A harvest time visit to Bodegas Ochoa in Navarra

Feb 21, 14 A harvest time visit to Bodegas Ochoa in Navarra

Last Autumn, I visited the region of Navarra in Spain. Navarra is a bit off the beaten path except for the annual St. Fermin festival, better known as The Running of the Bulls, which takes place through the streets of the capital of the region, Pamplona.

town centre, Pamplona at night

town centre, Pamplona at night

Pamplona has a lovely Palacio in the main square as well as great medieval architecture. It’s easy to imagine the bulls running through the narrow streets and the adrenaline rush that goes along with it. There are of course lots of great little tapas bars. I do love  jamon, manchego cheese, chorizo and all the other tapas that are best with the wines of Spain – especially the wines of Navarra.

Tapas bar

Tapas bar

 

streets of Pamplona

streets of Pamplona

I had met Adriana Ochoa last Spring here in London so when I saw that a visit to Ochoa was on our itinerary of vineyards, I was excited to see Adriana again and taste more of her wines.

At Ochoa Bodega

At Ochoa Bodega

Adriana at lunch

Adriana at lunch with a gorgeous rose

Ochoa's rose

Ochoa’s rose

The Ochoa family have been making wine in Navarra for several centuries and Adriana and her sister are the next generation have take over. The current incarnation of Ochoa was founded in 1908. During lunch, Adriana explained a bit of the history of Navarra and their vineyard as well as their wine making philosophy. Adriana is one of the new generation of Spanish winemakers who have travelled around the world doing stints at various vineyards and she has brought back and implemented a few new innovations.

big skies of Navarra

big skies of Navarra

terroir of Olite

terroir of Olite

Adriana in the fields with the fruit of her labours

Adriana in the fields with the fruit of her labours

Their vineyards are outside the medieval town of Olite and as we were there during harvest, we got to visit the vineyards and even take a ride on a mechanical harvester.

the harvester at work

the harvester at work

Afterward we went back to the winery and watched while they unloaded the  just harvested grapes and even got a taste of literally ‘free run juice’.

grapes going into the hopper

grapes going into the hopper

fill'er up! free run juice

(close up) fill’er up! free run juice straight from the vineyard

As a side note, Olite has an awesome castle and medieval city centre and is worth a visit on its own.

castle of Olite

castle of Olite

turret of Olite

turret of Olite

Over lunch we sampled the various wines that Ochoa make, including a rose and some delicious reds. Ochoa grow tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon and merlot as well as an experimental plot of riesling. That comes from Adriana’s stint at Yalumba in Australia.

lunchtime

lunchtime

Mil Gracias, an homage to 3 generations of Ochoa, the wine is 100% graciano

Mil Gracias, an homage to 3 generations of Ochoa, the wine is 100% graciano

Ochoa Reserva 2007

Ochoa Reserva 2007 – standout wine from Ochoa, tempranillo, cabernet and merlot blend -seductive and full of succulent fruit, silky smooth tannins make this an excellent choice

I really enjoyed visiting Adriana and her family and if your looking for quality wines at a fair price, try the wines of Ochoa.

Ochoa vineyard

Ochoa vineyard

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. I had forgotten what a fantastic time we had there, and how great the weather – and the wines – were.
    http://www.spittoon.biz/grape-harvest-ochoa-navarra-spain/

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