Monteagudo is known as one of the best locations for old-vine garnacha and tempranillo in the Navarra region,
as the area was once an ancient seabed with mixed alluvial soil from the Ebro River plain. There is an interesting confluence of three climates in Navarra: Atlantic, Continental, and Mediterranean from north to south. This gives the region many diverse wine styles and great variety. Itxas Harri is located in the southern subzone of Ribera Baja, at the southern tip of Navarra, inside the arid Ebro basin between Aragón and La Rioja, dominated by the Mediterranean climate. Most of the Ribera Baja subzone sits in a river plain, dominated by the presence of the majestic Sierra del Moncayo range to the southwest, the highest peak of the Sistema Ibérico mountain range running parallel to the Ebro River, overlooking vineyards both in Navarra and Aragón. The area is populated by small, predominantly family-owned vegetable farms and a handful of wineries who farm the indigenous garnacha vines.
The resulting wines from Itxas Harri defy standard logic; Navarra lies inland, yet the wines have a restraint and freshness with lower alcohol levels which we associate with the coastal areas. This was the result of the right climate and marine-bed vineyard for which Ignacio and Iñaki had been searching.
Navarra’s reputation for food and wine grew during the late Middle Ages, as religious tourists from what is now France, traveled along the medieval pilgrimage route, Camino de Santiago. They began noting the high quality of the wines they encountered as they made their way through the Kingdom of Navarra, en route to the Christian shrine of St. James the Apostle in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. Today the Camino de Santiago has grown in popularity for hikers interested in history, culture, and regional gastronomy. The Itxas Harri labels reflect the cultural heritage of the region as typified by the scallop shell on the Beltza garnacha (Basque for black, denoting a red wine). The scallop shell is the most iconic symbol associated with the Camino de Santiago, representing the various European routes on the camino which all converge in Santiago de Compostela.
Itxas Harri has begun their exploration of Navarra with two wines. The first is an old-vine garnacha rosé, appropriately named Ŕoxa, which is “rosé” in Basque. Ŕoxa is an elegant, refreshing rosé that pairs beautifully with the grilled artichokes and vegetables for which Navarra is so famous. The second is a quaffable, vin de soif red garnacha simply called Beltza, which shows off the stony minerality of the region that lies on an ancient sea-bed. Beltza displays the refreshing, crunchy side of garnacha that is an easy pairing for almost any dish.
Itxas Harri plans to continue their exploration of the Basque culinary landscape, as the two friends recuperate old vineyards and make the treasures of this historic region accessible to new audiences.