More glorious sunshine greeted us for our final full day of tastings, lunches and dinners.
A packed day was in store but with a relatively small amount of travelling.
Our destination was the lesser known DO Cigales – a town just a quick 20 minutes north of Valladolid.
Historically, this area used to be a big wine production area but a succession of wars, economic depressions, phylloxera, and a movement of labour away from the villages over the past 150 years reduced the area to a pitiable small reflection of its former glory. In recent years, it was famous for its Rosado.
I am glad to say that the past 20 years has seen a renaissance and investment has returned and producers are reinvesting with great success. While the area will always be in the shadow of the renowned Ribera del Duero, it has the opportunity to develop a good niche.
First stop was Finca La Legua. Hosted by owner Gonzalo Escribano, we had a fascinating insight into their philosophy based around polyphenols, tannins, grape ripeness and balance – a theme that permeated their whole approach to winemaking. Add in 300 years of viticultural history, some amazing old cellars and a truly charming host, this was a great start to our day.
Next stop was Bodegas Concejo. It was a huge pleasure to be returning here after our successful tours in 2012. Enrique Concejo, the owner was in sparkling form as he showed us the spanking new winery and wedding venue, entertained us with a risqué story about a donkey and chilli peppers and then showed us round the 1000 year old historic palace in the village that he has converted into a beautiful boutique hotel.
We then tasted their range – 3 rosados and three reds – all paired with some amazing tapas. Carpaccio of beef, cheese salad, squid ink risotto, tortilla, a mini burger and a delicious croqueta.
This was a stunning final visit to our tour.
Dinner was a spectacular affair at Restaurante Trasteo in the centre of Valladolid. We had the most exciting and innovative 8 course degustacion menu which we paired with some of our favourite wines from the tour – Menade Verdejo and Postigo Ribera del Duero.
Asparagus creations, foie gras, monkfish, beef, rice pudding – all fashioned in beautifully creative ways completed a truly wonderful and harmonious tour.
I can’t wait to come back.