Campo Viejo Winery – La Rioja Spain

Campo Viejo Winery La Rioja Spain

A day in the Campo Viejo Winery for the start of the harvest season.

They say “If you want to discover the true taste of Rioja, there is no better place than Campo Viejo winery” and I could not agree more. I had such an amazing time on my press trip to Campo Viejo Winery, La Roja Spain for the start of the Harvest season, I didn’t want to come back home. I harvested grapes, I ate tapas with the locals in Logrono and explored the famous Guggenheim museum in Bilbao on my way home.

Rows of vines in  Campo Viejo vineyards

The press trip to northern Spain was organised by Campo Viejo Winery and Iris Worldwide to show bloggers and journalists the beauty of La Rioja region and the hard work that goes behind each bottle of Campo Viejo. Also to celebrate the Spanish festivities of the start Harvest season when the grapes are ripe in September and October.



At the same time it provided a unique opportunity to discover and learn about Campo Viejo Rioja’s biggest producing winery – From learning to pick grapes the correct way (I am a pro now), to seeing the whole processes of grapes being fermented and turned into wine, to meeting the winemakers who are discovering new and creative wines in the nano winery.

Colourful art installation in the vineyard

Learning How to pick grapes

We only just arrived at the Campo Viejo Winery and I had already taken at least a hundred photos (it is very instagrammable) before we had even done anything. It was time to go harvest the grapes and get our hands dirty. We were introduced to the staff and were kitted out with our gear. Donning my hi-vis vest, protective goggles, gloves, gumboots and garden scissors, I felt like a professional grape picker.

Melbtravel showing freshly picked grapes

Harvesting is very dependent on weather as it can only happen on sunny days and lucky for us, we had a beautiful sunny day. We spent about an hour learning how to cut the grapes correctly from the vine and cutting the white grapes ourselves and filling the tubs in a pair. I have to admit though, my grape partner and I got a little distracted eating the grapes and taking pictures and only filled one tub 🙂

Tub of freshly picked grapes with hat, gloves and shears

Before we moved on to the winery to process the grapes and make wine, I notice that a table was set up in the middle of the Campo Viejo winery fields. It was covered with what looked like succulent ham, Spanish omelette, bread and of course some of the famous Campo Viejo wine to wash it all down. It looked like something straight out of a movie set and I didn’t want to mess it up and eat but I did and it was so delicious.

I thought, if this is only a snack, I can not wait to see what we have for lunch and dinner.

 Afternoon snacks and wine in the vineyard

The winery to process the grapes and make wine

With a satisfied tummy of food & wine, we headed over to the newly built (completed in 2013) Campo Viejo’s nano-winery. It was also the first time that I realised the scale of this huge construction underneath the winery when walking through. The nano-winery was designed to allow Campo Viejo’s winemakers to be experimental and test the new varieties and improve their production techniques. If successful, then it is implemented into bigger scales.

Blue boxes of freshly picked grapes ready to be turned into wine

It was in here that we completed the next process of grapes being turned into juice and learnt about fermentation. As our grapes were lifted onto the conveyor belt we needed to sort by hand by removing the dry or mouldy ones and also any creepy crawlies like bugs and spiders (yes there was spiders).  Then it transfers into a machine that removes the stalks and steams off the skins. The grapes are then pressed into a sweet, fresh juice.

From here it is transferred to fermentation tanks, where the sugar is released from the juice and is turned into alcohol. The wine is tasted every morning by one of the winemakers to check that the fermentation is progressing well and that the temperature in the tanks are right. We were able to taste the juice at two different stages, once when it has started fermenting (more juice than alcohol) and the second when it had nearly all changed to alcohol. It was great to hear from the winemakers and test the wine at different stages, as it allowed us to understand more about the process and the flavours. Once the wines are fermented, they are blended and aged in oak barrels or bottles for various lengths of time.

Pouring wine from the fermentation tanks

The Celler and Barrel ageing room

As we stroll through the underground building you can not help but be flabbergasted by the sheer size of this amazing construction, everywhere you walk there is a huge door with production happening behind it. I felt like I was a kid in the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory being intrigued wanting to know what was going on in all the rooms.

We took a quick stop at the largest underground cellar I have seen, with I think over 6 million bottles in storage. The rows of bottles just went on and on and didn’t seem to stop. No wonder why they are one of the biggest selling wines in the world. All the bottles are carefully placed in sections in order to make sure that everything is consistent with the different types of wines and ages.

thousands of barrels of wine aging underground

From there we headed over to the Barrel ageing room and not only is it one of the most impressive barrel ageing rooms I have ever seen but probably my favourite area (if you could call it that) at the winery. I have never seen so many barrels of wine before in my life and I am sure there was enough in there to supply a whole country for years. I even joked that if the world ended, I was coming here to live out my life a happy person.

