By: Robin Shreeves
Wine columnist for the Courier Post newspaper and food, drink, travel and environmental journalist
May’s #winestudio — a wine education program in the form of a fun, fast-paced Twitter chat with participants tasting in their own homes— features Arínzano Winery, the first estate to be a Vino de Pago in Northern Spain.
What is a Vino de Pago? It’s a classification of Spanish wine, but unlike other Spanish classifications that encompass entire regions, like Rioja and Priorate, a Vino de Pago is comprised of a single estate or vineyard.
The classification was introduced in 2003, and it is reserved for single estate wines that are of exceptional quality. I’m having a difficult time coming up with exactly how many estates have earned the DO Pago — various websites differ on the number — but it seems to be under 20. Those estates that have earned the classification must have a history of over 10 years of wine making, have a terroir that is different from that of the rest of the region, and produce excellent wines.
Arínzano Winery is located in the North-East of Spain, between Rioja and Bordeaux. It’s in the DO Navarra region, but its classification of Vino de Pago is an indication that it stands out in the region (although this is not to say the Navarra region does not produce great wines in general — I’ve had some wonderful wines from Navarra).
I opened Hacienda de Arínzano Red 2012 (80% Tempranillo, 10% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon) about a half hour before friends came over to help me taste the wine — sharing wine bring me joy so I always invite friends for #winestudio— and it was immediately drinkable without needing aerating, but it got even better as it opened up for a bit… Continue Reading…