Spain…Again?!

Yes the title is correct. We felt like we should go back to Spain. I know what you’re saying “Keith it’s only be two weeks, what the heck could you need to do in Spain AGAIN that quickly?”
Well, if you’ve been to Spain, then you understand the want to go back, but yes to come back this quickly is a little crazy, we know. We feel like if we are able to gain representation from the right places we can really have a well rounded wine portfolio to get started with, and to do so we needed to be able to hit as many regions as possible right away.
We are just lucky our wives and families understand, because that is by far the hardest part…all for the cause though am I right?
Anyway,We took a much longer flight than we anticipated (Thanks again to O’hare for delaying yet another flight) and landed in Madrid around 9 am Spanish time.
After grabbing Café con leche (come on gringos, what is that?!) and a ham sandwich (seems simple but man is it good) we rented our car and were on our way!
This time, we are spending our time In the NorthWest of Spain in Galicia (Ga-lees-ia) to get started with and today we were in the Ribeira Sacra DO (Rib—eye-ra Sock-ra). Remember, DO is just a government designation to define the wine regions in Spain.
The country side we drove through to get to the winery, Bodegas Regina Viarum, was nothing short of amazing. After what we saw last time, what this looked like was a completely new country even though it was just a little jaunt over from the other regions.Rolling hills, big mountains, green EVERYWHERE. No wonder they call it Green Spain.
We wound our way up through the city of Doade all the way up to the winery. It was such a steep hill we thought our little IBIZA car wasn’t going to make it.
We pulled up and our new friend, Ancho, met us at the gate. The tour was wonderful, highlighted by the amazing views. The vineyards are on such a steep grade that we all had a hard time imagining how the heck someone would farm the vineyards. Then we looked a little closer and we saw. They just. Do it. Because that is how it has always been done.
The Romans brought grapes there and planted these hillsides knowing it would be the best place for what they wanted. Bodegas Regina Viarum’s architecture is an homage to those roman times with the perfect mix of new technology.
It’s a small place, but for the Ribeira Sacra region it is one of the biggest wineries. We walked through the ancient doors into the state of the art winery, through the hallway made of old barrels and staves, into where they make the wine.
They were similar to other wineries with fermentation tanks and the like, but both winemakers were in there and Adam proceeded to speak with them in Spanish the whole time, while we spoke to the tour guide in English. It really felt like we were a part of what they were doing, making new friends in a short amount of time.We left fairly quickly to go up to the tasting room. Yes, because we wanted to taste, but also because a couple of the tanks started foaming over and they had to rush to fix it!The wines were exactly what we hoped. Setting the mood by walking on a suspended walkway through their barrel room, into the brand new tasting room. This really got us mentally ready. As always, I had to refocus to make sure it didn’t distract me from the wines themselves. This was easy today though, because the wines were so well made. The grapes were Godello (Go-dayo) for the white wine and Mencia (Men-thia). Experiencing tasting the same grape, from 4 different ways to age and ferment right next to each other was fun, educational and necessary to really see how cool the Mencia grape can be.
They treat it like Pinot Noir in this region and you can really see why. The elegance and grace, the purity of fruit and texture, it’s something that we are very excited to share with people.
After having our last glass on the balcony overlooking the whole valley, we went down to the viewpoint, as they call it, to go into the vineyards. We walked down onto the steps the workers walk on. Let’s just say I was uneasy, but it was totally worth it. They. Are. STEEP. I have a new appreciation for how hard their job is and it makes sense why a premium price must be paid to drink these wines.
Another amazing experience at the perfect winery. They fit in with exactly what we are doing and we couldn’t be happier.
We hopped in the car and drove a few hours to our hotel in Leon and CRASHED.It was a long day but a great start.Day 2 will be spent in Bierzo, trying wines from the same grapes but a different region.The last thought I had before falling asleep, other than I miss my wife and kids, was, after seeing another region with the beauty and breadth as Ribeira Sacra, all I can do is thank God for putting things like this on Earth for us to enjoy and experience. There is no other way something could be THIS beautiful without his creation.
Until next time,
Cheers
Keith

Leave a Reply