Located in the heart of Navarra, Olite is a small town whose streets and monuments are steeped in its medieval past. This ancient capital of the Kingdom of Navarra is just 46 km from Pamplona and is the second most visited town in the region.
The capital of Navarra wine
Thanks to its Mediterranean climate the town enjoys perfect conditions for agriculture and grape growing. The wine tradition of Olite dates back many centuries and today it is home to the main regional wine bodies such as the Estación de Viticultura y Enología de Navarra (EVENA), dedicated to the study, experimentation and diffusion of techniques for vine growing and the production of wine.
One of Olite’s treasures is, without doubt, the Vine and Wine Museum of Navarra, located in a small 12th-century palace. The museum boasts advanced multimedia facilities that immerse visitors in the region’s wine culture, following the making of wine from the pressing of the grapes to its bottling. There are also 50-minute guided group visits in which, after discovering all about the history of the region’s wine, you can enjoy a delicious glass of Navarra D.O. wine. An experience not to be missed!
The Aroma Room
There is no better way to round off your visit to the museum than by visiting one of the region’s many wineries. If you are a wine lover and visiting Olite you must stop off at the Aroma Room in the Señorío de Andión winery, owned by the Belasco Family. The winery, inaugurated in 2003, is built in an avant-garde style that certainly attracts the attention of visitors; it boasts a 60-hectare vineyard and its wines come under the Navarra D.O.
The Aroma Room is the most comprehensive of its kind in Spain, with 46 labelled aromas placed in order on an information panel that explains the different categories: primary, secondary and tertiary, according to whether the aromas are specific to the grape variety itself, they derive from fermentation or develop during the ageing of the wine in the barrel or the bottle.
This is an educational, interactive room that invites visitors to sharpen their senses and store in their memories aromas that will enable them to discover and enjoy each wine, each different nuance and sensation.
At the end of the end of the tour, there is a panel with a series of questions to quiz you on what you have learnt during the visit, so remember to pay special attention because the winners get a prize!
A return to the Middle Ages
After visiting the wineries and enjoying their flavourful wines, why not sample the delights of this town, which still has a certain medieval air to it, especially during the last fortnight of August when merchants, artisans, clergy, jugglers or knights on horses flood the streets to celebrate the famous medieval fiestas of Olite. During this festival a street market offers typical artisan products from Navarra and the Middle Ages, whilst the town’s restaurants, carried away by the medieval atmosphere, serve meals typical of the period. You’ll love it!
One of the greatest historical treasures of the region is the Castle-palace of Olite, built on the site of a former Roman construction dating from the 3rd century and renovated on several occasions as it was chosen by Carlos III el Noble as his place of residence. Today its architecture has a Gothic aspect, especially its galleries and windows. Its unquestionable attractiveness led it to be declared a National Monument in 1925.
If you are thinking of visiting Navarra during the summer months, why not discover the secrets of this little town with an enormous cultural and historical wealth and which also is home to the best wines in the whole region!