La Ribera Baja de Navarra

Wine Touring in the south of Navarra

The Ribera Baja, often referred to as the “kingdom of the vegetables”, is a flat river plain with sparse vegetation at the southern tip of Navarra between Aragón and La Rioja, a region dominated by the imposing Sierra del Moncayo mountain range to the southwest, and includes the villages and towns of Ablítas, Arguedas, Barillas, Cascante, Castejón, Cintruénigo, Corella, Fitero, Monteagudo, Murchante, Tulebras, Valtierra and the capital of the region, Tudela, which was founded by Arabs in the 9th century.

The semi-arid zone gives the 3300 hectares of farmland in the area the longest growing period in Navarra, from 255 to 277 days and where you will find Natural Park of Las Bardenas Reales, Europe’s largest desert.

Tempranillo and Garnacha are the dominate red grapes of the Ribera Baja de Navarra, with Viura and Moscatel making up the largest number of white grapes. Some of the vines where brought to the region by the Romans more than 2000 years ago.

The view across Finca La Cantera vineyard toward mount Moncayo

Viña Zorzal 

In 1989, after a lifetime of working in the vineyards, Antonio Sanz opened his own winery and began producing his own wines from his 40 hectares of vineyards, 25 of which are Garnacha. Beginning in 2007 with the rescue of native Navarran grape varieties that had been almost forgotten, the three sons of Antonio Sanz, Xabier, Iñaki and Mikel, found a treasure in the very old, abandoned vineyards near the winery within Fitero (Navarra), a few minutes south of Cintruénigo, where the summers are very hot and the winters very cold, on the edge of the Ebro River valley and the start of the Iberian mountains where they launched their first Navarra wines in 2013; Viña Zorzal Malayeto and Viña Zorzal Corral de los Altos. In 2015 the produced their first Rioja wines from vineyards located between Labastida and San Vicente de la Sonsierra.

Eric Asimov (NYTimes) covered them in April 2019;12 Wines Under $12: How Low Can You Go and Still Find Values?”.  In January 2020, Metrópoli called their Seсora de las Alturas 2016, “wine of the year”.  

You can contact them at info@vinazorzalwines.com for more information, or call (+34) 948 780 617 to arrange a visit to the winery located in the village of Corella (Navarra), a few minutes south of Alfaro.

Bodegas Corellanas

The Jorge A. Johansson Family (Hans Investment Group) acquired the winery which was founded in 1900 by Julián Hernández Malumbres in Corella and built a new winery to better control the process. They control 60 hectares of vineyards of Moscatel de Grano Menudo, Tempranillo, Garnacha, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

Guided tours of the winery are from 60 minutes (visit and tasting of wines and Muscatels) to 3 hours (visit, tasting and lunch in the tasting room). You can request a visit online, by email at info@bodegascorellanas.com, or call (+34) 948 780 029.

Bodegas Camilo Castilla

The oldest winery in Navarra, founded in 1856 by Don Camilo Castilla Alzugaray, owns some 42 hectares of vineyards and specializes in the production of sweet wines. In 1987, under the then direction of Ana Beltrán, the winery was modernized and re-established the family of sweet wines that had died out under the Goya name, and introducing a new vermouth. The winery is now under the direction of Luis Balanza.

The bodega is located in Corella at Calle Santa Bárbara, 40, near the Plaza de toros de Corella. Call (+34) 948 780 006 for additional information.

Bodegas Marqués de Berol

The wineries location was not by accident as it is where the humid Atlantic, temperate continental, and the dry, warm Mediterranean climates intersect. Established in 1962, the estate’s manually harvested 78 hectares of vineyards are at an altitude of 450 meters, 125 meters above the Arga river, in the southeastern Ribera-Tudelana, on one of the routes the Way of Saint James. The wine cellars where first modernized during the 60s and 70s, then completely renovated with new technology at the beginning of the 21st-century, reopening in 2015. Winemaker Manuel Rojas continues his family tradition. Fermentation takes place in concrete and stainless steel tanks, followed by aging in American and French oak.

The winery is located at Carretera Madrid, northeast of Corella on the N-113. You can contact them by email at info@marquesdeberol.es or call (+34) 948 782 255.

Viñedos De Calidad  – Viños Alex

The estate is located just outside of the city, across the Alhama river, on the road to Tudela, the NA-6922. Their Finca Ontinar vineyard is 25 hectares of Tempranillo, 25 of Merlot and 4 of Viura. The aging room holds 2000 new casks of American and French oak. The bodega, under the direction of Javier Cantarero, is associated with Tierra 3 Riberas.

Visits are available Monday-Friday by appointment. Call (+34) 948 782 014, email javier@vinosalex.com, or contact them online for additional information or to arrange a tour and tasting.

Bodegas Gran Feudo

This classic winery, the oldest in the area, was orginally founded in 1647 by Juan Chivite Frías and his sister-in-law María Rubio, widow of Joseph Chivite, when the farm was still a stagecoach stop. Their vineyards of Tempranillo, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Moscatel are located in Cintruénigo and Corella. The “La Cascajera” winery, forerunner to Gran Feudo (1975), was built in 1872. In the early 1990s Julián Chivite Marco (1910-1997) decided to update the bodega for the production of high-quality wines. The winery is currently run by the 11th generation of the Chivite family; Julián, Carlos, Fernando and Mercedes Chivite, one of the oldest wine dynasties in Spain and internationally recognized for producing excellence wines. The family also owns Señorío de Arínzano (Navarra) where the “Colección 125” is produced, and Viña Salceda (Elciego).

