Every second Sunday of November, #winelovers celebrate the European Day of Wine Tourism.
We decided to spend this special weekend practising Enotourism and visit two Spanish wine regions: Cariñena on Saturday and Navarra on Sunday.
First stage: Saturday, November 7th – Cariñena
The first day we visited Cariñena, the main town of Campo de Cariñena wine region.
Cariñena is located in the north-east of Spain, in the province of Zaragoza, near the Ebro river valley, and it is one of the historic areas in Spain.
Cariñena is the only region in the world to give its name to a grape variety, the Cariñena grape. The name Cariñena was also used to identify the Denomination of Origin in 1932, the oldest to gain official recognition in Spain.
You may have seen it written as Carignena (in French).
As we reached the town by car we were impressed by the astonishing autumn landscapes coloured in reds, yellows and browns.
Autumn landscapes in Cariñena
The Grape Harvest Festival in Cariñena has been celebrated since 1960, and during this celebration, wine flows from the Fountain of La Mora instead of water. The exact date of this event varies depending on the beginning of the grape harvest in the zone (mid September).
Fountain of La Mora
First we visited the Wine Museum where you can learn more details about the wine making tradition of this land and the characteristics of the wines.
Cariñena Wine Museum sign
We finally visited Ignacio Marín winery (see map) and bought some bottles of Ballad (100% Garnacha) and Barón de La Joyosa (50% garnacha, 30% Tempranillo, 20% Cariñena.)
You may have heard of Garnacha and Cariñena before. In french: Grenache and Carignena.
Ballad & Barón de La Joyosa wines
We stopped beside this winery to have lunch in “Mesón Los Toneles” (the menu is quite good)
Second stage: Sunday, November 8th – Olite
We left behind the Garnacha&Cariñena land of wine to enter the Navarra wine region.
In the central zone of the province of Navarra the landscape is mainly formed by soft slopes of vineyards. It is similar to La Rioja region, and autumn is a perfect season to visit it. This land is a suitable place for grape production and making good wines.
The wine has been present in the culture of this region for many centuries, wine-making and wineries have been the major source of wealth of its inhabitants.
The chosen place to stay is the monumental and historic town of Olite, considered the main town in the middle of the Navarra wine route. We spent the night in the Parador of Olite, a perfect place to travel to the past to the medieval times of the 15th century.
Parador de Olite – Hotel where we stayed
Olite has a few wineries worth a visit:
(Better check timetables on their website before visiting them.)
You may also want to visit the Navarra Denomination of Origin headquarters, also in Olite.
It’s also interesting to visit the Wine Museum in Olite (just beside the Parador, where we stayed), where you will learn more about the history of this wine region, how the wineries produce their wine in Navarra, the vineyards and different grape varieties, and many other things related to the world of wine.
It’s been a great weekend, very exciting as we didn’t know much about these 2 wine regions, but in spite of not being so well-known as others like La Rioja, Ribera del Duero or Priorat, they have an impressive wine history and a vast winemaking culture.
And, of course, enjoyed tasting all the wines! 🙂
Although we tasted great wines on both regions, we preferred the Navarra region with their crianza reds and their original rosé wines.
What about you? Have you ever visited these Spanish wine regions?
Have you tried their wines?