Wine Touring in the Rioja Alta – Haro

Haro We usually start our wine touring in the Rioja in Haro, the wine capital of the Rioja Alta, a town of 12,000 inhabitants, where you’ll find a fairly large concentration of wineries that can be visited, both highly traditional and new generation, most all requiring a prior appointment.  Most of the notable wineries are…

Wine Touring in the Rioja Alta – Briones

After a visit to Haro, with a possible detour to a winery in Ollauri, my next suggested stop on the wine trail comes about 5 km down the N-124 / N-232.  You should exit at Briones for a visit of several hours and lunch.  Briones, coupled with neighboring San Vicente, are the two most interesting…

Wine Touring in the Kingdom of Navarra

Like the Ribera del Duero and the Rioja, Navarra is home to a wealth of premium wineries including 4 of Spain’s 17 official Vinos de Pagos, or DO de Pago; Señorío de Otazu, Prado de Irache, Señorío de Arínzano, and La Finca Bolandín, which was added in 2014.  What is a DO de Pago, a…

Madrid’s Best Casual Dining

Our favorite “Foodie” Gastro Bars in the Retiro For a more authentic, non-touristy tapas crawl, or gourmet sit-down meal, we highly recommend visitors to the city find their way to the upmarket residential area just east of Retiro Park.  This neighborhood has by far the best taverns per square meter in the entire city, it’s…

Visiting a Txakoli Vineyard

Gipuzkoa The Route of the Txakolí of Getaria runs along the coast from Hondarribia to Deba and inland to Olaberria, Oñati and Arrasate, and currently includes 31 wineries belonging to the Getariako Txakolina D.O..  The majority of the wineries, 11 sourrounding Getaria, and 6 around Zarautz that can be easily visited from San Sebastián. Among…

Pago de Cirsus de Iñaki Nuñez

It’s been ten years since we were first introduced to the estate of Bodegas Pago de Cirsus, La Finca Bolandín in Ablitas, and yes, things have changed, all for the better.  The single vineyard, winery, Hotel-Chateau and Restaurant are located in the southernmost part of Navarra, the “bread and vegetable basket” region of La Ribera, adjacent to the Bardenas Reales Nature…

The Cerdanya and the Catalan Pyrenees

Prior to our stay on the Costa Brava, we spent three days exploring the picturesque and sunny Cerdanya valley between la Seu d’Urgell (Lleida) and Puigcerdá (Girona), surrounded by the majestic Catalan Pyrenees mountains.  From our base at the inviting and restful Parador de Seu, in the confluence of the Valira and Segre rivers, we made forays into the…

Where To Dine in the Alto Douro

Here are our recommendations on where to dine during your next adventure in the Alto Douro: Restaurante Rabelo (Michelin Plate) Rua António Manuel Saraiva, Pinhão Tel: +351 220 133 137 Bar-Restaurante Veladouro Rua da Praia Nr3, Pinhão Tel: +351 254 738 166 Castas e Pratos (Michelin Plate) Rua José Vasques Osório, Régua Tel: +351 254…

Exploring the Alto Douro

Touring Portugal’s Premiere Wine Regions The Alto Douro Although long famous for its fortified wines from such port houses as Taylor-Fladgate,  Offley, Graham, Noval and Sandeman, the Alto Douro Vinhateiro, one of the most beautiful wine growing regions in Europe, has, in the last twenty years or so, come into it own as a producer…