Time for FINE wine: A matter of taste in Valladolid
Wine tasting and wine tourism is always a keen interest and activity for both our corporate and luxury leisure groups. Our Head of Luxury - Dave Page was in Valladolid for the FINE Wine Expo recently.
"Attending the FINE wine event was a great way to learn more about wine. How it's produced, some of the amazing additions happening in vineyard venues and in the wine industry. Creating a truly memorable event."
Location, Location, Location...
To begin with Valladolid as a destination is beautiful with lots of history and great architecture. A completely different feel to other Spanish locations, and reminded me more of a large classic French town. It is perfectly situated around an hour or so outside of Madrid and at the start of the Spanish wine country. It actually holds it's own as a destination to visit itself. the wine is a welcomed added bonus!
Discovering the wines...
I met some amazing wine producers from all over mainland Europe. But the majority, as you’d imagine, were from either Portugal, Spain or France as these countries have the perfect terrain, temperatures, and overall weather for the vineyards to flourish. Some had simply beautiful buildings in which people can stay, and some even had meeting rooms/spaces for corporate visits.
I heard about some of the ways being that producers are expanding and diversifying their business by introducing experiences on the vineyard, thus creating exciting events for people to come and try.
One producer told me that he was looking at doing a day in the life of a wine maker and go through the whole process of making the wine, starting at a very early start to pick the grapes. This begins at 3am and goes on until the morning, just before it gets too hot. Its due to the heat that they harvest the crop at this time.
Producers told me about their different tours and experiences they do around their vineyards including balloon rides and on 4x4’s or for the more natural experience, a nice walking tour or even bike rides with the bikes supplied.
But, for me, one of the most luxurious ways to experience the best of a winery is to have a spa included. I was shown places that had spa’s onsite and also a dedication to mindfulness with meditation and yoga classes too with just incredible views.
https://www.abadia-retuerta.com/ (spa wellness balloon rides)
I loved the idea of a wine and olive oil tasting that some of the producers are doing, along with some local cheeses, fruits and bread. All in the style of a large picnic within the vineyard territory and even in the vineyard itself.
As well as some of the newer vineyards, which had a more modern, contemporary feel and a fresher look, there were many that had a rich history and story to go with it that made it that more special.
It has to be said that a vineyard stay/visit can be very romantic. A few places I was introduced to really did hit the romance nail on the head, making the most out of the scenery and beautiful surroundings so the guests had an experience of a lifetime.
https://www.quintanova.com/en/ (200 year old history, romantic stay)
I tasted many wines while I was at the event, and loved a few of them. But my favourite was Bai Gorri De Garage 2017. It was very good indeed, not too overpowering, but a lovely gentle aftertaste of oak wood and fruits. I had a conversation with two experienced wine tasters, and it was theirs too, which I thought conformed I must have a reasonable pallet.
Always be confident with your own opinion on the taste!
I was asked for my opinion on two different wines by a producer. I didn’t agree with another guest, who happened to be an experienced wine taster, on the best of the two. Rather than being snubbed, I was later asked by the producer why I had picked the particular wine. I told him the truth, I prefer a wine I can have socially, with friends and family, at any occasion. The wine I chose was a mellow, soft wine that wasn’t too strong and I could imagine drinking this at leisure. The other wine, although good, was more of a deeper taste and was stronger, I felt preferable with a red meat. I told the producer that this was purely based on my own preference. He then told me that my opinion mattered to him and was the one that produced the second, stronger red wine.
He then went on to explain that he would be producing another wine to match the one I preferred as it made sense to him as a customer may buy a bottle of the stronger wine in a week, to go with maybe a Sunday lunch or a family meal, but the same customer may buy multiple bottles of the other wine as it fitted with a wider scope with it being a more sociable wine, without the need for food to have with it.
This proved to me to not be intimidated by wine tasting ‘professionals’ on the best wines, and to go with what you like yourself. Everyone’s palate is different.
With wine, like many other things in life, not everyone will have the same likes and favourites, and this is why wine exploring and tasting is so much fun.
Wine - an integral part of your event or trip. Let us help you discover the perfect wine experience - firstname.lastname@example.org