Winery – Bodegas Tradicion in Jerez

Bodegas Tradicion

Although Bodegas Tradicion is a fairly new winery it is the successor of the oldest one in the Jerez wine producing area.

The original winery was Bodega CZ, J.M. Rivero which  dated back to 1650 and was the supplier of the Royal Houses of Spain and Portugal winning many different international rewards.

Art Gallery Bodega Tradicion

Opening in the late 1990s by a descendant of the oldest sherry house the bodegas are open for viewing as well as wine and brandy tastings while viewing the considerable private art collection. It is reported to be one of the best  collections of Spanish paintings  in Andalusia and contains over 300 paintings, some of the works are by Grand Masters Goya and Velazquez  amongst many others 15th – 20th century  artists.

 

There are two types of unique and limited production Tradicion Brandies and six fabulous wines:

Fino
Palo Cortado VORS
Amontillado
Oloroso VORS
Cream VOS
Pedro Ximenez VOS

A trip to this winery will have you taking away a great choice of fine wines and brandy – if there’s any remaining.

For more information or to book visits go to the Bodega Tradicion website.

Local Cheese & Wine in Jaen, Andalusia

I don’t know whether it’s ever happened to you but on a recent outing with visiting family we headed to a local winery for some more of their fabulous Syrah grape red wine. The nicest Spanish Red I’ve had, and living in Spain I’ve tried a few of them – and then we find some great cheese to go with it.

Bodegas CampoAmeno

This winery or bodega – CampoAmeno – in the Sierra Sur de Jaen bordering on Granada province produces four reds, three whites and a rose with locally grown grapes. I’d had one of them in a restaurant in Alcala la Real and rather liked it. Then while visiting the fabulous Fortress La Mota there were a couple of different ones in the shop – we had to try them. My stepfather took a bottle of the CampoAmena Syrah back for a wine conoisseur friend who very much enjoyed it. So we then had to visit the winery shop to try all the reds before his next visit.

Bodegas CampoAmeno

Having sampled three of the reds, both hubby and I liked the same one best (always handy that!) So with stepfather visiting again the winery was definitely on our visiting list. We bought several boxes, not all for us, a presentation pack for said wine conoisseur and happy with our purchases headed into  Frailes for a much needed bar and beer. But as things happen and as wine goes with cheese, there was a cheese factory on the way selling it direct and – Quesos Artesanos de Frailes was open. We had to go in.

After sampling two – a cured and a semi-cured goat’s cheese made on the premises from the neighbouring goat herd’s milk we all liked the smooth and creamy texture of the semi-cured one, which has won many a prize, best.

Quesos Artesanos de Frailes

So back to the wine laden car laden with the cheeses we had the best pairing possible of locally produced and bought slow food and slow wine, both exquisite.

Quesos Artesanos de Frailes

Sadly to say neither lasted long and one of the cheeses took a journey to the UK and so adding a few food miles and making it not so slow. Ours didn’t.  It went from factory to car to fridge to stomach and there it was gone.

The up side of that is we live near enough and so have to go again – the down side we’re probably always going to have to do it now we’ve discovered both!

If you like cheese and wine I know a very good spot to shop.

Visit the Cheese shop website (in Spanish) the winery website  (in Spanish) read about Fortress La Mota and here’s where to stay in Alcala la Real – Atelier 88.

Best Restaurants in San Sebastian

San Sebastian has a long held reputation for fine dining and excellent restaurants. Situated in the Basque Country on  Spain’s northern coast partly tucked away in the Bay of Biscay. San  Sebastian’s  location on the sea shore and on the edge of fertile growing area gives it a head start in producing fabulous local produce.

Mugaritz-WORLD-2016-INTERIOR1.jpg

Two of San Sebastian’s restaurants are in the World’s Best 50 Restaurants list for 2016  and they are Mugaritz and Arzak.

Arzak is run by Juan Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak Espina and they serve Modern Basque cuisine. One of the their signature dishes is Pigeon with Potato Feathers.

arzak-world-2016-dish2

The restaurant, located on the top of a hill, has been in the family for generations. It was Juan Mari, now 74 years old, who made it into what it is today. It offers Tasting or A la Carte menus which display their skills and flair. If you want to try some different wines you won’t be disappointed, their wine cellar is said to hold over 100,000 bottles!

Mugaritz prides itself on a Techo-emotional style of food cooked by Chefs Andoni Luis Aduriz and Juan Vargas. Andoni follows in the footsteps of the pioneering chef Ferran Adria.

Mugaritz

In their elegant restaurant why not try the 20-course tasting meal with elements chosen from the mountains and the sea.

