Our winery is called Pago de Larrainzar and is part of our life and the history of this family. It has been the family home since the mid-19th century, when our great-great-grandfather acquired it from the monks of the nearby Monastery of Irache. Since then it has been the home of the Larrainzar family and it is above all a leisure farm, with beautiful boxwood gardens, centenary trees, a magical forest and the vineyard, which expands into a single plot.
At first it was a small cattle farm, dedicated to raising pigs and cows, as well as cereal and vine growing. In 1891 the winery was built, to produce wines with the family grapes. That first winery was sold in the 70s and it was not until 2001 that we returned to the world of wine. But this time it was with me as the winemaker and winegrower, with a new winery that was completely managed by the family. Now we only grow vines and wheat, as well as a great vegetable garden for our own needs. The rest of the farm is full of gardens that we enjoy as a family.
The location of winery and vineyard is in the central area of Navarra, near the city of Estella, halfway between Pamplona and Logroño. Navarra and its capital city Pamplona are known worldwide for their Fiestas in tribute to San Fermín but it is also a region rich in farming products, renowned for its vegetables and its wines. The “Tierra Estella” area is beautiful, with a long history, an important artistic heritage in the city of Estella.
It has an interesting offer for rural tourism, with fantastic routes through the mountains that surround this property. Nearby, it is possible to visit monasteries such as Irache or Iranzu, the ancient remains of Roman villas, and stunning natural spots such as the source of the Urederra River. In addition, we are located right on the side of the Camino de Santiago, the famous pilgrimage route that ends in Santiago de Compostela.
This family farm where the winery is located was part of the Monastery of Irache, which was a hospital and also a university in the Middle Ages, and it is fenced in by a stone medieval wall, according to the documents we have found in the Navarra official archives. It is, as they are called in France, an authentic medieval Clos.
Our project would not make sense outside this place, which means so much to us. We work together with other small local producers to promote tourism in the area, we participate in many local associations to bring the products of the countryside to our neighbors and we are always looking for new ways to help the development of the region.
We are already the fifth generation running this beautiful farm and we are raising our children in love to this land and to a well done work, so that when we pass it on to their hands they will feel the same love for this place as their ancestors did.
In vine growing, we must follow the rules of the DOP Navarra Control Board, which with its seal guarantees quality standards and typicity of the wines. Irrigation is limited to certain times of the year and only a small amount of water is needed. For its better use and efficiency, we have built a pond where we accumulate the rain water. When it is necessary to irrigate, because the vines are young or in times of severe drought, the water arrives by drip irrigation. Thanks to the soil conditions of the vineyard and the large presence of pebbles, there is excellent water retention. The streets of the vineyard are planted with different gramineous plants, which also help to create competition and improve water management. The vines only receive the water they really need.
At Pago de Larrainzar we take a sustainable approach to farming, although at the moment we are not certified as organic. Some of our wines are certified as suitable for vegan consumers. We respect our vineyard, we listen to it and we try to work in a respectful way, without altering the ecosystem. The character of our wines comes from this vineyard, and that’s why we have purposely selected the native yeasts that are common in our own area, and not commercial yeasts, to carry out the fermentation of our grapes in the tanks. This gives greater value and authenticity to our wines.
Our team includes 6 people, 3 of whom are family members. My father is the strategist and actively participates in the decision-making process. What he likes best is to decide the blends together with the winemakers. I am the manager of the winery and the technical director, and I am in charge of the vineyard and the winemaking process. My sister Irene is in charge of marketing and sales, so it is usual for her to travel abroad. Regarding the rest of the team, Marian is in charge of customer service and wine tourism. Igor is a winemaker and works with me in the winemaking process. Manuel helps us in the winery and the vineyard. We make a great team and have been working together for many years. We believe in a relationship of mutual trust, where we can all share our ideas.
The vineyard generates certain by-products, which in our case are always exploited. In the case of plant waste from pruning, it is crushed on the same plot and then reused to fertilize our plants. If we generate more than necessary, there are always neighbors who come looking for those woody remains to light fires in their chimneys. Other by-products of winemaking, such as the waste from the bunches, are sent to the alcohol factory, where they are transformed into alcohol. For some years now, even the seeds have been used to make oil.
For the production of our wines we make a double selection of bunches in the vineyard and in the winery. In certain harvests, when there are grapes that we do not want, we sell them to local winegrowers.