Tondonia Winery – Zaha Hadid Pavilion.
Gorgeous wine and gorgeous architecture! The Tondonia Winery – Zaha Hadid Pavilion was another on our ‘must-see’ list while we were in La Rioja. Tam is a great fan of Zaha Hadid and this old winery I’d heard, had some impressive wines. With this in mind, a visit was arranged with Jose from Wine Taste Lovers, our tour guide for our trip.
Zaha Hadid Pavilion
Firstly, the R. Lopez De Heredia Wine Pavilion was designed by Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi-British architect, for the Barcelona Food and Drink Fair. It was built to celebrate the wineries 125th anniversary and also to house the older pavilion stand from the Brussels World Expo of 1910. In particular, it is an impressive design and can be seen in the picture below. It’s decanter shape I found pleasing to the eye.
The 1910 Expo Stand
Originally built for the 1910 Brussels World Expo, the walnut stand is pictured above. It is a striking addition to the Tondonia Winery – Zaha Hadid Pavilion. Originally built in a modernist style for the Spanish Pavilion at the 1910 Brussels Expo, it lay dormant in a storeroom for a while. Then, undergoing a sympathetic restoration 92 years after its first appearance, it was brought back to life. It was restored for the Barcelona Food and Drink Fair. However, it didn’t fit in any of the existing buildings on returning from the fair. A new building was commissioned and the 1910 stand is now housed in the Zaha Hadid Pavilion. It is a great mix of old and new.
Vina Tondonia Reserva
I fell in love with their Vina Tondonia Reserva. I could rave about this wine all day, but in a language evolved to scream at the monkey in the next tree, my words would not do it justice. You see vibrant red colours in the glass, with shades of terracotta and tile. On the nose, it has scents of vanilla. The taste is rich and smooth with good tannins. It is a mixture of Tempranillo (75%), Garnacho (15%), Graciano and Mazuelo (10%). Significantly, for a Rioja, this Reserva doesn’t keep with the ageing conventions. Ageing for 6 years in barrels rather than the traditional 1 year in oak and 2 in bottles, it kinda qualifies as a Gran Reserva.
Classification and Technique
For more information on how Rioja wine is classified, see here. Racking it twice a year, it is fined traditionally with fresh egg whites. For more on the technicalities of fining, see here.
Tondonia Winery – Zaha Hadid Pavilion Conclusions
With fantastic wine, great architecture and a sense of theatre in the tasting room there is so much to recommend a visit. Visiting this winery you’ll not be disappointed!
This was part of our La Rioja adventure for more great wineries see my Campo Viejo and Marques de Riscal articles. If you fancy going to La Rioja and sampling some of the great Riojas on offer my guide may be of some help.
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