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The Rioja Railway Wine Experience Rode The High Line

Celebrated wineries from the Haro Station District in Spain presented the past, present and future of winemaking on May 22, 2019.
Historic wineries from the famed Haro Station District in Spain came to together on Wednesday, May 22 at the High Line in New York City to celebrate the Rioja Railway Wine Experience.
The wineries in attendance included: Bodegas Gómez Cruzado, La Rioja Alta, S.A., Bodegas Bilbaínas Viña Pomal, Bodegas Muga and Bodegas RODA.

This is the first time these five wineries have come together in an international showcase with their most prestigious wines. The Rioja Railway Wine Experience is a milestone for these wineries as they have participated in La Cata del Barrio de la Estación in Haro in previous years, yet the wineries decided to come to one of the most important, global markets for an iconic event. With over 275 attendees at the Grand Tasting, this has been one of the largest focused wine and food events for trade on the High Line. The Masterclasses, The Rioja Railway: Past, Present and Future of Rioja Winemaking, moderated by the first Spanish Master of Wine, Pedro Ballesteros, demonstrated how Haro was at the epicenter of winemaking and turned Rioja into one of the top wine regions of the world. Over 100 attendees tasted Riojan wines from each decade, beginning in the 1970s up to today. “I am so honored these wineries chose me to help present their flagship wines,” said Ballesteros.

“I am so proud of the quality and depth these wineries have brought to the table, showing how Rioja, Haro specifically, has been at the forefront of winemaking and continues to be a dominate figure.”
Consumers also enjoyed the Rioja Railway Wine Experience – close to 400 guests were able to taste Spanish creations from top U.S. chefs paired specifically with the wines, including such chefs as: Nicole Gajadhar from Saxon + Parole; Ginger Pierce from Jams Restaurant; Preston Madson from il Buco Alimentari & Vineria; Francis Derby from Tessa; Cedric Durand from GAUDir. Proceeds from the consumer event benefited the James Beard Foundation, a national culinary non-profit organization working toward a more delicious, diverse, and sustainable food world for everyone. To learn more about the Foundation’s good food for good™ mission, visit: www.jamesbeard.org.
Guests were transported back to the mid-nineteenth century. The High Line in New York City played host to the tastings, representing the Haro District train station. With projections of historic imagery in Rioja and steam from the imaginary trains, the city park was transformed for a moment back into the former elevated freight train line.
“This has been an honor to bring La Cata del Barrio de la Estación to New York City,” said Manu Muga, vicepresident of The Train Station District Association in Spain. “The U.S. is a major market for wines from Rioja and the Rioja Railway Wine Experience allows us to share these historic wineries and our know-how to American wine connoisseurs.

And we hope to see some Americans visit us in Haro for La Cata in 2020!”.  Another online visibility tool from PRWeb Haro was one of the first cities in Spain to have the modern, new technology of the railway. While winemaking had been prevalent throughout Spain, it was in the 1860s that several wineries set up near the railway station in Haro, bringing wealth to the city and the country. For years, La Cata del Barrio de la Estación has taken place in Haro, bringing international focus to the Station District wineries, promoting the area as one of the top wine tourism destinations in the world. The wineries that participated in the Rioja Railway Wine Experience understand that their past helps to direct the future of their winemaking; they look to their roots to create wine that will resonate with the world and continue to bring recognition to Rioja and the Haro Station District for years to come. For more information about the Rioja Railway Wine Experience, please visit www.riojarailwaywineexperience.com.

Find us on Facebook at Rioja Railway Wine Experience, or on Twitter and Instagram @RiojaRailway. About La Cata del Barrio de la Estación The Station District (Barrio de la Estación) is a landmark in the city of Haro, located in the Rioja wine region. It boasts the highest concentration of centuries-old wineries in the world, which were built around a central point —the railway station, known as the golden mile of Rioja wine. A visit to the Haro Station District becomes a journey in time, where you can follow the evolution of wine and architecture during the last century. For more information, please visit: www.lacatadelbarriodelaestacion.com.

New York hosts the first international experience of the Station District

  • Rioja Railway Wine Experience to be held on 22 May at Manhattan’s iconic High Line.

 For the first time, five great wineries from Haro’s most emblematic district travel abroad together to show the world the greatness of their wines and the beauty of a unique destination in the world.

 Haro, January 2019—On 22 May, the Station District is travelling to New York to celebrate the first ‘Rioja Railway Wine Experience’, a meeting to showcase the winemaking philosophy and the great wines of five of the most important wineries in La Rioja and the Spanish wine scene: Bodegas Gómez Cruzado, La Rioja Alta, S.A., Bodegas Bilbaínas Viña Pomal, Bodegas Muga and Bodegas RODA.

