November 7, 2017

Travel: A weekend In La Rioja And A Winery Tour

San Vicente de la Sonsierra
Travel vlog at San Vicente de la Sonsierra
Travel vlog Spain
Herederos de Marques de Riscal
Wine making - Sorting machine
Herederos del Marques de Riscal, El Ciego
Travelling around Spain - Zaragoza

La Rioja is a province in northern Spain which is well known internationally for the quality of its wine. There are so many wineries in this region and a glass of wine at a bar is honestly cheaper than water. Have you ever bought a glass of wine for € 0.90? Well, we got to do that. Even though I can't drink at the moment, I tried a sip just to know what it's like, and it was really good. We'd rented an apartment and visited for a weekend of girly fun. The drive was long, about 5 hours, but I had great company. 

We spent Saturday exploring the towns around like San Vicente de la Sonsierra, La Guardia and the Herederos Del Marques de Riscal winery in El Ciego, which was an amazing experience. We had a tour of the winery and the tour guide explained how exactly the wine is made and stored. This was my first time experiencing such a tour which also included wine tasting at the end. The Herederos del Marques de La Riscal winery makes around 5 million bottles per year which is shipped around the world. It is popular in countries such as USA, UK, Mexico & Switzerland.

During the harvest season, the grapes are collected and are put through the sorting machine where they are separated from the stems and then go through visual sorting where the grapes are sorted based on applied criterias on size, form etc in order for only the right grapes to be chosen. Once this is done, the grapes are crushed and the liquid extracted which then goes into the first phase of fermentation that usually last 7-10 days. In this phase, the sugar and yeast converts the grape juice to alcohol. The next step is the second phase of fermentation which lasts up to 2 months is the malolactic fermentation. This is when malic acid is transformed into lactic acid which makes the wine smoother. The wine is then transfered to wooden barrels where it continues its fermentation process for 1,5 - 3 years, depending on the type of wine. After which the wine is transferred to bottles. 

We also had a night out in Logrono where we visited the famous pinchos street. Pinchos are like finger food usually made up of a slice of french bread with different selections of food on top. For example, you could have potato omlette, camambert cheese, avocado & salmon, mushrooms etc on a slice of bread. On this street, each bar had a different selection and I was happy to find quite a few vegetarian options.

On the last day, we stopped by Calahorra to see the cathedral and spent some time in the park before heading off to Zaragoza where we had lunch. I'd visited Zaragoza earlier in 2016 and it is such a beautiful place and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar is astounding from the outside and on the inside. 

Please send me suggestions on amazing locations in Catalunya.

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