HARVEST AT HOME
Every year as summer comes to an end, harvest season in Rioja begins. The region is filled with beauty and colour, and the Campo Viejo vineyard is bustling with activity. Harvest is an important and rewarding process, that starts from the moment ripe grapes are picked from the vines and ends with a celebratory sip of the new batch of wine.
There’s always a wonderful feeling of celebration around harvest, explains Campo Viejo’s Chief Winemaker, Elena Adell. “Harvest is a special time for any winemaking team as it’s a celebration of another year of hard work and fruitful labour coming to an end,” she says.
Campo Viejo aren’t the only ones who reap the rewards of nature’s bounty at harvest time. While Rioja is known for producing vibrant wine, the region is home to all sorts of amazing local produce.
Thanks to the wonderful climate and fertile soil, Rioja is one big fruit and vegetable garden. Along with grapes, Rioja produces piquillo peppers, artichokes, peaches, pears and white asparagus. Meat is exceptional too, with green pastures on the southern slopes home to outstanding cattle and lamb.
Fresh produce is best enjoyed with friends and a glass of wine. So, what better way to celebrate the harvest season than with a colourful lunch or dinner? Here’s some inspiration to host your own festive gathering with classic Riojan produce that complements the vibrancy and expression of Campo Viejo wines.
Taste the vibrancy and versatility of Reserva
In Rioja, every celebratory meal includes a plate of chorizo and a lively glass of wine. We love Chorizo Riojano, which is famous for its authentic flavour and natural ingredients. The chorizo’s intense paprika and garlic flavour makes it an excellent pairing for Campo Viejo Reserva.
For something a little lighter, try pairing Reserva with:
- Manchego cheese: Hard sheep cheeses are a wine lover’s best friend. Renowned cheesemakers, Los Cameros, have won awards for their quality Manchego. During the ripening process they brush and rub their cheese with olive oil to bring out its distinct flavour.
- Piquillo Peppers: Typically small and sweet, these peppers are ubiquitous in Rioja’s traditional cuisine. They’re perfect fresh, gently roasted or preserved in their own juices. You can find them stuffed with bacalao, lamb or goat’s cheese, dipped in batter and fried. Delicioso!
When hosting an impromptu gathering, welcoming guests can be as simple serving a classic platter with chorizo, cheese and a bottle of Reserva. Or, why not prepare an easy tapa like Queso y Chorizo con Pan (chorizo and cheese sandwich), which elevates the classic platter by simply adding bread and jamon.
Celebrate special meals with a glass of Gran Reserva
Lamb is a match made in heaven for Campo Viejo Gran Reserva. The delicacy of the meat and smoothness of the wine make it a perfect combo for a celebratory dinner with friends. Whether roast lamb, tender cutlets grilled over vine clippings (a local favourite in Rioja), or slow braised shanks, you can’t go wrong with a lamb dish paired with Gran Reserva.
If you’re feeling adventurous, trying making Lamb Rogan Josh for your next dinner party. This dish is bound to be a hit, and brings out the aroma and explosion of flavour of Campo Viejo Gran Reserva.
Keep it light and fresh with Tempranillo Blanco
They say ‘what grows together, goes together’ – not far from our winery in Rioja grows a regional specialty: white asparagus. A fun fact to share with friends, this pale asparagus owes its appearance to human intervention. As the stalks grow, farmers cover the tops with dirt, preventing the shoots from seeing sunlight. This technique is what gives the vegetable its distinct flavour and texture.
The beauty of white asparagus is its simplicity. Just steam it, drizzle with olive oil and serve as an appetiser with a glass of Campo Viejo Tempranillo Blanco.
The celebration needn’t stop at dinner. While Tempranillo Blanco pairs beautifully with any dessert, we love to sip it alongside fardelejos. These little fried pocket pastries are packed with a sweet, rich almond filling – the perfect end to a delicious meal. Salud!
For a real taste of Rioja, why not share a bottle of Campo Viejo with friends? For more inspiration, visit @campoviejo on Instagram and follow us on Facebook.