The winery is open Monday-Friday, on weekends by special request. The basic 90-minute tour with a tasting of three wines is 10€. The premium visit, with a tasting of five wines, is only 15€/person. Contact them online, by email info@granfeudo.com or call (+34) 948 811 000 to request a visit.

Dominio Lasierpe

You’ll find this bodega founded in 1920 just down the street from Gran Feudo. After growing grapes for decades, the winegrowers decided to opened their own winery, Bodega Cirbonera, to market their own wines. Under the direction of José Ramon Aznar, the cooperative owns more than 1,300 hectares of vineyards; the largest surface area of vineyards in the D.O. Navarra, and the most diverse where they grow both native grape varieties; Garnacha, Tempranillo, Mazuelo, Graciano, Viura and Moscatel, plus Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. The vineyards, with an average age is 30 years, are found 400 meters above sea level on a gently sloping hillside, producing wines with body, structure and a smooth palate, but not releasing their first crianza until 1997.

Email comercial@dominiolasierpe.com or call (+34) 948 811 033 to arrange a visit to the winery, which is just a few minutes walk from Restaurante Maher.

Bodegas Príncipe de Viana

Although the winery is named for the heirs to the throne of Navarre and Spain, the bodegas only opened 30 years ago and since then, has been a leader in research, including climate change and sustainable viticulture, and is part of the group of premium wineries that includes Bodegas Finca Albret,(Cadreita) Bodegas Rioja Vega (Mendavia) and Bodegas Clunia (Burgos).

Open Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and after lunch from 3:00 to 6:00 pm. On Fridays they are open from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm only. Email info@principedeviana.com or call (+34) 948 838 640 for additional information and to request a visit.

Finca La Cantera de Santa Ana

Tomás Santos Irujo’s 14 hectares of vineyards of Chardonnay, Syrah, red Grenache, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are located in the heart of a large terrace know for centuries at “Monte de las Viñas”, in sight of the majestic Moncayo, the tallest peak in the Iberian range.

90-minute visits with the owner/winemaker, who is from Pamplona, can be in Spanish, English or French, and includes a tour of the vineyards, winery and a tasting of three wines and an aperitivo for 12€/person for groups of up to 12. Tours are available Monday-Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Call Tomás Santos at (+34) 656 658 007 or email vinos@fincalacantera.com to book your tour.

Bodegas Malón de Echaide

Founded in 1951 by a group of 230 Cascantino winemakers, the winery is located between mount Moncayo and the Ebro river, in the heart of the Queiles valley. Their 400 hectares of vineyards are located in the Ribera Baja, Ribera Alta and Tierra Estella. The first bodega was built in 1952, and renovated in 2018 with the addition of a new bottling plant. In October 2020 they became the official wine supplier for Club Atlético Osasuna (Pamplona) for the next three seasons.

Guided visits to the winery are available by reservation. The guided visit, with a tasting of three wines, is 8€/person, and for a degustation of five wines, is 12€, with a minimum group of 6. Custom tours are also available upon request. Call (+34) 948 851 411 or email visitas@malondeechaide.com to schedule your tour.

Bodega Pago de Cirsus

We first visited this impressive single vineyard winery estate, which is built in the style of a 14th-century fortress, not long after it opened, when Navarran chef Ignacio “Nacho” Gómara was in charge of the kitchen. At that time the estate covered a total of 220 hectares with 137 hectares of vineyards under production. Located a few kms northeast of Ablitas, it was the ambitious project of visionary film producer and wine maker Iñaki Núñez. The winery sits at the highest point of La Finca Bolandín, surrounded by vineyards and olive trees, with beautiful views of the Sierra del Moncayo in the distance. The cellar contains large French oak vats and 1,000 barrels of French oak, where the wines age a minimum of 12 months.

You can visit the winery for the one-hour tour at noon on Saturdays and Sundays before having lunch in the restaurant. Call (+34) 948 386 427, or email recepcion.hotel@pagodecirsus.com to arrange your visit.

Ubeta Wines

This small modern organic winery actually began more than a century ago when the great-grandfather, Ricardo Agramonte “Rebote”, made wine in a small family winery in nearby Ablitas. Today, biologist-winemaker Roberto Agirre Ubeta produces only high-quality Garnache wines from his Finca Ubeta, an organic vineyard covering 20 hectares in the upper part of the Mendianike river valley, 400 meters above sea level. The bodega’s logo represents the endangered Dupont lark (Chersophilus duponti), which can be found around the vineyard.

Contact Roberto online, by email ubeta@ubetawines.com or call (+34) 678 421 303 for additional information or to request a visit of the winery at Carretera de Barillas-Malon, km. 05, just south of the village of Barillas.

Bodegas Viña Magaña S.L.

The winery was founded in 1970 by Juan Magaña, considered a pioneer, a visionary, on barren land, bringing in new strains of vines from France, then unauthorized (Franco). He smuggled the vines, including Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, through the Pyrenees on a donkey, releasing his first vintage in 1978. Today, with the winery in the hands of his winemaker son Diego Magaña Tejero, they own more than 120 hectares of unique vineyards, a subsoil comprised almost entirely of limestone. Many of the clones came from the same vines supplied to Château Pétrus in Pomerol in the 70s. In 2015 they added a new aging room with 47 concrete tanks in the cellar designed by noted Pritzker Prize winning Navarrese architect Rafael Moneo. There are 1000 French oak barrels (Alliers and Nevers).

Visits to the winery are possible. You can call Diego at (+34) 948 850 034 or email bodegas@vinamagana.com for more information.

La Ribera Baja de Navarra

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