Cariñena Travel 101, Part 2
Cariñena Travel 101, Part 2.
In our last newsletter we explored the first part of our September trip to Cariñena, hosting a group of five U.S.-based wine trade and media.
Day 3: On our third day, we set out early in the morning to Bodegas San Valero. Upon greeting the export manager Raquel Santolaya, she took us on a tour of the bottling facility. It was a pleasant surprise as we weren’t expecting so many bottles!
Vineyard manager Paul Gazzola then took us through many vineyards, explaining the work of BSV in the fields and showing us old vine Garnacha and Cariñena plots along with some Tempranillo. Our guests enjoyed the beautiful views, ripe grapes, and recreations of the wine labels (please refer to photo of label).
After our walk in the rocky soils of the vineyards, the group enjoyed a tasting led by winemaker Jesús Prieto. Jesús also brought out some freshly fermented wine juice which was the perfect aperitif for the large lunch to follow with general director Ignacio Pastor. We were served ternasco de aragon with potatoes (roasted lamb) a dish typical of this region, and when we say large please read as a lamb shank the size of your forearm.
Somehow after such a wholesome meal, we were able to work up an appetite for an evening tapas crawl down “El Tubo”. El Tubo is located in the Casco Antiguo – it is a series of narrow streets that can only be trafficked by foot full of tapas, bars and people. We highly recommend adding it to your itinerary if you’re planning a trip to Zaragoza!
Day 4: Our visit to Grandes Vinos marked the last day of our trip, it was bittersweet. We started the day in the vineyards alongside marketing manager Manuel and export manager Lianna Daniel, which was made especially memorable as we were able to harvest some old vine garnacha! Not only was it a highly educational experience, it also made for great photo ops.
Next, we made our way to a fermenting facility where we witnessed the destemming of a freshly delivered load of grapes! We then returned to the main visitor center to enjoy a delicious lunch paired perfectly with the wines of Grandes Vinos.
Afterwards we headed back to Madrid discussing the wines we tried and the wonderful vineyards we explored.