Bodegas Beronia is a gorgeous winery located in the village of Ollauri which is situated in the heart of the Rioja Alta. It is very close to the popular town of Haro where many of the famous names reside. The winery has stunning views over their own vineyards. They also work with a large number of local growers. The ethos is focused on creating high-quality wines that represent the vineyards. Led by the incredible head winemaker Matias Calleja they produce a large range of wines including white and rosé.
History of Bodegas Beronia.
Bodegas Beronia has an unusual and rather youthful history having only been started in 1973. It was founded by a group of friends and businessmen as a holiday retreat. The group formed their own gastronomic society where they could enjoy great food and wine together. This principle is still withheld by the winery today.
In 1982 the winery became part of the González Byass Family, a group best known for their famous Tio Pepe Sherry!
Haro makes the perfect base to explore the wonders of Rioja from. It is easily reached by both car or train from the city of Bilbao or the smaller city of Logroño, which itself is the capital of Rioja. Haro has plenty of accommodation options. Many wineries which are open to visitor and there are great restaurants serving the famous ‘pinchos’. These are small tapas-like dishes which are best served with the local Rioja wine.
Visiting Bodegas Beronia.
Beronia offers a number of different experiences. Simple tours include a visit to the winery and a taste of the brilliant wines produced there. Visits can also be customised to suit your own needs. The team are incredibly kind and will go out of their way to make your experience one to always remember.
Most importantly- the wines!
Bodegas Beronia produces a large range of wines in a number of different collections. The classic range is the starting point where you can understand the ethos and character of the region and the style of Matias Calleja.
Interestingly the range includes both a white and a rosé wine which will suit those who prefer a lighter style of wine.
Their white is produced from 100% Viura, a white grape variety also known as Macabeo or Macabeu. The wine has fresh citrus fruit flavours and floral notes. It is the perfect accompaniment to fish pinchos such as fresh anchovies.
The rosé is a blend of the two most famous and highly planted varieties in Rioja, Garnacha and Tempranillo. It is elegant and well balanced with floral and fresh strawberry fruit flavours.
The rest of the collection is based on the traditional ageing stricture of Rioja, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva which you can learn more about here.
The next level up is the ‘Collection’ range. This consists of three fantastic single variety wines.
The Tempranillo has a rich ruby colour with aromatic cherry and plum flavours. The use of American oak barrels adds coffee and dark chocolate flavours to the wine.
The Graciano has a very floral aroma with lovely violet and bramble notes.
Finally, there is the incredible 100% Mazuelo Reserva. This grape variety is rarely produced unblended due to its strong, often harsh structure. However, the use of long barrel ageing and careful maceration means this is a well balanced, well-structured wine with high but soft tannins and a full body. There is a brilliant, complex flavour profile of spicy, herbal notes and dried prunes and figs.
Ecológico (organic). Bodegas Beronia Ecológico is an organic wine from selected bunches of Tempranillo. The winery has begun focusing more and more attention to careful vineyard management. This includes reducing spraying and using floor management practices to benefit the entire ecosystem of the area.
Then there is the all-important premium collection where exceptional winemaking skill has been used to produce outstanding rich and complex wines. Two of the collection are detailed below.
198 Barricas is produced mainly from Tempranillo with a touch of Graciano. The wine is aged in a mixed French and American oak barrel, which will be carefully explained to you when you visit! The intense aroma has wonderful coffee and dark chocolate notes. These rich flavours are balanced with spicy black pepper and dried thyme aroma.
III a.C. Beronia is a wine only produced in the finest years from the best parcels of grapes. It is an outstanding wine that keeps developing layers of flavour and has an incredibly long finish.
An added extra. Recently Beronia expanded into the well known white wine area of Rueda. They now produce a crisp, fresh wine from the Verdejo variety. This is an excellent alternative for any Sauvignon Blanc fans as it is hugely aromatic with flavours of lime, nectarine and a herbaceous grass like note.
If you don’t fancy a trip to Rioja, then the great news is that many of these wonderful wines are available in the UK. Pick up a bottle today and let me know what you think.