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El Barrio de la Estación conquers New York

Historic wineries from the famed Haro Station District in Spain came to together on Wednesday, May 22 at the High Line in New York City to celebrate the Rioja Railway Wine Experience. The wineries in attendance included: Bodegas Gómez Cruzado, La Rioja Alta, S.A., Bodegas Bilbaínas Viña Pomal, Bodegas Muga and Bodegas RODA..

This is the first time these five wineries have come together in an international showcase with their most prestigious wines. The Rioja Railway Wine Experience is a milestone for these wineries as they have participated in La Cata del Barrio de la Estación in Haro in previous years, yet the wineries decided to come to one of the most important, global markets for an iconic event. With over 275 attendees at the Grand Tasting, this has been one of the largest focused wine and food events for trade on the High Line. The Masterclasses, The Rioja Railway: Past, Present and Future of Rioja Winemaking, moderated by the first Spanish Master of Wine, Pedro Ballesteros, demonstrated how Haro was at the epicenter of winemaking and turned Rioja into one of the top wine regions of the world. Over 100 attendees tasted Riojan wines from each decade, beginning in the 1970s up to today.

“I am so honored these wineries chose me to help present their flagship wines,” said Ballesteros. “I am so proud of the quality and depth these wineries have brought to the table, showing how Rioja, Haro specifically, has been at the forefront of winemaking and continues to be a dominate figure.”

Consumers also enjoyed the Rioja Railway Wine Experience - close to 400 guests were able to taste Spanish creations from top U.S. chefs paired specifically with the wines, including such chefs as: Nicole Gajadhar from Saxon + Parole; Ginger Pierce from Jams Restaurant; Preston Madson from il Buco Alimentari & Vineria; Francis Derby from Tessa; Cedric Durand from GAUDir. Proceeds from the consumer event benefited the James Beard Foundation, a national culinary non-profit organization working toward a more delicious, diverse, and sustainable food world for everyone.

Guests were transported back to the mid-nineteenth century. The High Line in New York City played host to the tastings, representing the Haro District train station. With projections of historic imagery in Rioja and steam from the imaginary trains, the city park was transformed for a moment back into the former elevated freight train line.

This has been an honor to bring La Cata del Barrio de la Estación to New York City,” said Manuel Muga, vice president of The Train Station District Association in Spain. “The U.S. is a major market for wines from Rioja and the Rioja Railway Wine Experience allows us to share these historic wineries and our know-how to American wine connoisseurs. And we hope to see some Americans visit us in Haro for La Cata in 2020!”

Haro was one of the first cities in Spain to have the modern, new technology of the railway. While winemaking had been prevalent throughout Spain, it was in the 1860s that several wineries set up near the railway station in Haro, bringing wealth to the city and the country. For years, La Cata del Barrio de la Estación has taken place in Haro, bringing international focus to the Station District wineries, promoting the area as one of the top wine tourism destinations in the world.

The wineries that participated in the Rioja Railway Wine Experience understand that their past helps to direct the future of their winemaking; they look to their roots to create wine that will resonate with the world and continue to bring recognition to Rioja and the Haro Station District for years to come.