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Bodegas Tarón and the Denominación de Origen de Vinos La Palma are now formally “sisters”. One year after launching the solidarity initiative ‘Grapes for La Palma’, which raised funds for the winegrowers affected by the volcano, the Riojan winery has sealed their friendship with a twinning event in which the prestigious chef Martín Berasategui acted as godfather.
The event, held at Bodegas Tarón, was attended by some thirty people, including Raúl Melián, a member of the Regulatory Council of the Denominación de Origen de Vinos La Palma. The event was also attended by the president of the DOCa Rioja Control Board, Fernando Ezquerro, and the president of the Government of La Rioja, Concha Andreu, who closed the event.
During the presentation, the president of Bodegas Tarón, Ángel Samaniego, recalled the origin of this initiative, which brought together more than 40 hoteliers and chefs from Guipúzcoa and La Rioja in Territorio Tarón to harvest the last grapes of the 2021 vintage. An event that once again demonstrated the solidarity of the winegrowing and hotel and catering sectors.
“Friends of La Palma, we do the same thing, we breathe the same thing. We are the same people in different places. We have tried to feel the misfortune we have suffered as our own. We have tried to show solidarity with our colleagues from La Palma, brave, admirable, fighting people. People like us, whose projects, hopes and livelihoods were destroyed by terrible circumstances”, said the president of Bodegas Tarón.
Raúl Melián, representing the Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen de Vinos La Palma, once again reiterated his gratitude for this gesture and the economic aid at a very complicated time for the wine sector due to the losses and uncertainty it entailed. After these words, a tasting of a wine of tea from the DO Vinos La Palma, classified as unique in the world, took place.
Finally, with Martín Berasategui acting as godfather on the stage, the twinning was sealed with a toast with another wine from the Canary Islands, a sweet Malvasía. As a symbol of this union, the president of Bodegas Tarón presented them with a basket and a corquete, the typical tools used in traditional grape harvests, recalling that “our grandparents and our parents used to cut grapes with these tools. They lived through difficult and very complicated situations. That is why, in their honour, we must be strong and ingenious, and use all our knowledge and creativity to do things better and better”.
Another very special moment came when Martín Berasategui, who supported the initiative by broadcasting videos on his social networks encouraging his colleagues to make donations for La Palma, called to the stage the person responsible for this idea, the chef of the Atalaia restaurant in Irún, Ignacio Muguruza, of whom he said: “with his passion and enthusiasm he embarked us all on this adventure”.
Both chefs addressed the audience, recalling these moments and the performance of their colleagues from La Rioja who took part in the solidarity harvest, to whom, in gratitude, they presented a commemorative jacket and a bottle of wine with an image specially designed for this twinning as a symbol of hope.
One by one, the guests took to the stage: Carlos Aguirre, from Beethoven restaurant, in Haro; Aritza Burgoa, from Asador Aker, in Cuzcurrita de Río Tirón; Vicente Corral, from Asador Ochavo, in Sajazarra; Victorino Galilea, from Mesón Jabugo, in Logroño; Alberto Gutiérrez, from Terete restaurant, in Haro; Sergio Hernando, from Lumbre restaurant, in Casalarreina; Jordi von Krenski, from La Redonda bar, in Logroño; Adrián Moracia, from Café Moderno, in Logroño; Sergio Soto, from El Rincón del Vino restaurant, in Logroño and Juan Carlos Zapatero, from Moderna Tradición restaurant, in Logroño. The last jackets went to the Denominación de Origen de Vinos La Palma and Bodegas Tarón.
The president of the DOCa Rioja Control Board, Fernando Ezquerro, highlighted the spirit of solidarity of Bodegas Tarón, of whom he said he felt “very proud” because, in difficult times for everyone, they made the effort to think of those who were having the hardest time. “A marvellous action, the fruit of that cooperative spirit of solidarity, union, and the effort that comes from the heart”.
The President of the Government of La Rioja, Concha Andreu, who also took part in the final stretch of the event, addressed the 220 members of Bodegas Tarón, and asked them to continue to maintain their spirit of solidarity. “The crises that we have had to live through in recent years have shown that we need each other through thick and thin. We cannot live with our backs to the world and our eyes closed”, he concluded.