Recently I traveled to Spain for a food and wine business trip. This trip was a success and I met many fantastic wine makers, importers, managers and more. I was staying in Ribera del Duero, which is one of my favorite wine regions in Spain! This wine region is made up of many villages which I visited during my stay. Like the states, I was in the city of Valladolid, Spain, however these smaller bodega driven villages were where the heart and soul lies of the beautiful winemaking that goes on in this country. The villages I visited and stayed in were Peñafiel, Rueda, Toro, and Cigales all within the beautiful area of Valladolid, Spain.
We arrived in Peñafiel: a beautiful village that is home to some very welcoming locals, great restaurants and some pretty incredible winemakers. The Hotel Convento Las Claras was absolutely beautiful with warm cream colored stone walls, a sky light that encompassed the entire ceiling of the hotel, and a great view of the Castillo de Peñafiel (the castle). The food at this hotel was delicious as was the Tinto (the house Tempranillo).
I set sights to explore the town, which when I arrived seemed like a ghost town. Stumbling upon a little general store, I met the nicest couple who informed me that everyone was off Monday which is why nothing was open. It was very calm and serene walking around a semi-empty village in Spain. I met some great people on my trip who took to the streets of Peñafiel with me. After walking around this gorgeous small town, it was finally time for dinner (they eat dinner late in Spain).
The people of Spain I have to admit are some of the nicest people I have ever encountered. Everyone greets you on the streets, in the hotels, and everywhere you go. They welcome you with such joy and you instantly feel like you belong; it’s truly such a wonderful country.
The first full day of the trip, the group organization: Camara Valladolid took us to a tasting in the castle. This castle is simply stunning, and the Chamber of Commerce of Valladolid welcomed us all and, to my surprise gave me a wonderful shoutout welcoming Somm In The City on the trip. Hearing this I was overjoyed and it set the rest of the trip up for such success!
Over 100 wines were available to taste and analyze as well as meet with the winemakers, export managers and more. Many of these wines are not available in the USA just yet, however it is my mission to find a way to get some of the ones I tasted over here, because they are simply stunning. My top winery picks of Day 1 in the castle from Ribera Del Duero were: Peñafalcón, MN Vinos, Gorgorito, Ruben Ramos, and Hesvera. There are so many more wines I did enjoy, and want to see over here in the USA to educate you about, but I did have to limit myself to a few that truly stood out among them all (and I did taste a lot).
This is just the beginning of my journey, as the next few articles you see, will go in depth with some of the wineries as well as the foods and oils I tried; and yes I will be sure to let you know which ones are currently here in the USA and NYC!