The setting chosen for the celebration of this new event is the High Line, an iconic area located in the district of Manhattan. It is an elevated section of the East Side Line of the now-extinct New York Central Railroad. The choice of venue is a nod to the Haro railway station, where the famous Barrio de la Estación gradually came about with the construction of major wineries in the mid-nineteenth century.

The Rioja Railway Wine Experience will include some significant milestones. An exclusive historical master tasting for top-level American journalists and tasters will be led by Pedro Ballesteros MW, the first Spanish Master of Wine, who will provide a tour of the century-old history of the district and its wines. The five wineries have also organised a Grand Tasting targeting both wine industry professionals and a top gourmet audience. In total, more than 600 attendees are going to enjoy some of the best wines in La Rioja along with various tapas specially created for the occasion by leading US chefs.

This initiative reflects the international focus of the Station District wineries, promoting their historical and cultural value as the cradle of Rioja wine and as one of the top wine tourism destinations in the world, unique in its concentration of century-old wineries. On this first occasion, Rioja Railway Wine Experience will link the philosophy, culture, tradition and recognised quality of the wines made in this historic La Rioja district and New York City, providing a late nineteenth century ambiance with a 1920s look. It is undoubtedly a unique occasion for all lovers of wine and Spanish culture in the United States, a key market for Rioja Wine where a large percentage of visitors to our wine region come from.

Haro Station District committed to James Beard Foundation

Rioja Railway Wine Experience will also have a charitable facet. Thirty per cent of the revenues from tickets will go to the James Beard Foundation, the key culinary NGO in the United States, known for its annual James Beard awards. The purpose of the US foundation is to create programmes to improve food and sustainability, guided by values such as respect, transparency, diversity, sustainability and equality.

Global scope of Haro Station Wine Experience rewarded by Wine Routes of Spain

ACEVIN 4th Wine Routes of Spain Wine Tourism Awards recognise the quality of the event jointly organised by the seven wineries comprising the iconic Haro district.

The Haro Station Wine Experience has been given the Best Wine Tourism Initiative prize at the fourth Wine Routes of Spain Wine Tourism Awards, organised by the Spanish Association of Wine Cities (ACEVIN), with the support of the Spanish Secretariat of State for Tourism and Turespaña. This activity, whose third session was held last June, was given the award “for the cooperation of a group of Rioja Alta wineries, located in an iconic district full of history, in organising an event of global scope that combines tradition, premium wine tasting, the cuisine of renowned chefs, unique proposals in each winery and a festive and playful atmosphere around wine culture.”

This recognition is the result of the decision of a jury panel consisting of a score of experts from the wine tourism industry. They represent the organising associations as well as professionals from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, the wine industry, including the Spanish Wine Federation, the Spanish Conference of Wine Control Boards and the Spanish Wine Market Observatory, the wine tourism industry, including the Spanish Association of Wine Museums, the Spanish Wine and Food Tourism Association, in addition to renowned critics, writers and trade journalists.

The Haro Station Wine Experience thereby collects a new addition to its list of achievements which includes 2016 Rioja Capital Award for a Unique Initiative Linked to Food and Agriculture Resources given by the Government of La Rioja, the Best Wine Tourism Experience at the 2016 International Wine Challenge Awards Spain and the 2015 Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences Best of Wine Tourism award granted by the Great Wine Capitals network.

The prize-giving ceremony is to be held on 16 November at an event held in the Royal Tapestry Factory, Madrid, to be attended by the Secretary of State for Tourism as well as, possibly, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

Haro Station Wine Experience

With three successful events behind it, the Haro Station Wine Experience has been consecrated as one of the great wine and wine tourism events in Spain, where wine lovers and professionals come from all parts of the world to experience first-hand a great wine festival sponsored by the seven renowned wineries that comprise this district in Haro, the cradle of Rioja wine: López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, CVNE, Gómez Cruzado, La Rioja Alta, S.A., Viña Pomal Bodegas Bilbaínas, Bodegas Muga and Bodegas RODA.

Success of the most gourmet edition of the Haro Station Wine Experience

The third edition of the Haro Station Wine Experience, the most exclusive and gourmet edition, will close its doors after a successful first day. On a sunny, festive day in Haro, around 3,500 people, including end consumers and the press, have enjoyed a journey through Spanish wine growing history where the best wines from the La Rioja region, along with the most prominent local cuisine, have been the main players in an unforgettable experience.

“Wine and its culture have triumphed today, driven by the vivid movement which is that of the Haro Station Wine Experience,” Agustín Santolaya, the rotating president of the Station Wine Experience and Managing Director at Bodegas RODA stated.