It is not even just the bottles or the volume of Barrels that fill this room but the whole design that has gone into creating such an area, even when you look at the very large scale window, it looks like a painting and not the actual landscape that is outside. As quoted by the architect himself  Ignacio Quemada “What a beautiful place, where do I put 45,ooo sq.m. without ruining it”

Red wine grapes hanging on the vine

Painting with Wine

Yes, you read the heading correctly, we had the fun experience of creating a picture by staining a piece of paper (the artist usually uses fabric) with red wine and using a wax resist to build a light/dark pattern. Don’t worry though as we didn’t use too much of the wine, we were drinking it as much as we were painting with it.

painting with wine

Private dinner at Campo Viejo winery

Our day could not have ended any better than with a delicious barbecued dinner cooked on coals with a glass of Cava to start and then on to the wines. While mingling with the other bloggers and winemakers with one of the most amazing sunsets that I have seen in while that looked like the sky was on fire.

sunset over  Campo Viejo winery

I stopped and thought for a minute that I appreciated the fact that the winemakers loved their jobs so much and it showed especially with their knowledge and for really taking the time to explain the winery to us. Not only did I go away with some great memories of the day but I also got to learn something new not just about Campo Viejo Wine but the process of wine making in general.

A great end to a fantastic day spent with lovely people at the Campo Viejo Winery!

 Campo Viejo vineyard and winery building

The Campo Viejo Winery

Founded by two local winemakers Beristain and Ortigüela in 1959, the winery as you see it today was only opened in 2001. The Campo Viejo winery is definitely one of a kind, a warm stone coloured modern building on a sunny hilltop taking advantage of the views across the La Roja region. With a huge and well managed operation constructed underground to create dark, serene areas. It is certainly not a winery of dusty dank cellars, it’s a modern marvel that evokes the feeling of traditional Rioja wineries. 

view over vineyard from  Campo Viejo winery

Some of the Campo Viejo Rioja Wines

  • Campo Viejo Tempranillo (a bold wine, but also very versatile to pair with many dishes)
  • The Garnacha (a great summer red and the fruitiest of Campo Viejo wines)
  • The Reserva (a more complex, spiced wine, aged 18 months in barrel and 18 months in the bottle)
  • Gran Reserva (made with specially selected grapes and aged for two years in barrel and three years in the bottle)

New Release -Campo Viejo Cava Brut Reserva

New for the season and just in time for Christmas is the new Campo Viejo Cava Brut Reserva. I have to admit this is one of my favourites but I do like bubbles through which girl doesn’t?

An exploding bottle of Campo Viejo Cava Brut Reserva

Campo Viejo Fiesta de Color London June 2017

Here are a few words from Campo Viejo wine and champagne expert, Kate Bedwell about what makes it so special

  • How is it made?

A blend of three local grape varieties Parellada, Xarello & Macabeo, made in the traditional method, ‘metódo traditional’, which is the same way that Champagne is made

  • What makes it special?

Campo Viejo Cava is aged for an additional 15 months before it’s released, so it develops delicious complexity in the bottle, making it more interesting to drink – it develops delicate biscuit-y aromas!

  • What does it taste like?

The flavours are full of zesty citrus notes: lemon, lime, with a touch of green apple, and a delicate creaminess that comes from time the Cava has spent the bottle-ageing.

Campo Viejo Winery Location

Located just 5klms away from the capital city Logrono and right in the middle of the Rioja country is the Campo Viejo Winery. Perched on a small mountain that has some of (or considered the best) views across the La Rioja Region, Spain.


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The closest international airport is Logrono but is small and the flights are not regular and tend to be more expensive. You would be best to fly to Bilbao, as the flights are more frequent and also more options in regards to transfers to La Rioja Region or Logrono. From there you can get a transfer or hire a car 

Signpost in the vineyard

Tips for Campo Viejo Winery

  • Book your wine tour online for the Campo Viejo Winery to guarantee a spot & time.
  • Use Logrono as your base during your trip, from there is only 15minutes car ride to Campo Viejo winery
  • If you do stay in Logrono, I recommend Hotel Boutique Marqués de Vallejo which is where I stayed.
  • Take an extra few days (or day) and stay in the picturesque city of Bilbao

CampoViejo Winery Helpful Information:

What to expect on the tour

If you take a Campo Viejo Winery tour you will see how wines are made, learn and understand their environmentally friendly practices. Not to mention enjoy a wine tasting session of their favourite vintages.

Wine Tours:

  • 10.30 am, 1 pm  & 3 pm on weekdays
  • 10.30 am, 1 pm on weekends

holding a bunch of freshly picked grapes

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you were able to learn a little bit more about Campo Viejo Winery La Roja Spain and helped you in deciding to a wine tour there. If you are interested in discovering more of Spain you can check out my posts on Why Mountain Bike Riding in Galicia Spain should be on your list 

 Campo Viejo visitors centre overlooking the vineyard

 

Have you been to Campo Verjio or Logrono before? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Even though I was invited by the Campo Viejo Winery  All views are my own and based on my own experience.

 

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58 Comments

  1. I’ve been to Spain many of times but never to Campo Verijo. I actually love this rioja from Campo Viejo, so it was really interesting to see how it’s made. The sunset dinner sounded incredible, and very beautiful too I can imagine. Painting with wine is a new one, would love to give it a go!

    1. I love their wine to and it definitely worth a visit to the winery, it is such an interesting place to see and think is it really cool how everything is under the ground.

