Spain

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    Rioja and Bilbao

    Since the Middle Ages, Riojan wine has been prized. Medieval pilgrims drank it while travelling through the north of Spain en route to Santiago de Compostela. They then spread the word about this fantastic wine.

    In recent years Rioja has enjoyed a full blown renaissance and today there’s a multitude of wine styles: historic Rioja, classic Rioja and modern Rioja, and all based on the Tempranillo red grape variety. The wines of Rioja are best described as intense, earthy and seductive and have never been more popular, and quite rightly so!

    Logrono, the capital of Rioja is both a lively city and an ideal touring base. The route of Santiago de Compostela traverses the city and its Gothic church and cathedral offered shelter to the pilgrims down through the ages.

    Haro, the wine capital of Rioja is a medieval hilltop town, its winding streets and alley ways are lined with tapas bars.

    It has the largest concentration of large bodegas in the region and is home to the famous old traditional bodegas of CVNE, MUGA, La Rioja and Lopez de Heredia.

    A visit to these bodegas will give a valuable insight in to how these very special wines are created, from vine to cask to glass.

    Bilbao, a port city about an hour north of Rioja, revitalised since the construction of the Frank O Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum is a ‘must see!’ With it’s titanium frame and fascinating structure it has become an icon of modern architecture. It s not surprising that the museums contents have gained both passionate devotees and damning detractors!

    Ribera del Duero

    In a little more than twenty years the wines of Ribera del Duero have had a stellar rise to stardom. An admirable transformation in to one of the Titans of the Spanish wine world. The red grape variety of Tempranillo (locally known as Tinto Fino) is responsible for producing both fruity young wine and complex alluring aged wine.

    The beautiful valley along the Duero river where nature is unique and the terroir very special, producing exceptional quality wine and demonstrating the new Spanish wine style.

    Rueda

    Rueda is Castilla Y Leon’s fine white wine region and has been leading the way for white wine in Spain since the 1970’s when Marques de Riscal ceased white wine making in Rioja and relocated to Rueda. What brought them to Rueda was the cool, sunny, continental climate and the local, especially fruity Verdejo grape variety which has finally been recognised as a great white grape. The Verdejo from Rueda is captivating to the nose, giving delicate vegetative aromas , fresh and fruity tasting  and with a characteristic bitter finish,all adding eloquence to the wine and deserving of it’s reputation as  a quality wine.

    The climate also proved perfect for Sauvignon Blanc and so true international Spanish white wines were born made from each of these two grape varieties and from blends of them both.

    The Rueda appellation is mainly in the province of Valladolid but also extends in to Avila and Segovia.

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