Trip Start Dec 10, 2008
25Trip End Ongoing
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We stayed in the old part in a apartment, as part of a hotel. Now when we say 'hotel' don't think Westin, Sheraton or anything remotely like that - think old concrete facade with wrought iron balaconies, potted colour and cobblestone square. Basic inside, but plenty of room and absolutely perfect for the 7 of us. Of course you could walk everywhere, as most things were happening just outside the front door!
Through the old town there runs a pedestrian boulevard, lined with cafes and bars either side, and down one end of the boulevard there were wine tents set up for tasting's of the regions wines. Well, seeing as we are still very much in the learning process when it comes to the Spanish wines, we took the opportunity to sample as many as could
The second night, we tried some of the more reserve wines that 'cost' 2 tickets.
At one of the tasting tents there was a very helpful girl that took some time to explain some things about the wines, and also invited us to visit her families winery the next day which of course we promptly accepted.
We arrived late morning to Chozas Carrascal winery, where the owner came out to meet us and introduced us to his winemaker. Fantastic guy, with exceptional english vocabulary (studied for a time in the U.S.), who spent no less than 2 hours with us (just Gary & I). He first took us out the vineyard where we tasted the grapes of a new Sav they are producing and also the Chardonnay grape and a merlot. Red wines are still predominent in this country, one of the main reasons is: it's what they've always drunk, and the older generation in particular will never change; one of the exceptions is that a rose is drunk in the hotter summer months.
After our tour of the vineyard we came inside and were taken through the production process including the wine vats (both concrete and stainless steel), bottling plant etc. Also we were able to see parts of the historic winery including the large concrete tanks still stained with the red wine - they've cut holes in them now, like doorways, to enable you to see them and utillize them - actually, look at the photo, that's much better than me trying to explain that one
Of course, finally we were able to drink the wine in the chic and modern tasting room. Even though the outside of the home and winery are traditional, inside is quite a different story. We were very impressed with the minimalist design and cean lines. The owners are forward thinking, and travelled through Spain, France & Itlay to come with this very unique design. As the winemaker said, they all enjoyed working in such a modern environment - we enjoyed being there.
This is a week I would recommend to anyone and as well as the wine tasting there is a whole host of other entertainment happening, in particular our kids enjoyed the fair, complete with roller-coasters, bumper cars and candy floss.
Of course, no celebration, fair or fiesta in this country is complete without the fireworks display, and what a display it was. AND IT WAS LOUD. But hey, that's how do things here, all in nothing .................. I'll take the all :)