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Gorka Izagirre: New Partner at Araex Grands

In an effort to revitalize the Basque region and its culture, in 2005, the Azurmendi family –Eneko and his uncle Gorka– created a bold project for Basque gastronomy and wine-making, becoming role models in both areas. Gorka Izagirre wines vary from a young white wine to more complex wines, aged with lees or fermented in barrels that perfectly match with any kind of gastronomy.
The winery is equipped with cutting-edge technology
for the character of the Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Zerratia wines to unveil. It features 60 tanks from 1500 to 15000 liters which enable the winery to perform the vinification process plot by plot.

A Heroic Wine
In 2005, the Azurmendi family, lead by Michelin Star Chef Eneko Atxa and his uncle Gorka Izagirre joined forces with a vision to preserve the Txakoli making tradition and share their passion for Basque gastronomy and winemaking with the world. From its very beginning, the aim of the winegrower was to promote the cultivation of local grape varieties and produce unique wines that reflect the great potential of this magnificent viticultural area.
The winegrower has inherited a five hundred year history of winemaking and combined it with cutting edge winemaking technology to produce award winning wines […]

Explore Pazo Señorans oldest soils of Galicia close to the sea

Pazo Señorans is located in the Rías Baixas appellation, which is currently made up of 5 sub-zones. All these sub-zones are lowlands, with an altitude of less than 300 metres, some plots are situated close to the sea and the river estuaries. With extensive rainfall and mild temperatures, the appellation enjoys excellent weather conditions for growing white vines, which are planted on poor, fine, acid and sandy soils.
The Atlantic sea is providing a microclimate of soft temperatures the whole year long. Santiago de Compostela (the final destination of the pilgrims following El Camino de Santiago) is very close to the winegrower too.
The terroir is a very special one. Pazo wines come from more than 500 small plots of vineyard spread through the area. Granite is the dominant element, within a sandy structure, producing a very short yield because of the low nutrient content and the high acidity levels.
All this is creating the particular mineral and complex palate of the wine and its high acidity and long life lasting.


Rolland&Galarreta wines, the star of La Martina & Rolls Royce stores

Le Grand Mag along with Rolland&Galarreta wines, La Martina and Rolls Royce, celebrated a magic night in Jermyn Street, London – October the 13th 2016. A glossy view on the Blenheim campaign video premiere, with George Spencer Churchill, Marquis of Blandford. 500 London high society elegant people were glad to spend a very exclusive night.



The 2016 harvest has been a late one, defined by the drought and high temperatures recorded in summer, but following favourable climatology conditions in September and October, which have made it possible to maintain exceptional conditions and proceed with a selective harvest once the grapes had reached perfect ripeness in each of the vineyard’s plots. The alcoholic strengths have been lower than in the past two years and strong acidity and colour levels have been recorded. The year has been particularly warm, but accompanied by extensive moisture in the soil following the rain that fell in the cold winter months. These conditions have resulted in a wonderful harvest with an excellent quality in terms of tannins and sugar. One of the best vintages in living memory in Rioja Alavesa.


The 2016 harvest has been an overwhelming success. The forecast of starting the harvest at the end of September were exceeded, as work began on 17 September. After an exceedingly rainy winter, summer was very dry and hot, with high temperatures recorded. The grapes collected were in excellent health, with a high alcoholic strength and balanced acidity. Average yield per hectare was low.


Balance is the best word to describe […]

Pazo Señorans, pioneer in vineyard management using Big Data & Internet of Things

Thanks to a new technological solution, Pazo de Señorans is capable of continuously observing the vineyard’s condition (remote sensing, sensors, meteorological factors, etc.), which, combined with an artificial intelligence app and machine learning, makes it possible for the Galician wine cellar’s team to optimise decisions in terms of fertilisation, plague control and collection, for example, in addition to other aspects inherent to vine growing, even attaining replicable controlled crop quality.
This technology helps to optimise processes in the field of vine growing, based on precision agriculture. The platform is supported on the cloud by Microsoft Azure IoT and Bing Maps.
This digital transformation has made it possible for Pazo de Señorans to access a range of information on its vineyard from a single point of access, with its ease of use and accessibility from any mobile device worth particular note. One of the platform’s strong points is the multiple opportunities for integration with services offered by other providers, such as the inclusion of information from drone flights, data exchange with ERPs, etc. Now, Pazo de Señorans is more competitive, has sped up its decision-making process and has reduced operating costs.
Amongst the benefits that the wine cellar has obtained thanks to Azure […]

New Masterclass of Spanish Fine Wine Institute in Canada

Last 27th October in Alberta (Canada), more than 40 people enjoyed a Masterclass on Spanish Fine Wines, conducted by the official Institute on Spanish Fine Wines.
In this case the masterclass was attended by Willow Park wine stewards, sommeliers and private customers.
The wines tasted were:

-       Cava Villa Conchi Brut Seleccion

-       Gran Sello Macabeo Verdejo

-       Pago de Cirsus Chardonnay

-       Gran Sello Tempranillo – Syrah

-       Luis Cañas Crianza

-       Rolland & Galarreta Ribera del Duero
The Spanish Fine Wines Institute is a private academic association grouping Premium Spanish winegrowers. The Wine Institute brings together the resources of 19 winegrowers, projects and affiliated businesses to support academic study and wine culture, international market development, media relations, scientific research, and education programmes that benefit the entire wine industry and consumers. The Spanish Fine Wine Institute also pursues numerous programmes and community alliances that promote sustainable and healthy practices from the soil to the bottle.
The Spanish Fine Wines Institute help’s develop numerous Sustainable Winegrowing Practices to promote environmental stewardship and social responsibility in the sector. For instance, precision viticulture practices to reduce the impact of climate change and to adapt successfully to soils, histamine free programmes or our commitment to reduce the carbon footprint.

