One thing I'm thankful for this year? Living in a culture where wine tastings are a normal and totally acceptable weekend activity. My goal is to go to as many bodegas as possible before I leave La Rioja. I've only been to one since moving here, so I have many to get to before June. Thus, my friends and I hopped on the bus to a nearby bodega called Ontañón. In my personal search for bodegas to visit this one was not on my list, so I was excited to see what it had to offer. A friend of a friend recommended this particular bodega and despite the rain it did not disappoint.
This bodega was a bit different from Marques de Riscal. From the architecture to the tour itself, I am slowly learning that each bodega shows its goods in various ways. For example, Ontañón focused more on how to taste each wine (smells, sips, etc.) versus Marques de Riscal who focused more on the process of making the wine and showing the vineyard. At this point I don't think I have a preference for how the wine tasting and wine process is displayed, but it's always nice to see people put their own spin on a seemingly formulaic experience. I did like that Ontañón began with a wine tasting in the beginning then a tour of the facility and artwork, plus more wine at the end. Ontañón even included super delicious pincho-style food, which I also enjoyed.
Ontañón was a very fun, light-hearted wine tasting visit. The host, Jesús, made the information easy to understand and follow along without being repetitive or boring. His jokes throughout the visit added to the relaxed and comfortable environment. From the importance of being family-orientated business to the homages to Dionysus, the God of Wine, I thought Ontañón was a great place to spend a rainy Saturday evening. I hope to have more pleasant wine tastings to come. Two down, many more to go!
What's your favorite brand of wine?
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.