The Wines & Gastronomy of Spain – Ribera del Duero

Considered one of the most legendary winemaking regions in Spain, the Ribera del Duero, a short drive northwest of Madrid on Spain’s northern plateau, is home to some of the most elegant red wines in the world.  The appellation, or DO, straddles four provinces in Castilla y León: Valladolid, Burgos, Soria and Segovia.  The fabled…

Fall in Portugal’s Alto Douro Wine Region

Fall is a perfect time of the year to find yourself in Portugal’s strikingly beautiful Alto Douro wine region.  This year we based ourselves for 4 nights at Taylor-Fladgate’s Vintage House in Pinhão during the second week of November, after the fall harvest, when the vineyards explode in a rainbow of vivid colors.  A few…

Dining in San Sebastián-Donostia

The Michelin stars Pedro Subijana’s Akelaŕe on Mount Igueldo, one of our personal favorites, Andoni’s Mugaritz in Errenteria, the most cerebral and cutting-edge, Restaurant Martín Berasategui in Lasarte, Hilario Arbelaitz’s Zuberoa in Oiartzun, by far the most traditional of the Michelin stars, are all located in the suburbs, while the Txapategi brothers, Mikel, Kepa and Gorka’s…

The Ribera del Duero Wine Region

Wine Touring in the Ribera del Duero Long considered one of the most legendary winemaking regions in Spain, the Ribera del Duero, which lies only a short 2-hour drive northwest of Madrid on Spain’s northern plateau, is home to some of the most elegant red wines in the world.   its extremes of weather, from…

Porto’s Port Lodges

Visiting Porto’s Historic Port Lodges Porto’s acclaimed port lodges, or port cellars/warehouses, are all located on the southern bank of the Douro River in the riverfront area of Vila Nova de Gaia, referred to locally as Gaia, technically another town, completely devoted to the port wine trade.  This is where all the port wine production…

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…

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…

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…