Our Cultural Activities
Wine enthusiasts who visit the bodega are surprised by the importance placed on heritage. Everything that the visitor sees takes them back, in one way or another, to the founding of the bodega – except, of course, the modern bottling line, and subsequent processes necessary for wines to be delivered to the client.
But what the visitor might not be aware of is that the outside appearance of the bodega corresponds to a specific ideology, an absolutely coherent business vision – much the same as the cultural project that was initiated some years ago.
The rich wine-making heritage is complemented by an important collection of documents and ethnographic material, reflecting more than a century of work in the bodega and vineyards. The Cultural Project attempts to put this great heritage into perspective.
The role of the private sector in promoting cultural issues is a very modern idea that emerged from more classical financial backing such as in sport.
Until recently, it was more typical for government and public administration to fund cultural issues. The next step was for banks and building societies to invest in culture, and finally other businesses began to follow.
Bodegas R. López de Heredia has provided considerable sponsorship to sporting, social and cultural events and issues, right from the very beginning. Many pieces displayed in the local library, and relating to Haro and its surroundings, were financed by the company. As one of our expressive labels reminds us, our founder collaborated with the Red Cross and in 1898 donated over 1000 cases of wine to the wounded in the Cuban and Philippine wars.
Our archives consist of a large collection of different materials and resources that enable us to research and explain our heritage.
But we should not think that the project has just begun. Many initiatives reflecting this ideology began decades ago – and are based on criteria such as our regard for the bodega’s heritage; the use of local materials; architectural projects employing traditional techniques; environmental awareness in the vineyards; sustainability; the use of renewable energy, and several other initiatives.
If you walk around the vineyard, for example, you will see our vines trained using the traditional gobelet method, contrasting with neighbouring vineyards’s modern trellis systems, and stone and wooden buildings, as if they were built centuries ago. There is a true taste for tradition that contrasts with the use of new technology in other areas of the company.
The same can be said of the restoration of relics and furniture from the beginning of the 20th century, or paintings and other artistic material of cultural interest. A clear example can be seen in the beautifully-restored mosaics, originally crafted in 1924 by the painter Alfonso Romero, that were exhibited in Restaurante Los Gabrieles in Madrid, together with pieces by other renowned artists. This was the second time these mosaics were restored: in 1951, with possibly a different view of heritage, Viña Tondonia also participated in their restoration. Viña Tondonia has thus formed part of a global cultural project for some time, and it is understandable that it is currently associated with culture.
It is for these reasons that we can say that the bodega has always been immersed in a cultural project. Initially this was by way of maintaining and conserving articles of interest, but at present, also restoring them so that they can be viewed by the public in the near future.