Visit exclusive event
06 October 2022,
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Francisco Corpas – La Rioja Alta S.A.
Kenneth Culhane – Head Chef
Barny Taylor – Managing Director
£199.50 per person
(£100 per person deposit payable on booking)
MENU AND WINES
Vegetarian menu in grey
Albariño, Lagar de Cervera, Rías Baixas 2021
Finca Martello Reserva DOC, Torre de Oña, Rioja 2015
Roasted Delica pumpkin, cured duck breast, pistachio and cumin condiment
Roasted Delica pumpkin, pistachio and cumin condiment, radichio
Pazo de Seoane, Lagar De Cervera, Rosal, Rías Baixas 2021
Scottish langoustine dumpling, sake dressing, pink peppercorn, kaffir lime leaf
Caramelised cauliflower dumpling, sake dressing, tomato fondue, kaffir lime leaf
Longhorn beef in two servings:
Ceps in two servings:
Finca el Otero, Áster, Ribera del Duero 2016
Braised oxtail, Oxford potato, Douglas Fir gremolata, white currant jus
Roasted cep, oxford potato, Douglas Fir gremolata, white currant dressing
Gran Reserva 890, La Rioja Alta S.A., Rioja 2010
Hay smoked beef fillet, salt baked beetroot, ceps, grape mustard
Cep tart fine, marjoram and oregano Bolognese, beetroot and grape mustard sauce
Viña Ardanza Reserva, La Rioja Alta S.A., Rioja 2015
Green coffee baked black figs, 70% dark chocolate, Pain d`épices mikado
Gran Reserva 904, La Rioja Alta S.A., Rioja 2011
Some dishes may contain traces of nuts / Vegetarian menu available
Food Allergies and Intolerances: Before you order your food and drinks please speak to our staff if you have an allergy and want to know about our ingredients
At the end of July, I, Barny Taylor, was lucky enough to be welcomed to La Rioja Alta S.A. alongside a number of amazing European sommeliers for a complete tour of their vineyards and wineries, as well as tasting through their selection of beautiful wines.
Our trip was mainly hosted by Guillermo De Aranzabal Bittner, Deputy General Director of the winery, a wonderful host and fountain of knowledge and passion about the estate – and at just 27 years of age, La Rioja Alta is in safe hands over the next generations!
We started early on Tuesday morning, meeting viticulture director, Roberto Frías, and being shown multiple vineyard sites from the estate’s 750 hectares, including young vines of just a year or two in age, right up to the oldest vines, some more than 60 years old. We were taught about the qualities of the soil, the overall climate and microclimates, irrigation and pruning techniques.
We toured the wineries to learn about the winemaking process with head winemaker, Julio Sáenz. The scale of the operation is mind-blowing, with multiple ageing rooms storing up to 20000 American oak barrels each, yet the sense of artisanal production, care, quality and detail is at the fore rather than any sense of mass production.
We moved on to a wine making challenge – blending our own Rioja from the three principal grapes – Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano. With three single varietal bottles in front of us we experimented with differing proportions of each – Tempranillo as the main component providing ageing potential, finesse and fruit intensity, Garnacha bringing colour, body and spice, and Graciano providing acidity and freshness. The final morning was then spent tasting! We were treated to a blind tasting of 7 rare and aged Spanish wines, including the 2001 vintage of La Rioja Alta’s flagship wine, 890 Gran Reserva. A truly spectacular experience tasting some exceptional wines!
The trip was inspiring in many ways. All the nominated sommeliers were running similar restaurants to The Dysart Petersham in their respective countries, many family owned and run like ours. We talked a great deal about our passion for food, wine and hospitality, and shared our experiences of the last years and the difficulties we have all faced since Covid. It was fascinating how similar our times had been, and how many of these restaurants had managed through difficult times with tiny teams, all pulling together and putting everything into the business, just like we have.
The people behind La Rioja Alta were equally inspiring, always pushing the boundaries further than before, combining tradition with technology, passion with hard graft. The facilities they have built are on an epic scale, kept pristinely and managed with seemingly unrivalled expertise.
‘Quality, elegance, innovation, feeling and evolution. These are the pillars on which five families founded the ‘Sociedad Vinícola de La Rioja Alta’ in 1890. Today, their descendants continue to form a major part of the shareholding and management of the winery with the same enthusiasm and commitment. In these more than 130 harvests, the search for excellence has led this emblematic winery to combine the best of the oenological tradition – the winery’s own barrels, traditional racking and long ageing – with the most modern winemaking technology, as reflected in its firm commitment to research and development and its optical grape selection system. For La Rioja Alta, S.A., which today heads a family of wineries made up of Torre de Oña (Rioja Alavesa), Áster (Ribera del Duero) and Lagar de Cervera (Rías Baixas), its own vineyards are one of the keys to producing high quality wines only in the best vintages. Currently, the Barrio de la Estación winery owns more than 475 hectares of vineyards planted in the most exclusive areas of Rioja with Tempranillo as the main variety and, in addition, with other native grapes such as Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha, which provide the renowned personality of its brands.’
La Rioja Alta S.A. was voted as the 4th Most Admired Winery in the world in the 2022 guide released by Drinks International.