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11 de Marzo 2012
Wine Me and Dine Me


Our latest adventures in rental car revelry took us two hours south of our 
current home of San Sebastian, Spain to the wine dominated region of
La Rioja Alavesa...
Our first stop on the wine tasting tour was a visit to the 
impressive production facilities of the world-renowned, 

Located in the charming old town of El Ciego, 
the vineyard is worth paying a visit to even if only to admire its aesthetics...


The aging and original buildings are juxtaposed against a show-stopping modern hotel and spa situated smack dab in the middle of the vineyard and inaugurated in 2006 by famed architect Frank Gehry... 


A night here might set you back a bit more than the 10 Euro it will cost you to tour this spectacular vineyard, but if the inside of the hotel is half as memorable as its surroundings, I think it just might be worth it...


The tour itself taught me more about wine than I thought was possible
--did you know that I don't even drink wine?--
 And my newly acquired knowledge of all things wine-y
have really put some pep in my step...


I just might even remember the differences between 
"Joven," "Crianza," "Reserva," and"Gran Reserva,"! 
Pretty exciting, right?


I'll tell you something--the "Marques" and his "Herederos" 
sure know what they are doing down in La Rioja Alavesa...


In fact, they've been perfecting their process for well over a century now...


And their gorgeous facilities seem to age as well as their fantastic wine
or so I am told, anyway ...


Of course there is no shortage of wine barrels...

Special collections of wine...


Or grape induced romance, for that matter, hee hee...


There's even an uber-special vault filled to the brim with wine from every year since Marques de Riscal began producing--undoubtedly an invaluable treasure for the Herederos :o)


As wonderful of a time as we were having at the vineyard, 
our tummies were not to be placated with the lovely little crackers
and peanut mix that were paired with the wine at the end of the tour...

And before desperation could get the better of us, we headed to
the nearby town of Laguardia to a restaurant
that was featured in the 2011 Michelin Guide--
and more importantly, was full of locals
(a universal indicator of impending yumminess, no?)... 


In fact, we enjoyed ourselves so much at the Hotel Restaurante Marixa that I only managed to snap one picture while there:
please meet The Reading Guy's highly recommended,
'Cabrito Asado'...


I don't know about you, but all of this visual decadence
has found me in the most urgent need of a long

I'll be back soon with Day 2 of our unforgettable trip to La Rioja Alavesa--
see you then, my friends!



Go to The Reading Girl



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