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Wine tour in Spain


World Spain

Wine tour in spain

From September 23rd
to October 2nd 2012,
Nelson Chow
and a delegation
of 15 Chinese wine
professionals made
a wine tour in the
best bodegas in
the North of Spain.

As soon as they arrived in Madrid, they set off to visit at a one hour drive away the Bodegas Regajal in Aranjuez where they have been welcomed by David Garcia.
In the splendid City of the Kings, listed as UNESCO World Heritage, they had the opportunity to taste wines of great quality of the appellation of Madrid: El Regajal 2010 and Las Retamas 2010, respectively gold and silver medal at the 2012 Contest of the Best Spanish Wines in Asia, organized in collaboration with the Association of Sommeliers of Hong Kong and China. The day finished with a dinner in a wonderful Argentinian restaurant of the capital city, paired with David Garcia's wines.

Ribera del Douro

The following day, they headed for the appellation Ribera del Duero and the Bodegas Valduero in Burgos. Together with Roger Matthews, our Chinese friends first visited the vineyards then the magnificent premises comprising a half-buried cellar. The tasting was about 5 wines of Valduero, all silver medals at the Contest of the Best Spanish Wines in Asia, with some appetizers inspired by the culinary specialties of the region.
The lunch was offered by the Bodegas Hacienda Monasterio in Pesquera de Duero whose oenologist is none other than Mr Peter Sissek, known for his wine Pingus. The meal took place in the mythical Asador Mauro de Peñafiel where is served one of the best lechazos (suckling lamb cooked on wood fire) and other specialties from Castile y Léon that marvellously accompanied Hacienda Monasterio's wines. Then the delegation had the chance to visit the bodega, lead around by Carlos de la Fuente.
This marathon continued with the discovery of the Bodegas Matarromera and their premises, guided by Javier Cornadó, and with the tasting of the range Matarromera but also of projects of alcohol free wines.
End of the day in the Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro. This resort with spa is one of the most modern and luxurious of the Ribera del Duero region. Owner Ignacio Arzuaga was so kind as to welcome the sommeliers for a complete visit followed by a dinner during which dishes from Castile and wines of the bodega were set in majesty in a relaxed and very warm atmosphere.


The Tuesday was first dedicated to the visit of Sitios de Bodega, a domain that produces wines from Rueda near Valladolid. The group has been received by Alejandra Sanz, the owner. They could attend the harvest and see operate an innovative process of grape cooling using dry ice. Then, nothing better than a marvellous tasting and potato tortillas! The wines Menade have the privilege to age in one of the oldest natural cellars of the region, and have been awarded many silver medals at the 2012 Contest of the Best Spanish Wines in Asia.
Then the Bodegas José Pariente Rueda in La Seca (Valladolid), family domain at the forefront of innovation, received the sommeliers. Martina Prieto and her father made them have a good time thanks to a beautiful tasting with food and wine pairings, punctuated with numerous anecdotes. The Bodega José Pariente makes quality white wines with and without aging in oak barrels. They won many prizes out of which 2 gold and silver medals during the 2012 edition of the Contest of the Best Spanish Wines in Asia.
At last, for the evening and the night, Rafael Salgado (export manager) as well as Jaime Boville (general manager) have been so kind as to welcome the delegation in Hacienda Zorita, hotel and spa dating back Isabella the Catholic's time, where many statues and buildings are from that period, offering a restful and ideal place to recover from the emotions of the day.
Thanks to the patrons, the guests could travel through time but also get to know their produce—wines, olive oil and cheese—in the starred restaurant.
The Wednesday started with the visit of the Bodegas Bohórquez, together with Javier Bohórquez and Diego Bonnel who presented this boutique-bodega where every detail is carefully looked after. From the vine to the bottle, everything is done to respect quality and elegance. A pleasing tasting combining theory and practice was followed by a very convivial luncheon buffet. Bohórquez' wines won 2 silver medals at the 2012 Contest of Hong Kong.


The next day, they set off for the famous region of Rioja.
Arrival at the Bodegas Muga in Haro. Jesus Viguera, in charge of the export, was their guide. Bodegas Muga is the only viticultural estate to have a barrel-making activity within the domain, which gives it the specificity to use only its own oak tuns, vats and barrels.
Juan Muga commented the tasting of his wines discovered by Nelson Chow during SommelierS International's tasting at the George V Paris. A gargantuan lunch came after. The dishes served were divine and enabled to unveil the wines in another way. The highlight of the meal was a fabulous 1976 vintage!
Bodegas Muga got the only platinum medal at the Contest of the Best Spanish Wines in Asia in 2012, as well as 3 silver medals.
The evening was spent in the 120 years old underground cellars of the Bodegas Franco Españolas and Paternina with Juan Carlos Llopart, the export manager, and two members of the family Eguizabal, owner of these historical domains.
The next morning, Nelson Chow and his team had the honour to be received at Bodegas Beronia Group Gonzalez Byass by the owner herself who came especially from Andalusia. The oenologist and the marketing manager joined them for a complete visit of the winery, followed by a tasting of their range of Rioja but also of some of their wines from Andalusia (Jerez Oloroso, Fino, Cream, Pedro Ximenez…).
The group was then awaited at the Bodegas Riojanas for lunch. This bodega, located in the middle of Cenicero since more than 100 years, is built right up against the mountain. Inside, the winery gives the impression to enter dozens of meters underground. Actually the structure follows the natural slope of the mountain and rests 30 or 40 meters below. After the encounter with the owner, the sommeliers have been guided by the oenologist and the export manager Marc Gibert through all the original features of their premises. They could then taste most of the house's wines, finishing with a beautiful bottle of Monte Real Gran Reserva 1964. Such a show! The meal was served in the vineyard by the river in an old building entirely renovated. The menu: suckling lamb on embers.
In the end of the day, Andrea Stehele, export manager, and Francisco Javier Martinez, oenologist and manager of the estate, opened the doors of the Bodegas Don Jacobo, located on one of the roads to Santiago de Compostela, for an original tasting punctuated with history and anecdotes, a master class and a dinner in the reception room of the domain.