Araex Grands main wine supplier of StarChefs International Chefs Congress

Leading chefs from around the world including Spain’s Elena Arzak (Restaurant Arzak),  Iván Dominguez (Restaurant Alborada) and Olivier Fernández Obiols (Gran Hotel La Florida), participated at the 11th Annual StarChefs International Chefs Congress (ICC) held October 23-25 at Brooklyn Expo Center in New York. Produced by StarChefs™, a leading online magazine serving the restaurant industry, ICC is one of the largest professional gatherings of its kind in the USA for chefs, restaurateurs and sommeliers.
A selection of Araex Grands wines, including Villa Conchi, Luis Cañas, Finca Sobreño, Baigorri and Pazo de Señorans, were served at a Sommelier Bar. Villa Conchi Cava was front and center at the VIP welcome reception at Vaucluse Restaurant in Manhattan, where celebrity mixologist, Pam Wiznitzer created a welcome cava cocktail. Villa Conchi was also served exclusively at daily “popup” cafés presented by tableware manufacturer Steelite USA featuring menus by Rising Star Chefs Joe Ritchie of the Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle, WA; Ian Palazzola of Mourad in San Francisco; and Michael Gulotta of Mopho in New Orleans.
A conference highlight was the 7th annual SOMM Slam, a competition among 12 sommeliers who must answer questions about wine, identify wines in blind tastings and choose and recommend […]

Great expectation for Araex´s winegrowers with this year harvest

2016 Harvest Special Report
The harvest approaches in Spain with a warm and dry summer in most appellations such as Rioja, Rias Baixas, Bizkaiko Txakolina, Rueda and will end with Ribera del Duero. The flowering period was at around the end of May and the stable weather conditions during the summer allowed for a maturation with no setbacks. The first controls were very satisfactory, resulting in a good grape quality in our vineyards and a superb quality from an analytical point-of-view. The harvest began in most regions with white varieties the last week of September, except in Rioja Alavesa where it didn’t start until late September.
The analytic tests of the sixth control of ripeness realized by the Regulatory Board of RIOJA on Monday 05.10.16, indicated that the grape continues evolving of correct form favoured by a climatologically optimal situation. The analytical parameters evolve slowly and with normality, which in these moments places in approximately 10 days of delay compared to last year’s the past campaign.
Production this year seems lower due to lower rainfall and the high temperatures that continued at the end of the vegetative cycle, which also induced the start of the harvest by mid-September on average (later in Rioja […]

ARAEX Grands hosts exclusive Sommelier Lounge at TEXSOM Annual Conference 

ARAEX Grands hosted an exclusive Sommelier Lounge day during the TEXSOM Annual Conference August 13-15 at the Four Seasons Resort & Club in Los Colinas. Texas. TEXSOM is the premier gathering for more than 900 world class sommeliers.  Presenting Sponsors include The Guild of Sommeliers, The Court of Master Sommeliers, Society of Wine Educators, and Wine and Spirit Education Trust.  TEXSOM 2016 included  more than two dozen educational seminars and presentations led by some of the most respected experts in the industry, including Master Sommeliers, Masters of Wine, and Certified Wine Educators.
More than 100 sommeliers from around the U.S.A. volunteer to work the events during TEXSOM.  The ARAEX Sommelier Lounge provided this hard working team a place to relax and socialize with each other.  And they had the opportunity to taste at leisure a selection of our wines including: Baigorri, Finca Sobreño, Luis Cañas, Montebuena, Pago de Cirsus and RG Rolland Galarreta, and enjoy Spanish cheeses and tapas.  Wines from Spain hosted a separate lunch for over 250 sommeliers which included Pazo de Señorans.
Founded in 2005, TEXSOM was started by Master Sommeliers James Tidwell and Drew Hendricks to help promote professional wine service standards, outline paths for further wine education and […]

ARAEX Grands wines at 40th Society of Wine Educators Conference 

21ST Century Rioja was a topic at the 40th Annual Society of Wine Educators (SWE) Conference held August 11-13 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.  Leading Wine Educator Robin Kelley O’Connor led a discussion and tasting of Rioja wines, traditional to contemporary which included ARAEX Grands’ Luis Cañas Crianza and Baigorri Reserva. Robin has lived in the Rioja region (and even run with the bulls in Pamplona) and is an enthusiastic ambassador for Basque wine country.

The Society of Wine Educators’ Annual Conference is the longest running wine education event. For over 40 years, SWE has been providing an opportunity for educators, students, and enthusiasts to come together to learn more about wine and spirits. The 370 conference attendees included wine wholesalers, importers and educators.  Next year’s conference will be held August 10-17 in Portland, Oregon.    #SWEConference2016.


Photo credit: Society of Wine Educators