  2. I did a road trip up through Spain this year (I live in Malaga) but didn’t have time to stop in the wine country. So it’s on the list for next Spring and I’ve bookmarked this post to go back to when I am planning the trip. Excellent post – lovely photos and can’t wait to try that sunset dinner! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. I went to Malaga years ago and I have been wanting to go back, I will have to ask you some tips when I do though. You definitely have to go here and visit it so nice and thank you in regards to my pictures.

  3. I am a huge Campo Viejo fan & I have had this place on my bucketlist for a while now. That is interesting that you can paint with wine not heard of that before. You have some beautiful photos too.

  4. AAAAAmazing! I would love to be in the vineyards around harvest season and the photos and descriptions and details just make me want to explore this particular region even more. Spanish wine is pretty great but I am yet to explore their wine regions, so that’s something to plan for the future.

  5. Wow what a great experience! All though I live in Switzerland I dont drink much wine to be honest. But I do love to learn a bit more about the wine making! That wine cellae is impressiv and also the lunch you had on the vineyards!

  6. What an awesome experience to have! I’d love to hang out in (and photograph!) those vines and learn more about the winemaking process during the day. That food looks incredible, too! Definitely a trip worth taking note of. 🙂

  7. Oh!! I love this, I would personally like to visit a tour like this one. I am a non-alcoholic person and only drink wine very often (that too started very recently) so I need to know more about wine. It is such an informative tour for me plus I agree so instagrammable 😀

  8. Oh wow – as a red wine fan (Rioja in particular,) I’m very jealous, what an experience! I’ve only been to a few vineyards in New Zealand so visiting more would be amazing, I might have to add this to the To Do list. And the wine painting is so clever!

  9. Campo Viejo is one of my dads favourite wines, when he passes through northern Spain he always fills the car with it. I’m not sure they exact one he gets but it os one with the yellow labels. I just visited Bilbao and told him he must visit, after reading where his favourite wine is from he’ll definitely head out to Logrono and Campo Viejo too!

  10. I’ve been in the Rioja region before, but only to drink the wine, never to pick it. I bet picking those grapes really makes one appreciate all the labor that goes into a bottle.

  11. Campo Viejo Winery looks like an exotic place to visit and enjoy full day. Though now a very keen wine drinker but I love grapes farm and plucking them would be so nice. Having breakfast by their side under blue sky is perfect day spent in nature. This place gives me many ideas to paint for. Loved your photos of grapes specially that purple one.

  12. I love their wine and never knew that they done wine tours in their winery. I will definitely be going there now when I’m in Spain. Beautiful pictures

  13. I have not really been to a proper winery to see how they pick grapes. Must have been such an incredible experience. As a wine lover, I would love to visit Campo Viejo and see the harvesting and process. Thank you for sharing your experience in Campo Viejo. I am craving wine now. haha

  14. It looks like they make the tour a fun and educational experience at the same time. Spain is one of those countries I know very little about, however friends in Germany are recommending we meet in Spain next year, as it is their favorite country to visit. Perhaps these wineries will end up on our itinerary!

  15. I’ve been to several wine tastings and tours, including Napa Valley, and this place looks absolutely amazing. A day of picking grapes and then touring the picturesque premises sounds like the perfect day. I’m so jealous that you got to have a delicious barbecued dinner cooked on coal! I loooove BBQ and wine 🙂

    1. I have always wanted to go to the Napa Valley, when I do though I will be contacting you for tips 🙂 I definitely recommend this winery and btw I love a good bbq and wine too 😉

  16. I am not much of a wine drinker but I would love to go on a field trip and know all about the process how wine is made. La Rioja looks like a great place, the place got some really nice scenery. Would love to sit and relax there. I loved your photography.

    1. You don’t have to be a wine drinker to go here, as it all about learning how to pick grapes and everything that goes before the wine. Drinking it is just an added bonus!!!!!

  17. What a fun press trip! I love that it was so hands-on. I would’ve gotten distracted eating the grapes too! I’ve never actually visited a winery but if this is THE PLACE to go, I definitely should give it a go!

    1. I am not just saying this because I was on a press trip but this place was really interesting and wow. I could not get over how big it was and it helped that we had some amazing wine too.

  18. What are unique experience this was. I never expected to see that big colorful thing at the Back of the vineyards ha ha. Anything that has to do with the wine is OK in my book. I’d love to go to Spain and try all the food and alcohol there, maybe one day.

  19. What an exciting experience! I think the harvesting is probably the most exciting part of the wine-making process. I had no idea that you had to wait for a sunny day, but then again, I bet there are lots of sunny days in Spain.

  20. What a brilliant day – wine, bread, Spanish omelette, who could ask for more? I’ve had Campo Viejo many a time but didn’t know anything about the winery. I’m now inspired to visit Spanish wine country…

  21. What a great experience and a gorgeous place to experience it all in! Love the pictures of the vineyards and the grape picking. It looks like you had the best time.

  22. Wow, what a cool experience! Its great they let you get hands on in the process! Campo Verjio seems like a really neat winery to visit and they’ve got some funky art happening locally too!

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