Vivanco is not the only winery we visited this summer. Another winery with a focus on tourism is Ramón Bilbao, just outside Haro. This wine group has wineries in the Spanish wine regions Navarra, Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Rias Baixas and sells its wines all over the world.
Although I wasn´t amazed by the wines we tasted, I was impressed with the way this winery organized its wine tourism. To make the visit to the barrel and bottle room a bit more special, the visit includes a wine tasting direct from the wine barrel, which I really liked because it interrupted the otherwise normal visit with something a bit more special and “exclusive”.
The tasting room was beautiful as well. Above the big barrels and with all glass walls, the room really gives an extra dimension to the tasting. We received a paper with information about the three wines we tasted, on which we could make notes as well. For the last wine everyone was give a little piece of chocolate, since this pairs very well with the full bodied wine.
Another point on which Ramón Bilbao really scored, was the virtual reality experience. We needed to wait quite a bit, since we were with around 25 persons and there were only 4 headsets, but it was worth it. The video shows the wine making process in a funny way. The impressive thing is actually not even what you see, but the activity is so unique on itself (I have never done this before!) that I am sure I will remember it, which is exactly what they try to achieve I suppose!
While we were waiting for the VR experience, we could taste some more wines in the store. We tasted some white wines, since we both work in a white wine region and wanted to check out the competence. We happily determined that our wines are better 😉
Another very clever way of promoting the winery was the photo corner, where you could take a picture sitting on an old desk with a vintage photo camera, a hat, a book etc.
All in all, this winery itself is not the most impressive I have seen, but all the extras they do to make the wine tourism experience special is very impressive. I can definitely recommend a visit.