Thursday, March 3, 2011

Another Day, Another Adventure: Haro La Rioja, Spain

Yesterday Jared and I took a 30 minute bus from Logrono to a town called Haro.  Haro is easily 1000 years old and there are plenty of buildings that are older than the entire United States.  Once again the way people live in these villages never ceases to amaze me.  The reason we went to Haro was for the bodegas (vineyards), this is what Haro is known for.  Haro is possibly one of the most famous wine cities in the world considering it has the best known Rioja winery's.

We walked around the town taking photos and had a pintxo before realizing we might need help finding Muga.  Muga is the bodega that we had scheduled a tour with.  We walked into the local police station where a nice police man was happy to show us the way.  The basically opened the door to give us our tour (along with a group of 4 Spanish people).  Everything was beautiful and the tour was in Spanish.  Apparently Muga is one of the most traditional bodegas.  They have been making wine the same way for a very long time.  Don't let traditional fool you though, this place pumps out a ton of wine.  You can see in my pictures how long the corridors of wine barrels are.  There were multiple rooms and the biggest room had about 50 of these long corridors.  Along with the aging wine in barrels they have 3 million bottles of wine ready to go.  One of the more interesting things to me was that they make their own barrels from raw materials (trees and iron).  I'm not sure if that is normal for wineries elsewhere or even here but I found it to be really interesting.  Another thing I did not know was that they put egg-whites into the wine.  The picture of the funny metal thing, and a trash can in front of a huge Muga wine barrel, shows you the egg-white separation station.  At the end of the 90 minute tour the tour guide opened up a bottle of white wine and a bottle of Crianza (6 month barrel aged red rioja).  We enjoyed a glass of each with the tour guide and the two elderly Spanish couples.  The white wine was especially good because I usually do not like white wines but this was delicious.  The Crianza was great as well but I am quite used to these wines after living here for 6 months.  Sadly the Muga pictures are a bit dark but hopefully you can get a good idea what it was like.

There are a few things I am looking forward to in the next couple of weeks that you will probably see pop-up on my blog.  First I will be writing an article for about the Muga Bodega and the town of Haro (my pictures will be used too if they arent too dark).  I also will be having an interview that I did with a rapper called Dominique Young Unique on the music site that I have been working for.  I'm pretty excited about it because Dominique is really on the up-and-up being named artist of the day by SXSW, "hot new artist" by Beyonce in Vogue, etc..  I will post a link to the interview once it is up on the site.

As for the fun stuff, tonight Jared and I going to a see food festival at the Plaza De Toro's.  They have fresh seafood from Galicia, a region in northern Spain known for it's seafood.  This weekend is carnival and apparently most places in the world celebrate this by dressing up and partying, Logrono is no exception.  I will try to take some pictures and post about it if it's fun.  And finally, I will be going to Madrid in 2 weeks to take care of some paperwork for my South Korea visa, maybe I will get someone to meet me there (like Jacob or Caity).

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