Vermouth, not just a Spanish wine.

Vermouth (or Vermut in Spanish) , is a type of wine traditionally drunk in Spain before lunch, we call this act, “to have a vermouth”, and this means you will meet friends and family at around 1 PM and share this wine with a plate of chips and a plate of olives.

“Having the vermouth” is not just about drinking and opening your appetite,It is more about talking with  people about how the day is going so far, and interact in the lives of others.

It is also the meeting point on Sunday after  mass or just before a big family lunch when you talk and talk and talk, about what has happened during the week. It is a bit like a face time moment posting your life while sipping the wine with others. Can you go to a Spanish bar and drink Vermouth alone? Yes you can, but this is not how traditionally you drink it in Spain. This wine is served very cold in a normal glass that has 2 to 4 ice cubes, a rind of orange and sometimes an olive. The bar attendant will leave next to you a “syphon” (Seltz water bottle) so you can add to the Vermouth at your discretion. Once the Vermouth is finished you eat the olive and then go home for lunch or to the local restaurant. It is rare to have more than one glass of Vermouth, except on Sunday, when the time to “have a Vermouth” can extend for up to 2 hours, and then rush to family lunch that starts at around 3 PM. So you can imagine how happy and bubbly you are when arrive to see all your extended family...

 

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Tumeon a traditional Spanish Vermouth  is now available in Australia to share with friends and family, and to be enjoyed at any time of the day. 

http://www.bestofspain.com.au/cellar/vermouth-turmeon

If you would like more information about Vermouth please contact me  or fill up the form below. 

D.O. Toro

Toro region is located in the Spanish West extreme of the Duero River, in between Zamora and Valladolid. This area has been producing wines since the romans taught the Celtic–Ibers  (aboriginal inhabitants of Spain), how to make wine on the 1st century BC.

 It was the first area from the Duero River to trade their wines in the early middle ages.

Well known for the quality of her wines, the King Alfonso IX granted lands to those Christians Orders that grow vines and make wine in this area; due this the area has a rich Romanesque art with several churches being build with the profits of the selling of their wines.  

In the 15th century Columbus used Toro wines to travel in the first trip to America, he even named one of his three ships from his first trip as Pintia (that is a measure typical from Toro area of around 6lts), and is the boatwhere the wine was transported.

he soils of Toro are made by round stones, and a sandy light color top soil with a very low content of organic compounds, only the old vineyards grow their roots to a meter deep soil where the soil has more clay and some water is accumulated in this soil.  Due to this exceptional sandy soil the Phylloxera did not “attacked” Toro vineyards and they were exporting the full production of his wines to France when their vineyards were no producing.  And for the same reason we can still enjoy of 200 years plus vineyards (pre-phyiloxerics) were plant have their own roots.

The grapes grown in the area are Tinta de Toro (a clon of Tempranillo), Navarro (Garnacha that originates from Navarra area and brought in the XV century to the area) and Malvasia and Verdejo for white wines.

 Tinta de Toro

Tinta de Toro

They are seven types of wines made in Toro from these varieties:

1.     Young – with non-barrel time.

2.     Roble with 3-6 months of barrel.

3.     Crianza with 2 years of ageing and at least 6 months in barrel.

4.     Reserva with 3 years of ageing and at least 1 year in barrel.

5.     Gran reserve 5 years of ageing and at least 2 years in barrel.

6.      Rosado (Rosé)

7.      Malvasia

8.      Verdejo

barricastoro

With a continental climate that has long winters with temperatures of -7ºC and summer temperatures that reach the 40 ºC, and with a great difference between the night – day temperatures during pre harvest times the grapes produced in the area has lots of the fruity aromas specially the Verdejo and the Malvasia.

torohelado

The Tinta de Toro wine has a distinctive cyan–blue color when fermenting that it changes to more deep red color as time pass by in barrel.

A very exciting area of Spain (and the world) to make honest wine, to enjoy the beauty of what past winemakers has left in the area (the Romanesque art) and enjoy watching the Duero River with a glass of a good Toro wine.

