In September the #WorldWineTravel group of writers will be taking a virtual trip to Navarra. You can join! Pick up a bottle at your favorite wine shop! I was surprised that they are available, even if in small quantities and are very affordable.
4 hours from Madrid, and an hour from San Sebastián, Navarra’s northern border is with France in the Pyranées. To the West is the País Vasco (Basque Country) to the South West La Rioja and to the East and south is the Kingdom of Aragón. We have done circles around this region with the #WorldWineTravel Group visiting all of the Bordering Spanish regions earlier this year.
The Running of the bulls and the Fiesta de San Fermin
You have heard of the running of the bulls. That happens in Pamploma in Navarra, called the Fiesta de San Fermin. Our visions of this festival come often from Hemingway’s colorful remembrances in his 1926 novel “the Sun Also Rises”. The festival is not without controversy, but the origins seem to stem from a stew of religious pageantry, regional trade and climate.
San Fermin was Pamplona’s first bishop and he was honored for centuries in October, which was coincidentally one of the rainiest months in Navarra. Town officials, tired of rescheduling or dealing with rain chose to move the celebration to sunny and dry July! This just happened to coincide with when cattle trade shows came through Pamlona and with them, of course, bullfights.
The running of the bulls is only one part of Sanfermin. The Festival runs from July 6th to July 14th with daytime fireworks, called “chupinazo” kicking off the celebration at noon on July 6th. The “camparsa” is a parade with large puppets (big heads) carried by the marchers. (source)
Festivals of course are the perfect occasion to consume wine and there is plenty of local wine here. Pamplona is just north of the Navarra DO which is 60 miles East to west and 80 miles North to south. The DO is one of the oldest, created in 1933.
2,500 growers 90 wineries, 28,417 acres (1.2% of Spain’s total vineyard acreage)
As the region borders the País Vasco, it sees some Atlantic influences from the Bay of Biscay on its Northwest side. Closer to La Rioja the weather is more Continental and the southern region near Aragon sees a Mediterranean influence (source)
The #WorldWineTravel group of writers are all diving into Navarra! Check out all the different wines that they explored and their insights into the region.
And don’t forget to join us on Saturday, September 25th on Twitter! You’ll find us there at 8 am Pacific Time/ 11 am Eastern Time. Just use and follow the hashtag #WorldWineTravel to join the conversation!
- Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm shares Sazon Goya Grilled Chicken Thighs and an Old Vines Garnacha
- Terri of Our Good Life shares Navarra’s Local Red Wine Drink: The Kalimotxo #worldwinetravel
- Martin of Enofylz Wine Blog shares 2016 Artazu Pasos de San Martín” Navarra + One Pan Spanish Chorizo & Shrimp
- Nicole of Somm’s Table shares Azul y Garanza Naturaleza Salvaje Navarra Tinto with Basque Tomato Soup and Grilled Chicken
- Cam of Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares Virtual Navarra: Spicy Lamb Meatballs + Vina Zorzal Graciano 2018
- Jeff from Food Wine Click shares Surprisingly Fresh in Navarra with Itxas Harri
- Gwendolyn Alley from Wine Predator shares Chorizo Stuffed Mushrooms with Navarra’s “Galimatias” Cuts Through The Rigmarole
- Susannah from Avvinare shares Discover Navarra Rosados that Brighten your Day
- Robin on Crushed Grape Chronicles shares Gardacho Garnacha from Navarra and Pochas Estofadas
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.