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A tour of Rioja’s Dinastía Vivanco

Dinastía Vivanco, Rioja
Dinastía Vivanco, Rioja

Rioja’s Dinastía Vivanco in Briones is a must visit winery. During a tour we discovered the passion behind Dinastía Vivanco Winery, Museum and Foundation's goal of sharing wine culture. Dinastía Vivanco is indeed the best place in La Rioja to experience both wine and culture. For four generations the Vivanco family have been involved in winemaking. The result is today the Vivanco family produces award-winning wines using Rioja grape varieties grown in their estate vineyards. Let us take a look at some vignettes from our tour of Dinastía Vivanco.

Vignettes from our Dinastía Vivanco tour

Our #dwcc13 wine bloggers half-day visit to Dinastía Vivanco began with a tapas and wine lunch. This was followed by a tour of the vineyard, winery and museum. During the museum tour we also did a wine tasting.

Vignette #1: Tapas and wine for lunch

Part of the approach to preparing the tapas was not only pairing the tapas with wine. The cuisine also included the use of wine as textures and flavors. The tapas served for lunch included:

- Smoked Scallop Slices with Malvasia Jelly

- Pink/Rosé Octopus

- Foie marinated in the Tannins of 4 Varietales and Wine Caviar

- The Potato and La Rioja

- The Rioja Vegetable Garden:

Peppers Stuffed with Cod and Mushrooms

Courgette Stuffed with Iberian Pork Shoulder

- Puff pastry horn filled with Black Pudding and Cameros Cheese

- Caramelized Bread Pudding with Wine Ice cream

The Tapas were paired with the following wines:

Vivanco Viura-Malvasia-Tempranillo Blanco 2012

Dinastía Vivanco Crianza 2009

Vignette #2: Introduction to Rioja grapes

After lunch we headed into the vineyard. There we were introduced to grapes grown in Rioja. The Rioja grape varieties used in wines from Rioja D.O.C. include the red grapes varieties - Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciono, Mazuelo and Maturana Tinta; white grapes - Viura, Malvasia, Grancha Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, Maturana Blanca, Turruntés, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo. The main red grape is Tempranillo with the main white grape being Viura.

Rioja Denominación de Origen Calificada (D.O.C.) is centered in La Rioja but extends into parts of Navarre and the Basque province of Álava. D.O. status was granted to Rioja in 1970, with the prestigious D.O.C. status approved in 1991. It was the first Spanish wine region to achieve Denominación de Origen Calificada (D.O.Ca.) status. It is not surprising that Rioja, Spain's top red wine region, is listed as one of top ten places to visit in 2013 by Wine Enthusiasts.

Vignette # 3: Touring the museum and sampling the wines

Dinastía Vivanco Museum of the Culture of Wine is the place for wine enthusiasts to explore the culture of wine from ancient Egypt to today’s wine world. During our tour of the museum we saw many wonderful displays. Two that caught our attention were the cork screw and wine bottle displays. We were also introduced to Dinastía Vivanco wines during our museum tour. Dinastía Vivanco wines included Dinastía Vivanco Crianza, Dinastia Vivanco, Colección Vivanco (4 Varietals, Parcelas De Garnacha, Parcelas De Mazuelo, Parcelas De Maturana Tinta, Parcelas De Graciano), Dulce de Invierno, Vivanco Viura-Malvasia- Tempranillo Blanco andVivanco Tempranillo-Garnacha. There is also a Club Vivanco Barrica, a Reserva wine that is only available for club members.

Our Dinastía Vivanco tour of was the perfect opportunity to experience first hand the some of the passion behind Dinastía Vivanco. I invite you to join me in my travels in Spain and elsewhere in search of the best in Spaswinefood. You may also visit my travel column at the Examiner.

© Sharon Parsons

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