Spain’s northern region of Navarra produces some excellent wines, but it’s often overlooked in favour of its more famous neighbour – La Rioja. If you want to visit wineries without the crowds, then this could be just the place. Take a look at our pick of the best vineyards to visit in Navarra.
The Bodegas Ochoa are located just north of the pretty town of Olite, and own 145 hectares of vineyards, making wine exclusively from their own grapes. They make all different varieties of wines here, from reds, rosés and whites to Crianzas, Gran Reservas, Tempranillos and Moscatels. It’s a modern looking winery with a sleek storage room, a glossy shop and tasting area. Tours last for 90 minutes and cost €10 (USD$11.65) per person. They are conducted in Spanish, English and French and include a visit to the winery, three tastings and a tasting of their virgin olive oil. Call ahead to book your tour.
A relatively new winery, Bodega Inurrieta is located in Navarra‘s Ribera Alta district. It was only built in 2002, even though the family’s ancestors had been growing vines on the land for centuries. Today, they grow six types of grapes here – Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Garnacha, Graciano and Syrah. The winery itself has the capacity to hold over 4 million litres of wine between its various rooms. One of the most interesting places for visitors is the bodega’s grand cask room, with temperature and humidity controls, and both French and American oak barrels. Call ahead to reserve a visit.
Señorío de Andión is one of the wineries owned by the Belasco family, who also own Marco Real Bodegas, and is located in the picturesque town of Olite. It is a modern winery, built in 2003, and manages to be both avant-garde and traditional. The winery relies on the most advanced techniques to produce its bottles. It is the only winery in Navarra which uses French-oak barrels with independent hot/cold system. As well as tours, it also has a restaurant and accommodation.
Founded in 1674, Bodegas Chivite is one of the oldest wineries in Spain. This renowned winemaker has been producing wines for eleven generations, and the grapes are grown 120 hectares of land which has been in the Chivite family for many years. They make three different wine collections – Chivite Coleccion 125, a range which was launched in 1985 to commemorate the first exports in 1860; Chivite Finca de Villatuerta, three newer wines from the hillside vineyards of Tierra Estella; and Chivite Las Fincas, which was made in collaboration with Michelin-starred restaurant Arzak in San Sebastián.
Bodega Nekeas is as much about olive oil as it is about wine, and is located just outside the village of Añorbe around 23km (14.3 miles) south of Pamplona. They make whites, rosés and reds from a variety of different grapes. Visits take 90 minutes and feature guided tours in English, Spanish or French. Each tour costs €12 (USD$14), and includes a tasting of two different wines, two different olive oils and some snacks.
The Bodega de Sarría is located in the picturesque town of Puente de la Reina, which sits right on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. It was founded in 1953 and is housed in an old building, hidden among vineyards of 1,300 hectares. Because of the soil conditions here, it produces wines of excellent quality. Tours of the winery including a tasting of one wine and take place on Mondays to Thursdays from 9.30am to 4.30pm, and on Fridays from 9.30am to 1pm.
Bodegas Beramendi are situated in the small village of San Martín de Unx, some 53km (33 miles) south of Pamplona, where there are also a number of other wineries. The winery was founded in 1990 and started by making young reds and rosés, using their own grapes. Today, it has the capacity to hold 1,200,000 litres of wine, which it stores in both French and America oak barrels. What makes the bodega stands out though is that it’s headed up by two women – María Luisa Marco and María Luisa Janices. Tours teach visitors the process of making the wine and can also include lunch or dinner. They take place on Wednesdays and Fridays between 10am and 2pm and 4pm and 6pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays by prior appointment only.