Vol. 2 No. 8,Spain, Portugal and Madeira

Hello friends, TB has been busy preparing for a 3-1/2 week intense wine immersion trip. This is some of the last research for the forthcoming book. Oh, no, not another wine book, but this one is different: no ratings, no promotions, simply about people I have gotten to know…and some new ones who have shown incredible passion for making wine. Some of these people who are chemists who got bitten by the wine bug, some quit their day jobs to pursue excellence in winemaking. They are wonderful people in a business some think of as romantic, some as snobbery, but most I have met in the industry see is as farming – agriculture! The kind of venture where you can do everything right and still have a final product that fell short of a great wine.

Now about the trip. On Monday, we fly to Lisbon, and drive towards Madrid through Salamanca and Segovia to Penafiel near Valledolid, in Ribero del Duero. We have a private tour of Pesquera, a winery that changed the quality of Ribero wines. We will be visiting other wineries in the area for two more days before driving through Santiago de Compostella and after seeing the town and famous cathedral driving to the coast where we will stay at A Coruña for two days.

From there we drive to Vigo in the Rias Baixas region where Albariño is made to visit more wineries. Then across the border to Portugal where the Duero river becomes the Douro and is now making good red wine in addition to Port. We then visit Porto and Graham’s Port Lodge and the next day drive straight through country we have already visited to Lisboa. The next day we fly to Madeira where we will see the vineyards and wineries where that fine wine is made. Returning that night we will stay in Lisboa and re-visit the Port Wine Institute…the greatest place in the world to taste port. Every port is featured in a gentlemen’s club setting complete with leather lounge chairs and cigars.

The next day we board Windstar’s Wind Surf, the largest sailing ship in the world, yet it carries only 300 passengers. We leave for Morocco, then back up the east coast of Spain stopping in various wine regions until we reach Barcelona.

Having been there before, we will head south to Sitges, a resort town, and spend two days meeting with winemakers in Penedés and Priorat, areas where fine red wines are made from incredibly rocky soil.

Then it is back home. TB plans to write along the way so watch for them…not every day but perhaps 3-4 articles.

This should be an amazing trip featuring some amazing wines.


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