New vintage of Tarón Cepas Centenarias 2019, the wisdom of generations turned into wine16 November, 2023
This is how we look after Territorio Tarón’s vineyards during winter22 January, 2024
With just a few days to go until the end of the year, we wanted to look back and take stock of the road travelled during these twelve months. A satisfactory year that has been full of recognition, expansion and reasons for pride for our winery and its partners.
The year began with a very special event: the twinning between Bodegas Tarón and Vinos La Palma. One year after carrying out the solidarity initiative ‘Grapes for La Palma’, which raised funds for the winegrowers affected by the volcano, Bodegas Tarón and the Denomination of Origin of Vinos La Palma celebrated their twinning.
A milestone in the history of our cooperative, with the prestigious chef Martín Berasategui as patron, who did not hesitate to accompany us on this day, as did hoteliers, friends and institutional representatives.
Around the same time, in February, we received another great piece of news: Tim Atkin, the famous journalist and prescriptor Master of Wine, had chosen us as “Cooperative of the Year”. This was reflected in his influential Rioja Special Report 2023. The news filled us with pride and happiness, and was a real boost to the work of the more than 200 members and families from Cuzcurrita de Río Tarón, Tirgo, Sajazarra and Villaseca who make up this cooperative.
On reflection, being chosen by this renowned professional should encourage us to persevere in our project, which is simply to make the Tarón Territory known through its wines. This is how we transmit it to our partners: we have to do our best in the field so that this effort is reflected in the wines. We must not take a single step backwards and increasingly focus on top-of-the-range wines.
And while these milestones were happening, the Tarón brand travelled the world from fair to fair. We have been present at the most important fairs in the wine sector, such as Barcelona Wine Week, where we had important visits to our stand, such as that of the Minister of Agriculture Luis Planas. In March, we flew to Düsseldorf (Germany) to make contacts at the Prowein Fair, a world of business opportunities. In May, we travelled to Fenavin, in Ciudad Real, where we were able to show our wines to importers and distributors from the 5 continents. In the summer, we had the privilege of being chosen to exhibit at the Salón de Grandes Vinos de España, in Biarritz. Finally, we concluded our trade fair year by participating in the XXIII Salón de los Mejores Vinos de España, held in November in Madrid.
The summer was marked by sport, specifically pelota. Throughout the summer, the IX Bodegas Tarón Tournament offered us five exciting matches that delighted the public in the most representative pelota courts in La Rioja. Finally, the pair made up of Retegi Bi and Aldave won this ninth edition of the Bodegas Tarón Handball Tournament after beating Elizalde and Bergera at the Adarraga fronton court in Logroño at the start of the Matías festivities.
And moving forward in the calendar, the key moment of the year undoubtedly came at the beginning of September. As our winemaker, Laura Manzanos, recalled, “After a summer very similar to last year, very dry and with little rain, September surprised us with several storms that put us on alert. We looked at the sky with nervousness, as it had already rained too much for much of the Denomination by that time”. Fortunately, those episodes did not leave more than 25 litres in the whole Tarón Territory, and that water was very beneficial, ending on 13 October with very good grape health.
Once the grape harvest was over, this year we wanted to organise a very emotional event that would combine sport, solidarity and a tribute to our veteran winegrowers. With these three ingredients we created the 1st First Wine Cycle Ride, which had great cyclists such as Sheyla Gutiérrez, Peio Ruiz Cabestany and Ángel Arroyo among its 150 participants.
Saturday 4 November became a day of sport, emotion and solidarity where we paid tribute to José Leiva and Ramón Cárdenas, in Cuzcurrita de Río Tirón; Rosario Capellán, in Sajazarra; Pablo Fernández de Valderrama, in Villaseca and Manuel Elizondo, in Tirgo, giving them each a bottle of the first wine from their village in this 2023 vintage. In addition, thanks to this event we managed to raise more than €5,000 for VencELA, an association to help families and people affected by Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in La Rioja.
We end this review of 2023 with the awards and unstoppable successes that our wines have obtained. We have obtained recognition at Mundus Vini (Tarón Reserva 2016, Grand Gold medal) and also the highest award at the Casino de Madrid Wine Competition, where Pantocrátor 2011 received a Grand Gold.
We have also received three Silver medals at the International Wine Challenge, and another two Silver medals at the IWSC competition. In addition, the prestigious Decanter Awards gave us a Gold medal and 95 points for Tarón Cepas Centenarias 2018.
It is worth mentioning that the Peñín Guide offered excellent ratings (over 90 points) that allowed us to participate in the select Hall of the Best Wines of Spain. The renowned American wine critic James Suckling also gave excellent scores to our wines and the specialised journalist Miquel Hudin elevated our Tarón Cepas Centenarias to number 3 in his Miquel Hudin DOC Rioja 2023 Report.