Bodegas Irache is a winery located in the small Spanish town of Ayegui, at the foot of the Mount Montejurra, only two kilometers from the medieval city of Estella. The winery was founded in 1891, however, its vineyards go back to the 12th century. At that time it supplied wine to the royal houses of Navarre in northern Spain. The history of this vineyard is closely intertwined with that of the neighboring Monastery of Irache which was the first monastery to serve as a hospital for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago.
In 1991, Bodegas Irache built a “Wine Fountain” — a little tap on the outside wall of the building where those walking to Compostela can help themselves to a cup of wine, or water. The fountain pays homage to the 8th century Benedictine monastery by giving modern day pilgrims an example of the generosity shown to early pilgrims.
Tourists enjoying free wine at the Wine Fountain in Ayegui. Photo credit
There are two fountains by the side of the building. One dispenses wine, the other dispenses water. There are also two signs at the fountain, that says:
We are pleased to invite you to drink in moderation. If you wish to take the wine with you, you will have to buy it.
Pilgrim, if you wish to arrive at Santiago full of strength and vitality, have a drink of this great wine and make a toast to happiness.
The fountain is gated and open everyday between 8am and 8pm.
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