Friday, 18 March 2011

Aroa Bodegas (Wineries)

Some of the Aroa vineyards with the new bodega on the hill in the distance.

In the season of 2004 we started incorporating organic wines in our wine list and one year later (after trying lots of different wines) we had a wine list made up exclusively of Spanish organic wines. In the beginning we had about 30 different organic wines on our wine list but over the years we have carefully selected about 20 of our most favourite wines to offer our guests

A recently pruned vine getting ready to send out its shoots for this season.

With out doubt one of our most favourite bodegas right from the beginning has been Bodegas Aroa. They have a philosophy of wanting to produce top quality wines and fully believe the best way to do this is by producing them organically. As we like to try and visit as many of our suppliers as possible we thought it time we visited Bodegas Aroa particularly as they had recently inaugurated new installations ready for this years grape harvest.

The recently finished bodega at Aroa

So on Wednesday we spent the day visiting the vineyards and wineries in the company of Txus and Kepa two of the key people behind the project. Bodegas Aroa started producing wine15 years ago from vineyards in the north of Navarra, an area which has been very famous for its wines for a long time. Over the following years they have planted more vineyards and now have about 20 hectares from which they will be producing about 120,000 bottles a year when the vines are all mature.

Kepa explaining about organic practices in the vineyard

They like us believe in the importance of caring for the soil in order to produce healthy crops. When they have to use a tractor they only ever pass it down alternate rows of vines so as to reduce soil compaction. The pruning’s and grass which grows in between the vines is cut and allowed to rot in situ so as to return natural organic matter back to the soil. Most of the crop treatments are based on plant extracts such as horsetail or stinging nettles and the vines are trained in such away so as to create a healthy environment around the grapes and thus reduce the possibility of disease entering. Their objective is not to produce lots of kilos of grapes but to produce top quality grapes so as to be able to produce top quality wines.

Testing different barrels of wine.

Up until this year Bodegas Aroa elaborated their wines in a neighbouring organic winery but after many years of planning they started building their own installations just over a year ago. One of their objectives is to be able to sell about 25% of their production locally, from the bodega itself. In order to do this they wanted to build a bodega people would want to come and visit, and they have certainly achieved that.

10,000 litre stainless steel deposits where the wine ferments.

Joe and Txus sampling wine from the barrel

The bodega consists of 4 stories; the lower two where the wine is elaborated is built under the ground and the upper two house the offices and restaurant. As it is situated on a slight hill there are stunning views of the surrounding valleys and mountains and most of their vineyards can be seen from the new bodega. The attention to detail in the design of the new bodega, the elaboration of the wines and the growing of the grapes is really impressive and it’s no wonder they produce such top quality wines.

The restaurante at Bodegas Aroa

In the hotel we stock four of their wines; a young Tempranillo Mutiko, a crianza Jauna, a reserve Gorena and a rosé made from grapes of Garnacha Tinto.

Aroa wine ready to be drunk in the hotel dining room

Bodegas Aroas is situated near the village of Estella in the province of Navarra and is just under a 5 hour drive from the hotel. The installation are open to visitors but it is necessary to make a booking first as it is to eat in the restaurant.

We wish them a long and successful business and thank them for such interesting day. More information on Aroa wines.

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Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.