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Spain

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Wines from Rias Baixas for Summer

Recently I received four very delicious – and very DIFFERENT  – styles of wine from Rias Baixas, the DO in Galicia (northwest Spain) established in 1988. It is the only exclusively white wine DO in Spain. Though I had been to seminars in the past, having the time to taste these four wines and see […]



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Cartavi Awards 2013 Journalist Dinner & Afternoon Tasting at Cervantes Institute

  Fabulous to see the effervescent Nuria Ruiz today … it’s been nearly a year since we traveled in Catalonia together and I discovered that Catalonia is its own very special region within Spain! It was funto see producers again also that I met on the trip, such as Francisco de la Rosa Torello of […]



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Discovering the Wines of Bodegas Muriel

“And here is  the vineyard where we make this wine!” says Eladio Fernandez, export manager for Bodegas Muriel which is now entering the upscale restaurant market in the US and UK. Bodegas Muriel makes an assortment of wines at different price points, yet the Bodegas Muriel brand is the flagship. Among the many interesting things […]



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Lunch with D. Jose Ballesta Germa with wines from Murcia!

On Thursday February 20, his Excellency, the Counselor of Industry, Business, and Innovation of the Autonomous Region of Murcia, Spain – D. Jose Ballesta Germa – joined NYC based journalists for a “Wines of Murcia” pairing lunch … … lots of fun appetizers served with Bodegas Castano Rosado Monastell Yecla 2012, and then Bodegas Luzon […]



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Meeting Tatiana Kohlodova of Bodegas Navarro Lopez and Vina Valoria

Great meeting last night with Tatiana Kohlodova of Bodegas Navarro Lopez and Vina Valoria, the Russian-born export manager for these two Spanish wineries.  The owner of Bodegas Navarro Lopez are Francisco Navarro Lopez and Jose Vincente Navarro Lopez. The winery was founded in 1904, producing over 160,000 liters of wine by the 1930s. The Spanish […]



Tasting Notes January 27, 2014: Dama de Toro + Spanish Sons

Spanish Sons 2010 Tempranillo from Castilla Y Leon, Spain – very well made, easy drinking wine with gentle tannins and a pleasant smoky character.  Flavors of cherry and subtle tobacco and well balanced acidity and tannin. *** Tasted three wines from Dama de Toro, from the Douro Valley in Spain. Dama De Toro Malvasia 2012 […]



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Conversation with Xavier Ausas Lopez de Castro, Bodega Vega Sicilia

“A wine is like a person,” says Xavier Ausas Lopez de Castro, Technical Director for Bodegas Vega Sicilia. “We may dress differently and wear different styles of clothes, yet we are both human beings,” he says, explaining the often dramatic differences between individual parcels. In addition to his responsibilities as technical director for Vega Sicilia, […]



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Visiting Valtravieso Bodegas and Vinedos

“Do the pickers fight a lot during harvest?” a woman asks, listening to the raised voices of a few men rapidly picking Cabernet Sauvignon grapes on a very cold day in Ribera del Duero. We are at the Valtravieso Bodegas and Vinedos owned by Pablo Gonzalez Bertere, who bought the place in 2002 and makes […]



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Visiting Val de Vid in Rueda

Ah, Rueda!  How many times have I read the name of that town, specializing in the Verdejo grape.  How many long nights have I spent studying my WSET textbooks, or tasting with fellow students to completely understand the aroma and flavor profiles between Verdejo and Sauvignon blanc, as both are aromatic varietals. So I finally […]



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Discovering the Wines and Cavas of Catalonia

“When you think of Cava, what comes to mind? Spain? Well, it’s not Spain, not exactly. This was brought home to me last week when I overheard two women speaking what I took to be Spanish, and was surprised that I could not understand it. Then one of the women turned to me, and said […]



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Visiting Scala Dei Cellars

“We are the oldest winery in Priorat,” says Ricard Rofes Salsench, the handsome youngish winemaker at Scala Dei Cellars. We are standing in a small cellar, located in possibly the smallest town square you can imagine (consisting of a bright yellow postal box and a few cafes) where in the 14th century the monks made […]



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Exploring Castell del Remei Winery

Castell del Remei dates its origins back to 1780, the first year for which there is documentary evidence of vines planted in the estate.  The wine was initially sold bulk and the estate began to sell bottled, barrel-aged wine in the second half of the 19th century. With the help of an oenologist, four grape […]



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Visiting Castell dÉncus in Costers del Segre

“So is the  gravity rock fermenter a marketing tool … or is it really used to make wine,” I ask Raul Bobet, once I’ve toured his gorgeous paradise of a vineyard. The first thing you notice about Raul is how immediately likeable he is! Many winemakers seem to share that trait, yet at first meeting […]



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Visiting Castillo Perelada in Catalonia

  So imagine staying at a first rate golf hotel … one so elegant they serve sparkling Cava and also red wine with breakfast, and discovering the family that owns this gorgeous property also owns a gorgeous castle, a casino, and several of the best vineyards in all of Catalonia! It all started earlier in […]



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Visiting Albert Costa Miralbell of Cellar Vall Llach

Just so you know, Mr Llach is a famous singer in Catalonia … and Albert Miralbell is a young, dedicated scion of a historic winemaking family in the Prioriat region. “In one day, we went from selling our wine from five Euros to sixty Euros,” he explains, saying that a high profile sommelier tasted the […]



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Visiting Recaredo Cava in Catalonia

“Welcome!” says Ton, explaining that his name is “short” for Anthony. As soon as you step foot on the winery, you can see the “Recaredo” name stamped on an ancient stone, and feel certain that “good things” are in store. Ton is a super nice guy … he looks a little like a hot young […]



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Visit to Cork Tree Forrest in Catalonia

Okay, so have you ever really thought about the cork in your bottle of wine? So here I am, wearing four inch heels on the top of a mountain where two men are vigorously whacking away at a tree with what looks to be a sort of thin shiny metal.  In the course of one […]



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Visiting The Family Estate of Torello Cava

“Welcome!” says gregarious Francisco de la Rosa Torello, greeting me at the door of his luxury estate established in 1395. With the delicious fragrance of jasmine everywhere, it looks like one of the sprawling villas you’d find in a magazine like Architecture Digest. And yes, there’s something about Francisco (or “Paco”) as he likes to […]



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Visiting Llopart Cava

As soon as Jeci Llopart, a ringer for the dark-haired comedian actress Krysten Ritter (think the sidekick in “Diary of a Shopaholic and many other films and TV shows)  says hello you know it is going to be a fun night! Until this visit, I never realized that Cava producers have such incredible creativity and […]



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Visiting The Miguel Torres Winery in the Penedes

Visiting the gorgeous Miguel Torres winery in the Penedes is a bit like visiting Disneyland in that there is all manner of entertainment to help visitors understand what Miguel Torres and the Torres family wines are all about. The journey begins with a short film (available in virtually all languages) that introduces this historical wine […]