The town of Haro has a long winemaking history, and Bodegas Berceo is its figurative heart. Berceo’s wine cellars were dug under the city streets, repurposing tunnels that dated back to the middle ages. In the 19th century, Calle Cuevas –nothing more than an alleyway– was lined with wineries stuffed into tiny townhouses.
Over time, most wineries relocated to the countryside. For the past century wineries such as Bodegas Muga, La Rioja Alta, CVNE, and Roda have all moved just past the town line. Founded in 1872, Bodegas Berceo is the oldest winery in Haro but never moved off Calle Cuevas. The winery continued to crush grapes in its centuries-old basket press and process wine through its original gravity-fed systems.
Winemaking facilities have remained in the same location for centuries; the style has changed with the times. This is a lovely example of 21th Century Rioja, fermented in concrete tanks and aged in barrel for 2 years in older French barrels.
There is an effortless and charming quality to this wine—notes of sandalwood and cigar smoke lift to the blue fruit’s aromas. Oak spices pierce the mineral-bright character of this wine, and supple tannins make this a fantastic food wine. Grilled lamb chops with black olives would be a perfect pairing.