“It has been amazing to see how the public has enjoyed the experience, enveloped in a magical surrounding filled with parties and happiness. Great La Rioja cuisine, put on by true artists like Francis Paniego, Carlos Echapresto and Juan Ángel Rodrigálvarez, went perfectly with the 14 splendid wines that we have tasted.”

The seven host wine cellars, López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, CVNE, Gómez Cruzado, La Rioja Alta, S.A., Viña Pomal Bodegas Bilbaínas, Bodegas Muga and Bodegas RODA, have offered a careful selection of 14 internationally renowned wines throughout the day, which have been tasted in a specially selected glass for this unique day, that the guests have taken away as a souvenir. Wines that have been perfectly combined with seven dishes from the best local cuisine, created for the occasion by the La Rioja Michelin Star chefs Francis Paniego -El Portal del Echaurren- and the Echapresto brothers – Venta Moncalvillo-.

Creations that have fused the renowned traditional yet innovative La Rioja cuisine with a proposal to delight the fans: “Echaurren ham and chicken croquettes” with Viña Tondonia Red Reserva 2005 and Viña Bosconia Red Reserva 2006 from López de Hederia Viña Tondonia winery, “Pork rib toasted brioche with honey sauce, spicy ‘alegría riojana’ chillies and pickled aubergines” with Viña Ardanza 2009 and Gran Reserva 904 2009 from La Rioja Alta, S.A., “Tail cuts with red wine over a creamed potato and its own sauce” with Muga Reserve Special Edition 2012 and Prado Enea Gran Reserva 2004 from Bodegas Muga winery, “Migas del pastor (breadcrumbs) with cooked meats from La Rioja, grapes and egg yolks” with Monopole Clásico 2015 and Imperial Reserva 2014 from CVNE, “Alubias pochas (succulent beans) with lightly fried vegetables and chillies in oil” with Honorable 2014 and Pancrudo 2016 from Gómez Cruzado, “Glazed cod with La Rioja sauce” with Viña Pomal Compromiso 2015 and Viña Pomal Gran Reserva 2011 from Viña Pomal Bodegas Bilbaínas winery and “Beef snouts stewed like ‘the boss’ showed us“ with RODA I 2010 and RODA 2013 from Bodegas RODA winery.

“After months of preparation, it has been very rewarding to see how the guests enjoyed each of the featured pairings. It is our duty to show the public the great culinary potential that La Rioja has, which is unbeatable when it is accompanied by the wines from the Station Wine Experience, and events like this are the perfect chance for that,” Ignacio Echapresto, a chef at Venta Moncalvillo stated. “It has been an honour for us to be part of such an ambitious project and to contribute to positioning our region amongst the best in the world,” added Paniego.

Also, the master confectioner Juan Ángel Rodrigálvarez, winner of the 2010 National Gastronomy Award for the Best Confectioner, gave it the final sweet touch with his “Maraví de Chocolate” dessert. “Being part of the amazing Haro Station Wine Experience line-up with a dessert like this has been an incredible opportunity. Events like the Haro Station Wine Experience are a sure bet for showcasing the quality of our products and the know-how of the region to the world,” he noted.

To reinforce the great entertaining atmosphere, the seven organising wine cellars have put on musical shows in the streets of the area, as well as different cultural and wine proposals with the added aim of giving the participants an insight into the art and culture of wine creation. So, the following stood out: “Disgorging the wine cellar” at Viña Pomal Bodegas Bilbaínas, “Imperial Aromas” at CVNE, “Cooperage, barrel breaking and barrels” at Bodegas Muga, “Artistic performance ‘Figures talk to wine’” at Bodegas Gómez Cruzado, “Artisanal racking” at La Rioja Alta, S.A., “Two architects: Juan Cabrera Latorre and Zaha Hadid” at López de Heredia Viña Tondonia and the “Projection”: “Each bottle is a reflection of our landscape” at Bodegas RODA.

Thanks to the successful third edition, the Haro Station Wine Experience is once again the embodiment of Spanish wine events, as the huge media coverage confirms thanks to the hundred national accredited journalists present.

It is a party that will continue on Monday 18th June, with the workshop for professionals which will bring together more than 800 people to Haro including journalists, sommeliers, Masters of Wine, wine and food critics, caterers, as well as thought leaders and international press from 11 countries. It is an appointment where the renowned MW Sarah Jane Evans will be the 2018 “Maquinista del Año,” giving a master tasting. It is an extravagant closing ceremony, matching up to an area that will soon start to prepare the next edition of this spectacular party.