Photos and Source: World’s 50 Best  and Mugaritz

World’s First Sherry Boutique Hotel in Spain

The province of Cadiz well-known for its wines and wine cellars is to have the world’s first sherry hotel. The wine cellar, bodega in Spanish, González Byass has announced its plans to convert its old bodega housing in the town of Jerez de la Frontera.

gonzalez-byass

Situated in the old quarter the hotel, which González Byass say, will be a Boutique Hotel, the first Sherry Boutique  Hotel in which you can sleep in ancient wine cellars. The aroma and history of centuries wine making whisper secrets from the past in this historical location in front of Jerez Cathedral.

The famous bodega  is Tio Pepe, one of the best known and most visited wine cellars in Europe with over 200.000 a year. With the opening of the ‘Sherry Hotel’ planned for late 2018 visitors will be able to have a complete ‘wine’ experience, not only tours and tastings but sleeping in a wine cellar too, living and learning about its history and culture.

I’ll put my name on the list to stay, what about you?

Sources/Photo credit: Diario de Jerez/González Byass / Manuel Aranda

Gastronomy Hotel – Small & Personal

Hotel La Gastrocasa is a Gastronomy hotel. Small and personal, once the family home, this residential villa is just ten minutes walk from long sandy beaches, or borrow the bikes and its less than a 5 minute cycle. It only opened in 2015 and has already built up an excellent reputation for its service, food and adult-only escapes.

With only 5 bedrooms this is a home-from-home experience. Everything is very well done, well-planned and with those special little touches that make you feel welcome, comfortable and cared for.

Even though the beach is so near you may find yourself not leaving the hotel. With a swimming pool and outdoor jacuzzi, sun beds, poolside bar and no children, relaxing is not a choice it will just happen.

If you feel the need for activity you can choose yoga, a nutritional or traditional cookery class on the premises of La Gastrocasa or take one of the bikes for a spin along the promenade.

Having had one meal here I’m sure you’ll want to stay for the next and the next. And breakfast, well this was our feast, a breakfast for four guests.

Hotel La Gastocasa Breakfast

Did I mention that I felt instantly welcome and at home. Family-owned and family-run means you feel part of the family.

If you want sunshine and beaches yet the feel of being tucked far away from the hustle and bustle Hotel La Gastrocasa is just the place. It’s like visiting old friends or being massaged, settling in is immediate.

The cool, calming decor is lovely and the open-plan reception, lounge and dining area have views of the garden and swimming pool with grass and palm trees.

Hotel La Gastocasa

The rooms have TVs  and excellent wifi  so it’s an escape without being disconnected or cut off from civilisation, Hotel La Gastrocasa a great gastronomic getaway and it’s small & personal.

See Hotel La Gastrocasa on Only Spain ~ Boutique Hotels.

Hotel Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine

Spanish 5* Vineyard Hotel in Ribera del Duero

The Estate Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, once a 12th century monastery, now a 5* star Relais & Chateaux hotel with the Michelin star restaurant – Refectario.

Nestling between vines along the River Duero it radiates luxury and peace and quiet rule from the inside the historical Romanesque-Baroque monastery walls.

Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine @ Relais & Chateaux

North of Madrid in the region of Castilla y Leon and east of Valladolid this is wine growing country so a vineyard visit is a must but there are plenty of other experiences available, Horse riding, Cycling or Hiking Trails, Historical and cultural guided tours, Medieval falconry and the almost obligatory wine tastings.
Hotel Abadia Retuerta Le Domaine

 

Luxury Cycling Holidays

Echelon – small, family run exclusive cycling holidays – luxury vacations for discerning cyclists

Echelon are passionate about cycling and believe that it’s the best way to discover and live the experience of a new place. They believe that by cycling you can connect with a region in a unique way not otherwise seen by visitors.

Guests cycling the Camino de Santiago
Cycling The Camino de Santiago de Compostela

As locals, keen cyclists and your guides, they know the regions well and have an intimate knowledge of the winding back roads, best views and sunsets and hidden gems that are often overlooked.

Herdade de Cortesia
Herdade de Cortesia

 

Committed to providing value and unique experiences, from the bikes and equipment used to staying in the best hotels and dining at the finest restaurants – that’s  Echelon – offering the exclusive for those looking for exclusivity.

Marques de Riscal, Rioja
Hotel Marques de Riscal, Rioja

Luxurious hotels, local food and delicious regional wine so you can relax and unwind after the day’s cycling, knowing everything else is taken care of by those who know how to provide the best Echelon.