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Spain through its wine routes
September 29, 2009

Spain through its wine routes

Quality, innovation, creativity… All synonyms for Spanish gastronomy. The revolution that has led to Spanish cuisine becoming the world leader can also be applied to our vineyards. The superb and extensive range of wines available has enabled Spain to become the second largest producer in the world. By the following the paths of its viniculture, you can discover Spain whilst sampling unique, exquisite wines. 

Its tradition, care, refinement and renewal are some of the key factors that have placed Spain at the forefront of the world's wine producers. Spanish wine producers have managed to apply a perfect combination of modern production techniques and the expertise inherited from the thousands of years that Spain has been making this most highly appreciated nectar. The end result is a selection of wines that boast unrivalled quality and acknowledged international prestige. Furthermore, the variety of soil and climate that exist in Spain gives rise to an extensive range of wines, each with its own special qualities and traits, allowing one to easily distinguish between the different regional producers. Exploring the many wine routes is the perfect way to discover the exceptional natural beauty of these regions and their notable monumental heritage, at the same time as you delight in their liquid delicacies and enjoy a fascinating culture.

Vineyards with art and history

Can you think of a better way to discover Spanish wine than by actually visiting their places of origin? Many of Spain's leading vineyards are open to visitors: many are hundreds of years old, some boast an extraordinary architectural richness, and others even include interesting collections of art relating to the wine culture. It is a real privilege to enter this world accompanied by those who have a such a deep understanding of it. They will show you how to fully appreciate it: they will take around the facilities, the vineyards, the production process; they will reveal the secrets of wine tasting and you will, of course, be able to sample the wines accompanied by typical local dishes. At tourist information centers you can get details of the vineyards and wine cellars, as well as times and conditions for visits, as it is advisable to arrange them in advance.

The perfect way to explore the sheer cultural diversity of Spain while sampling some of the finest wines we have to offer, such as those produced in La Rioja Alavesa, in the southern part of Euskadi; the wines of the central part of Navarra; the wines and cavas of El Penedés, in Catalonia; the many varieties of the wine-producing districts of Somontano, in Aragón and the fruity whites of the Rías Baixas, in Galicia. Waiting for you in central and southern Spain are the Manchego wines of Castilla-La Mancha; the specialities of Montilla-Moriles in Andalusia, and the Jumilla wines of Murcia

Our Spanish Wine Selection

Bodegas Muga - Torre Muga 2003
Region: Rioja - Rating: 92 - 'plenty of pure power'

COMPOSITION: 75% Tempranillo, 15% Mazuelo, 10% Graciano
92 Points - "The 2003 Torre Muga is 75% Tempranillo, 15% Mazuelo, and 10% Graciano made in a modern style. The wine spends 22 months in large American oak vats followed by 16 months in new French barriques before being bottled unfiltered. The wine is a saturated purple with fragrant aromas of earth, smoke, vanilla, blueberry, and blackberry jam. On the palate it is tannic and chunky but packed with intense black fruits. There is plenty of pure power but also the lack of breadth due to the searing heat of the vintage. - The Wine Advocate.
The philosophy behind Torre Muga is to make small batches of a modern wine using both a very traditional blend of Rioja varietals and classic techniques. Only the best grapes from the winery are used, and they undergo an intense selection process on the triage table after harvest.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER: Mr. Isaac Muga opened his first cellar in 1932. At his death in 1969, his sons Manuel and Isaac took over the management and winemaking of the winery. This is the only winery left in Spain that uses only oak throughout the process of its production. The Muga family continues to maintain their own cooperage and directly imports American and French oak in order to custom make their barrels. The family estate consists of of 96 acres (40 hectares) and supplements their production with grapes from 50 different small growers; some of them have less than one hectare, from 40-50 year-old vines. The majority of grapes are from Rioja Alta.

Can Feixes - Blanco Seleccio 2007 - White Wine from Spain
REGION: Penedes - Rating: 89, 'light and aromatic..

Light and aromatic
Easy drinking
Subtle and refreshing
COMPOSITION: Parellada (locally: Montonec), Macabeo and a touch of Chardonnay.
89 Points - "Light yellow. Apple, pear and yellow plum on the nose, with a hint of lemon zest adding verve. Richer peach and melon flavors are firmed by a mineral element and a building note of citrus zest. The melon flavor carries through on the broad, persistent finish." 
- Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Jul/Aug 07.
"A light and aromatic white, with white peach, tangelo and spice flavors. Easy-drinking, with subtle yet refreshing acidity and a modest finish. Drink now."
- Wine Spectator
Parellada at its best, from high-altitude, gravelly mountain soils: intense lemon-oil aroma with firm acid structure enhanced by the Chardonnay. Stony and aromatic, reminiscent of Chablis or Rheingau


New on

Cheese… with pleasure!

In slices, for spreading or in cubes. As a snack, for dessert, in salads or as part of a recipe. Cheese is delicious any way you try it, and it is always a part of any meal worth the name. Simple but delicious, devotees of this dairy product will find more than a hundred different varieties in Spain. It is one of the vital ingredients in Spanish cuisine. Come and discover it. 

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Don't you miss...

Spain... On the Road Again' DVD
4 Discs Raucous Tour of Spain with Mario Batali, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Bittman and Claudia Bassols

'Spain... On the Road Again' is a lively series featuring the great culinary traditions of Spain's regions as experienced by four travelers zooming between locations in Mercedes Benzes. At first we worried that the big personalities of the hosts would bury the subject matter, but we are happy to see that Mario Batali, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Bittman, as well as Spanish actress Claudia Bassols, focus most of the spotlight on the amazing foods of Spain.
The fact that the hosts obviously love Spain, and are interested in learning new things, really makes the show work. There is lots of snappy dialogue and joking around, but an appreciation for the food and culture of Spain is the grounding factor.
Here is what the producers of the show say about this DVD:
Get ready for the road trip of a lifetime! From the seaside cliffs of Mallorca to the bustling tapas bars and majestic museums of Barcelona, this is the ultimate road trip across Spain. Academy Award®-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, celebrity chef Mario Batali, celebrated author Mark Bittman (How to Cook Everything), and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols embark on a ten-week tour of a country at the forefront of the culinary and cultural worlds.
Each episode finds the four in a new locale, from learning how Cava is made in Catalunya to meeting the famed pigs of Salamanca, as they steadily reveal the undiscovered delights of a country brimming with gastronomic and aesthetic treasures.
DVD Features: Deleted Scenes; Filmmaker Audio Commentary; Behind the Scene

Spain... A Culinary Road Trip
by Mario Batali with Gwyneth Paltrow

Companion book to the hit PBS series
Hardcover, 384 pages
Beautiful color photographs

Mario Batali and Mark Bittman along with Gwyneth Paltrow and the Spanish actress Claudia Bassols take the ultimate road trip adventure, showcasing the pleasures of Spain and the country's regional cuisine. More than seventy recipes from Mario appear in this scrapbook of the dream vacation through Spain. The short vignettes about travel entertain you but do not get in the way of the delicious recipes that are essentially Spanish - simple combinations of fresh ingredients to create a final dish greater than the sum of the parts. Spain...A Culinary Road Trip is the companion book to the public television series Spain...On The Road Again

Jordi Vallés

PS: Remember you can find many more Spanish recipes at and

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