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In Brief:

Crafted in a pueblo of Castile outside of Madrid from third generation makers, this massive winesack can serve thirty friends at once. Complete with shoulder strap and wooden stand, the botarron is a proper addition to any True gathering.

Always cure your wineskin before use. See below for a video demonstration from maker Jesus Blanco.

Using the Skins of Goats

For centuries in Spain, long before the Roman times, travelers and shepherds have used bota bags to transport wine. They have even more ancient roots. Wineskins appear in the stories of two epic travelers, used by Odysseus to deceive his enemy the cyclops and by Noah after the building of his ark. Made from two pieces of goat hide stitched together and sealed on the inside with resin, the bota bag is the journeyman’s iconic companion.

Bota bags are designed for one person, and meant to share during the ferias of Spain, but this botarrón is a throwback to the wineskin’s origins. Constructed from one piece of leather, the botarrón holds five bottles of wine, and ideal for any True gathering.

“It’s basically made from the whole goat,” says Jonathan Harris, of La Tienda, the headquarters for Spanish artisanal goods and wares. While many retailers are content to sell throw-away wineskins with a tacky red string and call it a feria, La Tienda went deep into the heat of Castila-La Mancha and into La Siguenza, an ancient walled city, to work with Jesus Blasco, whose family has been making botas in the old style for hundreds of years.

The wineskins, similar to what you might find in medieval times, come with a trek-friendly shoulder strap and with a wooden stand. The piece features two holes: the top to add the wine, and the spout to pour.

Beware: artisanal botas and botarróns cannot be used right away and need to be cured. This is how you do it.

The Right Way to Cure a Wineskin