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Ramón Bilbao considers a century of work led by curiosity

As Ramón Bilbao hits an important milestone, winemaker Rodolfo Bastida reflects on the bodega’s journey and the work ahead.

This Year, Ramón Bilbao, Spain’s celebrated Rioja producer, celebrates 100 years of history. The winery opened its first bodega in Haro in 1924, though it has since expanded across Rioja and to Rueda. It has a full schedule to celebrate the centenary, including special celebrations and its upcoming appearance at ProWein Düsseldorf.

Winemaker Rodolfo Bastida, tells db how curiosity, innovation, knowledge and respect drive his search for excellence.

A centenary is a great time to take stock: what defines Ramón Bilbao in 2024?

A few words come to mind: flavour, curiosity, knowledge and pleasure. Throughout this century, we have represented the greatest facets of Rioja: identity, fruit and proximity. And, above all, it symbolises an enticing idea: a passion for discovery and enjoyment. Today, we have a whole family of modern wines, each with its own open, fresh and fruity character, as well as a unique range through which we seek to highlight the value of origin and territory.

Where do you see Ramón Bilbao going in the next 100 years?

We will continue to delve deeper into our land. Our curiosity always makes us strive to surpass ourselves and push one step further.

In recent years, we have highlighted the value of highaltitude vineyards and pushed the limits of Rioja viticulture, identifying plots with distinctive qualities in lesser-known areas. At the same time, we have further developed our experience in making wines with grapes from different origins, and which are less common in Rioja.

One practice that is developing nicely is sustainability and conscious cultivation, helping us to create wines that display greater purity and a sense of place and landscape.

What is the driving force behind this development?

Our vocation is to go further and offer an even more complete and enriching wine experience. We have mastered the art of making wines with personality, but we don’t want to stop there. We look to the future in all that we do – in the vineyard and the landscapes, but also in the winery, for example by innovating with tanks of different formats and materials. And, as we have always kept an eye on the constant changes in the evolution of the market, we have been able to detect what people want.

How would you suggest a consumer gets to know Ramón Bilbao?

We will always be curious, and they should be too. We aspire to offer a journey of discovery, creating great wine and showing close attention to the potential of Rioja’s best vineyards.

How will you celebrate the centenary?

It is going to be an intense year of celebratory events and exciting news. But the most important thing will be to raise our glasses and enjoy the wine together. When opening a bottle, we share everything it represents: the Rioja landscape, a century’s history, friendship, resilience and the future.

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