Bodega #3! On Saturday my friends and I went to a bodega in the nearby pueblo of Laguardia called Campillo. Laguardia is roughly 30 minutes via bus from Logroño. I heard about this one from a teacher at my school so I had high expectations for the visit. It turned out to be a super foggy, cold, misty, day, but the visit itself was enjoyable. Also, a friend who is teaching in Madrid came to visit this past weekend too and you can't come to La Rioja without going to a bodega. Thus, it was perfect excuse to do another tasting!
I'm no expert, but I have learned a lot about bodegas even though I've only been to three thus far. As I mentioned in the previous winery post from Ontañón, each bodega has their own approach to presenting their product. Campillo felt like a mix of Marques de Riscal and Ontañón. We saw the process and equipment used to make the wine like Marques de Riscal and we focused on the taste of the younger wine and older wine we tried, similar to Ontañón. Seeing the 2 million bottles of Jovén, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva wine just waiting to be ready, bought and opened was a new aspect of a bodega I hadn't seen before either.
Speaking of Jovén, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva wines, those are classifications of the type of wine you drink in La Rioja based on the time it sat aging. I've left an explanation of the minimum requirements below, but Crianza is the one I drink and order the most. You can visually tell the difference between them because Jovén wine is a lot lighter in color than the dark red Gran Reserva wines. I doubt I will try more than Crianza because Reserva and Gran Reserva are quite expensive, however it's good knowledge to have for when I hopefully make more money one day.
Jovén - 1 to 2 years aging in low or no oak cask
Crianza - 1 year in oak cask and 1 year in a bottle
Reserva - 1 year in oak cask and 2 years in a bottle
Gran Reserva - 2 years in oak cask and 3 years in a bottle
Most bodegas only focus on the process of red wine, so the some of the wine classfications above are different for white wines, which I did not realize. Something else new I learned from Campillo was that the oak used for the casks is different depending on where the winemaker gets it. For instance, American oak is cheaper than French oak. However American oak is smoother. In the end, I thought it was a vey well-balanced visit! On our way out, we even got a bottle of wine each that was included in our 9 euro visit price tag. That was a nice touch and definitely made me want to come back to see the bodega itself in full bloom in the Spring!
Could you run a winery? Do you think it's easy or too much work? Sound off below
I'd rather splurge on a good meal than a nice hotel, wine than water and plane tickets than club covers. Traveling and eating are my two favorite things, so follow my journey to see where I go and eat next! I'm just living my best life.