Our day starts with a bus ride from Pamplona to Cirauqui, where we start our walk on a Roman road! We’ve entered Navarra’s wine country.
This wine-producing region is located mainly in the centre and eastern part of Navarra. Although this region is not as well known as other wine regions in Spain, such as Galicia, it has a long history of winemaking dating back to Roman times. Traditionally, the production of red wines was dominant in the region, but in recent years, rosé wines (“Rosados”) have gained significant popularity and recognition. Indeed, this may be one of the few regions in Spain where rosés are as popular as reds and whites. Like many reds in Spain, the Tempranillo grape variety is the most common in the region. However, wines are also produced using Garnacha and even Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
After passing through the medieval village of Lorca, our walk for today ends in Villatuerta where we will enjoy another delicious picnic al fresco!
After lunch we ride just a few miles down the road to visit the town of Estella and the Irache Wine Fountain.
Estella was once an important merchant hub in the 11th century. Wandering through its narrow streets is almost like an outdoor museum, where we can admire churches, palaces, and buildings that date back to different periods. Amongst these are the 12th-century Palace of the Kings of Navarre, the Romanesque churches of San Pedro de la Rúa and San Miguel with their outstanding sculptures, and the somewhat weathered but still impressive Church of the Holy Sepulcher dating back to the 12th century.
As we leave Estella, we stop at the ancient Benedictine Monastery of Irache, where the winery still honors the ancient tradition of providing free wine to pilgrims! The Wine Fountain is a unique and generous offering to pilgrims and travelers passing through the region. It is located at the entrance of the Bodega Irache and dispenses red wine for pilgrims to enjoy and toast to a successful pilgrimage.
We stop here to enjoy a gourmet picnic featuring local produce. After all, who doesn’t love lunch with a free glass of wine? This tradition dates back to 1991 when the local winery set up the fountain as a goodwill gesture to the weary travelers. Don’t forget to say hi to the world on the live webcam feed!
Logroño is an important city known for its historical significance, vibrant culture, and association as a world-famous wine-producing region. The city celebrates its wine heritage with numerous wine bars (“bodegas”) and wineries, offering visitors a chance to sample a wide variety of local wines. And as we are in Logroño, capital of the La Rioja region, it would only be appropriate to spend the afternoon with a visit to a local bodega to sample some of these fine bottles of treasured red wine!
For dinner we head to Calle Laurel and Calle San Juan. These two lively streets are famous for their vibrant tapas culture. The “pinchos” (small snacks) are a highlight in Logroño, attracting locals, tourists, and pilgrims alike to enjoy the culinary delights while strolling from bar to bar.