Irache Wine Fountain
The Monastery of Irache is located near the little town of Ayegui, surrounded by vineyards, belonging to the Bodegas Irache. The winery was established in 1891.
On one of the Irache winery walls facing the Camino, the owners of Bodegas Irache have kindly put a wine fountain, so that pilgrims can serve themselves a free glass of red wine to help them on their way. There's also a water fountain - if that's more your tipple.
Navarra is renowned for the quality of the local wine - even back in the 12th century and the Codex Calixtinus mentions Estella - a land of Good Bread and Great Wine. Thousands of people from all over the world have visited the Fountain - and it is totally unique on the Camino.
You might like to have the Wine Fountain stamp on your Credential - so pop into the Bodega offices. They also have a Wine Museum, so you might like to join their 1200 tour.
The Benedictines started building the Irache Monastery complex in the second half of the 11th-century. Over the centuries the Monastery of Iratxe has performed different functions - pilgrims' hospice, university, military hospital, religious college and in the future, a Parador (the famous state-run luxury hotel chain). Dedicated to Santa María la Real, it once housed the image of Our Lady of Iratxe (12th century), a beautiful example of Marian Romanesque imagery, which is nowadays kept in another church nearby.
Irache is one of the most important monumental complexes in Navarra but sadly has been uninhabited since 1985. However, today you can visit free of charge. The highlights are the cloister and the C12th Romanesque church, laid out in the shape of a Latin cross and a central apse has a perfectly-preserved cornice adorned with animals. The two Romanesque doorways are St. Peter's door, carved with historical motifs and the Preciosa (beautiful) door with images of the Saviour and the Virgin Mary.