Navarra, Spain is one of the most famous regions for wine. Luis Olarra founded his winery, Pago de San Gabriel, in Navarro near Rioja and Bordeaux. With these two significant influences, Navarro provides some of the highest quality wines in the world. With such proximity to Rioja and Bordeaux, many winemakers settled here as far back as the ancient world. Many of the grapes grown in the region are French with only 30 percent being indigenous to Spain. The majority of wine production is red or rose with only five percent being white wines from Chardonnay or Cabernet Blanc grapes. The Denominacion de Origen (DO) is responsible for quality control in the region and sets the standards for vineyards in Navarra. They began controlling the region in 1933, but changed their focus to quality over quantity in the 1980s. The year 2008 brought about even more changes when the DO permitted vineyards to implement new and innovative processes to both the grape growing and winemaking procedures. With such an forward thinking regulation system, Navarro and Pago de San Gabriel are able to revolutionize the way winemaking is done and continue to provide some of the highest quality wines in the world.
Navarra Pago De San Gabriel Luis Olarra Castejon
The Pago de San Gabriel winery is on the border of La Rioja in Castejon, a Spanish municipality. It was founded by Luis Olarra and spans 31 hectares, providing some of the most notable red wines in the world. The repertoire of Pago de San Gabriel includes Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
An extensive vineyard with seven buildings surrounded by vineyards, the Pago de San Gabriel can produce up to 300,000 liters of wine per year. These wine have a distinctly unique flavor that comes from their French and Russian oak barrels.
Most of the wines have bold, robust flavors that incorporate aromas of graphite, dark fruits, and rich flowers. The wines are uniquely Navarra in flavor. Navarra is a region in northern Spain that is for their high quality wines. It lies between Rioja and the border of France.
Famous for the running of the bulls during the San Fermin festival, Pamplona is the capital of Navarra, but the region gains its wine influences from Bordeaux, France nearby. With such a lush history, Navarra has been growing grapes for winemaking since ancient times. This ideal location made it an easy transition for winemakers from Rioja and Bordeaux. While many wineries incorporate French varieties of grapes like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, they have plant indigenous Spanish grapes, like Tempranillo and Garnacha, as well. About 70 percent of all grapes planted are of French origin while the other 30 percent is for Spanish grapes.
While Navarra does have the influence of white wines like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, 95 percent of all wines produced in the region are reds or roses. Under the Navarra Denominacion de Origen (DO), only 14 grape varieties are allowed in the region. The DO took control over the area in 1933, setting the growing standards for Navarra. In the 1980s, the focus of the DO changed from quantity to quality and is responsible for the stunning growth in popularity of wines from Navarra. In 2008, the DO permitted wineries and vineyards to begin with innovative processes to find new ways of growing and wine making.
The Navarran climate has long hot summers with cold winters, ideal for grape growing. The scenery of the vineyards in Navarra is breathtaking with grapes growing on trellises to maximize the sunlight exposure during the ripening period. With more than 2,400 vines per hectare, the yields are often high in this region, even without much annual rainfall. Protected by the banks of the rivers and foothills of the mountains, Navarran grapes are protected from drastic temperatures that provide frosts and violent storming that can be present at higher altitudes.
Luis Olarra founded his winery in one of the most prestigious locations of Spain for both French and Spanish influenced wine production. With the sandy soil and heavy oak fermentation processes, the wines of Pago de San Gabriel are rich and round that leave a strong flavor and memorable finish.