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…

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…

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…

Exploring Portugal’s Alentejo

Arraiolos to Vila Vicosa Our latest Iberian sojourn took us to Portugal’s largest province, its “wild east”, the Alentejo, “the land beyond the River Tagus”, just 90 minutes east of Lisbon and just west of Spain’s Extremadura, the land of the Conquistadors.  The Alentejo is a vast, primarily rural, utterly tranquil and unspoiled area of…