which were being served.

It is worth highlighting the success of the special train connecting Logroño, capital of La Rioja, with Haro. Over 1200 people took advantage of this service which arrived directly at the Haro Station District with no need to worry about driving.

Furthermore, a specifically developed app for the event on Saturday was downloaded by nearly one thousand people and included a series of unique features; particularly, it allowed to track the level of occupation at each winery allowing participants to better plan the visits to those less crowded.

The event was devised as the first in an on-going annual series. It is being promoted by the Association for the Touristic Development of the Haro Station District, which is composed by the District’s wineries: López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, La Rioja Alta S.A., Cvne, Muga, Roda, Bilbaínas and Gómez Cruzado. For the First Edition, the event has received exceptional support from institutional authorities, including La Rioja Capital, Rioja Tourism Bureau and Haro Town Hall; and private sector business, such as, Santander Bank, Rioja Motor Audi, Mapfre, Ramondín, Verallia, Argraf, Víctor & Amorim, Tonelería Berthomieu, Schott Zwiessel y 22 Artesian Water. A number of collaborators also made the event possible, i.e. Accira, Ruta del Vino Rioja Alta, Estuchería Vargas, Emesa, Queso los Cameros, Verema y Vinoselección.

Haro Station District

The Haro Station District, born out of the industrial revolution, is a unique and remarkable setting. Taking advantage of the advances brought on by railway communications, a number of wineries were set up around one of Spain’s first railway stations with international connections in order to facilitate the export of their wines outside Spanish borders. After more than 150 years, and albeit the disappearance of some, 7 wineries have continued to work and develop to become globally renowned as part of the Rioja appellation of origin and thanks to the outstanding quality of their wines: Bodegas Bilbaínas, Gómez Cruzado, La Rioja Alta S.A., López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, Muga, Roda y CVNE.

This event was envisioned with the objective to become an indispensable annual rendezvous for wine-lovers and to launch the Haro Station’s hitherto divided popularity into a District-wide preeminent wine-tourism destination worldwide and unique in Spain, such as those in other wine regions, including Bordeaux in France, Tuscany in Italy and Napa Valley in the United States of America.