Heading deep into the red

27 Jun 2016
4 min read
FOUR heads deep into Rioja country to speak to the infamous winery, Marques de Caceres, about the new wave of wine tourism.

The Marques de Caceres vineyard has been a firm favourite for Rioja drinkers for many years, what led to the idea of introducing ‘wine tourism’ to the bodega?

In recent years, wine tourism in Rioja has increased substantially and we had been receiving many requests from consumers, wine lovers & followers of our brand, to visit our winery and taste our wines. We implemented our wine tourism project at the beginning of 2014 and it’s been a success ever since.

How has the bodegaadapted to suit the needs of people visiting the winery that aren’t wine experts?

Firstly, we had to adapt our installations, to offer tourists a truly educational experience covering as many aspects as possible of the wine-making processes within our facilities.We have tried to keep thedecoration is elegant and modern to represent the different facets of the world of wine, by transmitting a contemporary version of local tradition and a future projection that gives free rein to the versatility of fines wines by bringing their cultural values closer to all consumers who want to learn more about wine.

We have equipped several areas so that tourists can become familiar with each and every step involved and live through a memorable visit. These include visiting the spectacular cellar for barrels called “Unique Wines” that can be seen through glass panels from the “Gran Reserva” reception room where we welcome our visitors.

There is also access to the spacious tasting room where all the wines we produce are on display and available for tasting in Enomatic wine dispensers. This is equipped with a projector and screen where visitors can watch a short video that includes the vegetative cycle of the vineyards and the harvest that are no so easily perceived at the winery.

Guest are also invited to out impressive function room called “the Crystal Room”with dazzling chandeliers surrounded by our wine library (“Enrique Forner’s Treasures”) that holds a collection of 13.200 bottles of older vintages that enfold our Bodega’s history.

On the outside, we have also created two “chill-out areas” to be enjoyed during the good weather: an “Excellens” Marquee and a “Satinela Garden”. Visitors can then buy their favourite wines and wine-related gifts to take away from our attractive and modern retail shop.

What can people expect when they visit the winery as part of a wine trip?

Our visitors enjoy an informative tour that focusses on all aspects of the wine-making process within our facilities. The arrival of grapes at the winery, manual selection table, vinification, ageing in barrel (influence of different types of oak, time spent in barrel), bottling, labelling and packaging processes (automatic and hand-crafted for our limited edition wines). There is a whole section dedicated to corks to explain about the cork trees, how the cork is extracted and the corks produced.

The tour ends at our tasting room where visitors can choose from three different options, each including assorted wines served with cheese. We offer three types of tastings; The Basic Tasting of two wines including aCrianza Red and a choice of young white or rosé; The Premium Tasting -3 wines: Antea Limited-Edition White, Reserva & MC and a VIP Tasting where we offer4 wines: Antea Limited-Edition White, Gran Reserva, MC and Gaudium.Visitors can also purchase each wine by the glass and those who wish to tour the winery but not taste can do so for a small price.

The average time for a visit & tasting is 60-80 minutes and tastings are available in both Spanish and English.

What other events does the Bodega have lined up?

The bodega offers various classes and workshop throughout the year includingwine & tapas events and classes on how to prepare cocktails. We alsooffer a space that caters for private parties so this keeps us busy.The bodega has diverse areas that are prepared for both private visits and small or large groups.We can also cater for company conferences and tailor-made events.We can organise special programmes for groups including introductory classes on how to taste wines with one of our oenologists (on specific dates).

Do you think this new wave of wine tourism is proving successful?

We have a separate department for wine tourism with two guides looking after our visitors.We have small and large groups almost every day during the week and the weekend visits are always sold out.From Monday to Friday, our visitors are mainly Spanish and, at the weekend, approximately 50% are international visitors.

The majority of wine lovers confess that they are fascinated by the evocative sensations experienced during the various stages of their tour of the bodega and are surprised by the dedication and commitment involved in each and every aspect of caring for wine.

What do you think will happen to wine tourism and the role that the vineyard plays in the future?

We are working towards the future with optimism, for we believe that our efforts are worthwhile and we are delighted to play a part in educating today’s consumers about the world of wine.The tourism surrounding wine is cultural and we have developed an educational programme to bring the world of wine closer to wine lovers of all ages.Visitors to the bodega acquire a better understanding of the local culture and our company’s commitment towards quality at all levels.A successful venture, sensitivity and passion transmit a sense of reliability to consumers who can judge for themselves our activity whilst peacefully taking in all the details of their visit.

Reservations can be made through the Marques de Cacereswebsite, by e-mail or by telephone on 34-941-454744 and 34-626-653782