“El que va a Peñafalcón, Y no beve, Bobo va, Y bobo Viene, Aaamennn”- The song of Peñafalcon!
My recent trip to Ribera Del Duero, Spain unleashed this new side of wine appreciation for me. I have always loved Spanish wine, and have tasted many from this particular area in Spain. I had the fortune of spending the entire day with one winemaker in particular who took me on an adventure I will never forget.
Casimiro Marcos and Maria Jose Arranz are a husband and wife dynamic duo team. Bodegas Peñafalcón is located in Peñafiel, Valladolid. This area of Ribera Del Duero was where I spent my first day in Spain in this beautiful little city/village. Since it was a Tuesday business were open and after the grand tasting in the Castle Casimiro took us for some Tapas in the village. We dined at La Casita de Peñafiel: a rustic and very Spanish restaurant with some of the best Tapas I had on my entire trip! The decor is unique and earthy, and when we entered we saw some locals enjoying a bottle of Casimiro’s wine! It was a pleasant surprise to see that many in Spain enjoy his wine as much as I do.
We started off with some Huevos Rotos con Jamón La Casita (potatoes topped with eggs and chorizo) which was out of this world, delicious. Afterwards hot stones came to the table, as well as much more glassware so we could enjoy the 2011 Crianza, the Roble, as well as the 2007 Gran Reserva. Pieces of beef were brought to the table, as well as salt and we cooked the meat on the hot stone; it was delicious! This was a fun way to interact with Casimiro as well as some other guests in attendance with us and learn more about his wines.
The 2011 Crianza spends 2 years in Oak, while the Roble spends 14 Months, and the Reserva 5 years! He takes such pride in his wines, and I so wish they were available here in the USA, NYC especially! These wines are luscious, seductive and extremely quality driven. You will simply fall in love upon first sip, and when decanted…. you will enjoy the wine until every last drop is gone.
After a very filling lunch, we enjoyed Antiquing as El Rastrillo Antigüedades and then went to the stadium where they watch and participate in the Running of the Bulls! That was simply not enough however, Casimiro is such a wonderful and kind man who wanted to show us all Peñafiel had to offer. We went to some local wine shops where I tried fresh Spanish Chorizo and got to view his wines in many of the local shops! I love the prices of the wines in Spain, I must say it was very tempting not to just buy an extra three suitcases to bring all the wine I wanted back!
The night sky finally settled in and we had one last stop: the Bodega. The bodega’s are the underground “lair’s” where the wineries store their wines in barrel’s to keep them cool and “cellar” like. Going down into the dark chambers of an unknown cellar was eerie and exciting. I of course had the best company with me, and was able to get up close and personal with the wine barrel’s and really experience just what goes into all of his winemaking process.
After the bodega we went to the winery. Of course it was to dark for a vineyard visit, however we toured the facility where history really came alive. On the walls hung years and years of history with his winery, from old horse shoes and plows to old press machines and mechanisms for winemaking and vine management. It is truly a sight you must see (you can visit the winery when you are there). Casimiro and Maria led us through a tasting of some older vintages like the 2004 which was stunning. We enjoyed this night cap with some traditional Spanish Tapas such as Chorizo, Jamón and this unique bread that was served everywhere over there. Also Anchovies… those are quite popular in Spain!
For those seeking a trip to Ribera Del Duero, I highly recommend visiting this winery as you will be warmly welcomed by Casimiro and Maria and you will fall in love instantly with their personalty, hospitality as well as the wines!
Ps. Also make sure you sing the above song when you visit!