Nine days ago I arrived in Bilbao, Spain and immediately took a taxi to a great restaurant in the Guggenheim Museum. What followed was a rapid wine tour of Spain as the guest of Grupo Osborne then concluding with 3 days in Catalona with Gabrella and Ryan of Catavino. Before I begin my detailed coverage of this trip, I thought I would first post some impressions.
In just over a week I toured five D.O.’s in Spain and tasted wines from ten D.O.’s. My overall impression is that some of the world’s finest wines are made within one of the most diverse terroir for wine grapes. Starting with the cool climate of Rioja Alta where Tempranillo struggles to ripen to the scorching hillsides of Priorat where winemakers are challenged to maintain reasonable levels of alcohol, Spain provides the wine lover with nearly every style of wine. That’s probably why most wine stores there only stock Spanish wines with the occasional French or even California bottle a rarity.
But most American consumers don’t know about this diversity in wines from Spain which has created the false impression that the finest wines come from Rioja, only reds are worth seeking out and most everything else falls into the value tier from $20 and under. In the next week or so, I hope to dispel some of these myths as I return to my notes to post about each day and record four podcasts based upon my visit.
Photo by Ryan Opaz / Catavino