The Existential Traveller

              

 explore your dreams.....expand your mind.....enrich your soul

 

                         BRIDGING BORDERS SINCE 1984

Spain is a large country with an exciting diverse history.   Spanish wines in the past two decades have taken their place among the finest wines produced in the world today.

            Best of Spanish Wine Country

Our journey begins in Barcelona for entre' into Penedes Region, the area which produces those wonderful Spanish cavas.


Barcelona is a cosmopolitan Mediterranean city that incorporates Roman remains, medieval districts and the most beautiful examples of Modernism and 20th century avant-garde art, The buildings of Catalan architects Antoni Gaudi and Luis bomenech i Montaner declared to be World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.

Of Roman origin, Barcelona's long history and dynamism have provided it with an impressive cultural heritage, reflected in conservation of past achievements and encouragement of avant garde endeavors.

                 CAVA    The Penedis Region

The Penedis Wine region famous for Cava production. Cava, a sparkling wine which is made in exactly the same way as Champagne, has fully established its identity in markets abroad in the last thirty years. Native grapes, a warmer climate and the growing country all contribute to its distinctive character. The heartland of Cava making is the country around Sant Sadurni d'Anoia in southern Barcelona province, where specialised bodegas  or Cava houses have been producing on a commercial scale for centuries.


The largest Cava producers are the Raventos family, the owners of the Codorniti cellars in Sant Sadurni d'Anoia at the Penedes. The impressive Codorniti winery is the work of architect Josep Maria Puig i Cadafalch, an important contemporary of Gaudi.


Barcelona's early city centre, which was surrounded by walls during Roman times, makes up the Gothic Quarter. Narrow streets, with quiet squares and attractive corners, are home to an abundant collection of Gothic buildings. Surrounding Barcelona's impressive Cathedral are medieval palaces such as Casa dell Canonges, La Pia Almoina, and Casa d' Ardiaca.



No journey to Barcelona would be complete without  an understanding of Gaudi, premier architect and modernist.  Modernism is a cultural movement that had its heyday in the West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in literature, theatre, architecture, fine arts, decoration and the design of furniture and other objects.

                                    Sagrada Familia

In 1883 the brilliant Gaudi agreed to direct the Sagrada Familia succeeding Francisco de Paula. The artist worked on it until his death.

Work to complete this grand church continues still today. The first architect to work on this project planned a Neogothic building. However, following his death, Gaudi took over, respecting the original layout of the work, but soon leaving the mark of his personality and way of doing things. He finished only the chapel of San Jose, the crypt and the door of El Nacimiento. The work is currently being completed by Subirats. The facades and the entire exterior show extensive decorative elements in  bright colours.


                                          La Rioja

 


La Rioja is synonymous with great Spanish wines. For decades, wines from La Rioja, protected by their own Designation of Origin standard, have been an obligatory reference throughout Spain and beyond.

Laguardia is the most important town in La Rioja of Alava, and one of the most beautiful. The region is famous all around the world because of its wines.

                                         Navarra

Enjoy visiting the vineyards, winery and cellars of the Palacio de Muruzabal winery. Adolfo Merino, son of the owner, and the aenologist of the winery will be your guide.

A y B Marino are one of the most promising of the up-and-coming crop of Navarrese producers. Muruzabal has 17 hectares of cab and four hectares of merlot. It also makes a very good Chardonnay from a six-hectare plot.

The owner of the winery is the Marino - Perez de Rada Family. This family have been taking care of their lands for the last 400 years. At the family palace, they have been storing the fruits of their land and making wine. Now the "Marino Perez de Rada" brothers have added new grapes: Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay and have mixed them with their old "Valdizarbe" grapes. The new wine is just incredible and is made exclusively with the grapes they produce. Harvest is by hand. Little is sold commercial!!!

 

Enjoy tasting the Palacio de Muruzabal wines with the oenologist and an informal lunch on the patio

 

                la Ribero del Duero

The river Duero crosses one of the grape and wine growing regions with most personality of Spain. The Ribero del Duero is a leader of Spain's wine production. The area combines cultural wealth with the wonderful wines of the Denomination of Origin Ribero del Duero. Ribero del Duero, the birthplace of one of the most acclaimed Designations of Origin for wine, surprises visitors with beautiful historic towns exhibiting Gothic relieves, Renaissance coffered ceilings and interesting cellars.

 

The Bodegas Lopez Cristobal with Santiago or Gala Lopez Cristobal.

 

Bodegas Lopez Cristobal is 50ha property situated outside the hilltop village of Roo del Duero. It was founded in 1994 by Santiago Cristobal and his son Galo. The vineyards, which are dotted around the village on a wide variety of different soils, are planted with Tinto del Pais, (Tempranillo grape) and is complimented with small plantations of Cabernet, Merlot and Albillo. The grapes are all hand picked and carefully selected by family members. Only members of the family and the people that they have known for years and fully trust are allowed to select the grapes. After 21 days of maceration the wines are racked and left to age in a variety of French and American oak barrels.

After touring their vineyards and the winery you will be invited to taste some of the wines with the family and get to know one another.


 

                                                  Bilbao

Bilbao and Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim was designed by American architect Frank 0. Gehry and is a Beautiful representation of avant garde architecture.


                        Peicafiel

The wine museum is an exhibition of the culture and production of wine and other topics related to the world of wine.

While visiting the rooms of the museum, you will see a display on the culture of wine and the stages of wine production, from the time when the grape comes to life on the vine until it is consumed, including different subjects involved in wine making. On the ground floor of the Museum, the planting of the vine is explained, as well as vine growing, wine making, wine artisans, measurement tools, ageing and reserve wines, practical advice for enjoying different wines, wine-tasting, and the quality, consumption and commercialization of wines. On the upper floor, wine and its relationship with mythology, history, literature and art are discussed as well as its involvement in festivals and its role in gourmet cuisine. In the basement, there is a Wine-Tasting Room


                                                                                                                          

                         Madrid

The Petit Palace Art Gallery is in the exclusive and luxury commercial area of Serrano, the geographical and business heart of the capital. Near the Retiro Park and 20 minutes walking distance to the Museums, the Petit Palace is a magnificent building of the first decade of the XX Century and has been completely refurbished.

 

Madrid old quarter and Royal Palace.

From the ruins of the ancient Arab wall, to small Gothic-style churches, and early Renaissance constructions, Madrid's development is a showcase for a variety of artistic periods. "Madrid" is from the Arabic Magerit or "mother of the waters", which was the name given to the fortress in the bank of the Manzanares River, built by the Omayyad Caliph of Cordoba, Muhammad (823- 886). 

 


 


 

         

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