Best of Spain is running this year the 2016 Ultimate Winemaking Experience in Toro, where we will be challenged to make a Verdejo, a Garnacha rosé, and a joven Tinta de Toro. It is a few spots to join this experience, if you would like to know more about it send an email to info@bestofspain.com.au or if you would like to book fill in the form below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wine Regions of Spain. The Duero River



2. The Duero River.

Duero river is a wine production area of Castilla y León. The remarkable Duero River offers shelter to some of Spain’s greatest wine regions. It originates high in the Sierra de Urbión, at the top of the Sistema Ibérico, and 600 km later empties into the Atlantic at Oporto, the city in Portugal that gives its name to a famous fortified wine. Descriptions of the river (spelled Douro in Portugal) along which Port is produced include terms such as remote, inaccessible, and difficult, but recall that the Port region is downriver of Spain’s Duero River wine regions.

If Portugal’s remote Douro River is downriver, then those Duero River Spanish vineyards are very high in elevation indeed (most of them located at 800 metters altitude but we can find vineyards at 1100 meters of altitude). That altitude brings advantages, such as long and cool growing conditions and cool–to–cold night time temperatures that preserve acidity, but also challanges for winemkaers—there will be vintages in which the wines don’t ripen properly, so is for this important to know the year of the wine. 
Some of Spain’s old and beautiful architecture is rooted in the Duero River valley, and the region's most famous estate, Vega Sicilia, exudes an air that seems older than its mid-nineteenth–century roots. It’s not that the winemaking is traditional or that the winery is antique. Some of the buildings are old and striking, but inside those doors, the winery is as ultramodern as any in the world.
But the ancient pervades: the aqueducts at Segovia offer evidence of a Roman presence, and vinous artifacts abound. Napoleon's troops perished on these fields during the war of Independence; El Cid fought for Spain's unification here as well. Now wheat fields and sugar beet plantations alternate with the vines; the breadbasket and the Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Toro vineyards lie together from Valladolid to Zamora to Segovia. High elevation viticulture this may be, but the region is still nestled between two mountain ranges: in the south, stand the Sierra de Guadarrama and Sierra de Gredos; to the north are the protective barriers of the Sierras de la Demanda and Sierra de Cantábria.

Best of Spain visit Rueda, Toro and Ribera del Duero and the Ultimate Winemaking Experience is run in this regions, If you would like to join this unique  Experiences please request more information filling in the booking enquiry form. 

The Wine Regions of Spain

The Wine Regions of Spain

The Wine Regions of Spain 

1. The Ebro River Valley

Although the Ebro river actually runs though various regions from Cantabria to Valencia, the DOs gathered in this macro wine region are mainly located in the provinces of La Rioja, Álava, Navarra, Huesca and Zaragoza.

The hills, valleys, nooks, and crannies among these mountains hold nearly endless opportunity. For now, the money remains focused upon Rioja wine, the traditional area of quality, with bet hedgers looking toward Borja Garnacha wine and Cariñena wines, the traditional area of quantity.

In the foothills of the Sistema Ibérico, the less–known and limestone–rich DOs of Campo de Borja, Calatayud, and Cariñena offer excellent value and sometimes great wines too, if only from a handful of focused producers at the moment. 

This is the ancient kingdom of Aragón, and if it's where Tempranillo has staked its historical claim, it's also where Garnacha began its rule. There are plenty of rivers, (Rioja is named for one of them—Río Oja) but it's the Ebro River around which this particular winedom is built. And it's the Ebro River that provides common kinship, despite the changing landscape and climate as you roll from the relatively protected carat-shaped duchy of Rioja down to the smaller fiefdoms of Campo de Borja, Calatayud, and Cariñena. Not surprisingly, Garnacha prospers in hotter, drier spots, while Tempranillo's more delicate constitution is maintained in cooler, mountainous perches in Rioja. Cariñena, the grape, has only recently returned to Cariñena, the DO, but it was wildly popular for a time in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries because of its abilities to produce significant alcohol in even more significant quantities.

Once upon a time, the French were rather thirsty customers, though one can search the records in vain for any proof that those French wine drinkers knew they were drinking bottles with Spanish wine in them. During that time, yields could be obscenely high, but like much of Spain, the focus is now upon quality, not quantity.

We visit this wine regions of Spain in our Pure Indulge Experience, you can get more information about it filling the contact form.   

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