To approach the region, a first visit and a lunch were organized at the domain Mas d’en Gil in the Priorat area. Marta Rovira and her father welcomed the sommeliers in this typical family estate to present this domain worthy of jewellery. Each wine of the estate bears the name of the plot it stems from. At more than 700 meters high on a stony and sloping soil, the farming conditions are difficult. Regional gastronomy and cheerfulness were there to finish the stopover.
For the afternoon, the Association of Wines of Priorat had organized a mini fair where some more than twenty wine growers had gathered to present their wines to all the Asian tasters. This initiative was thought interesting as it enabled to discover a large range of wines from the region, but also their producers.
Then it was the association of the appellation Montsant who had called together some twenty producers to offer the Chinese sommeliers the most exhaustive possible range of its treasures.
The Sunday activities were dedicated first to the visit of the Bodegas Mont Ferrant in Blanes, then of the Bodegas Roger Goulart in Sant Esteve Sesrovires, both producing Cava and belonging to the same owners.
In Mont Ferrant, domain from the early 18th century, Marc Clapes and the owners received the group in the underground cellars.
A master-cutter of Iberian ham waited for them with a welcome glass. Historical and technical details followed each other. The cellars Mont Ferrant and Roger Goulart work in respect of the traditions and keep all the material of Cava making since more than 100 years, which makes it a real museum. A demonstration of manual and mechanical disgor­gement impressed the visitors. The latter joined the winery Roger Goulard for a very innovative lunch, combining tasting and use of memory and senses for an enriching adventure.
End of the day at the Bodegas Can Rafols del Caus in Avinyonet del Penedes in a breath-taking landscape. This estate, perfectly integrated in its environment, hosts mo­dernity worthy of James Bond films. You enter there through a door hidden in the rock, leading to an ultra-modern winery dug in the mountain. The sommeliers could make the most of a tasting near the fire where classical and traditional dishes perfectly accompanied the white and red wines of the domain.
The next morning was dedicated to a visit of the Bodegas Torello, producing Cava and white wines, in presence of Toni Torello and his brother. The domain belongs to one of the Cava region's most famous family. The programme of the day:

discovery of the vineyards, of the more than 100 years old underground winery, then of the museum where can be found all kinds of tools and viticultural machines, to end with a tasting of the whole range of products of the bodega.

The lunch was scheduled at the Bodegas Can Estella. This family estate mainly makes Cava.

The last evening of the wine tour was organized at the Bodegas Raventos which produce Cava. From their arrival our Chinese friends have been welcomed in the vineyard with a glass of Cava by Francesc Escala, export manager of the domain owned by the family Raventos. After a presentation of the bodega, a dinner was served, paired with the different Cavas of the house.

At the end of their journey the sommeliers visited the last but not least winery: Bodega Freixenet. It is one of the biggest in the world and the visit is worth the trip, as everything is staged and set to the millimetre: films, visit of the winery and the premises in a little train. Despite the production volume, quality and seriousness can be found in every wine. The delegation could also taste the Cavas of the brand Segura Viudas also belonging to the group Freixenet.
The Spanish epic was the first part of a two weeks tour that continued in the region of Bordeaux*. Nelson Chow and the 15 professionals warmly thank all the domains that welcomed them.

* Read the special issue of January 2013 and on

WinEvents press release

WinEvents, SL

Paseo de la Castellana, 153
28046 Madrid - Espagne
Tél.: + 34 91 770 25 54

List of the sommeliers

1. Nelson CHOW
Président de l’Association des Sommeliers
de Hong Kong.

2. Yee Wall Edwin CHAN
Vice-président de l’Association
des Sommeliers de Hong Kong et de Chine.

3. Chun Wah LAW (Larry LAW)
Est directeur de HKHA
(Hong Kong Hospitality Association).

4. Kam Wing YU (Wing YU)
Acheteur-sommelier du Langham Hotel*****

5. Wai Yin TSANG (Joey TSANG)
Sommelière du China Club.

6. Ka Wing CHEUNG (Nelson CHEUNG)
Professeur en chef HITDC
(École d’Hôtellerie et Sommellerie de Hong Kong).

7. Kwok Fung Alex CHAN
Acheteur et sommelier à Disneyland Hong Kong.

8. Cheuck Kay SHEA (Marcos SHEA)
Acheteur-sommelier d’Omtis, importateur,
distributeur de vins et de marques de luxe.

9. Hoi Lun SUN (Alan SUN)
Sommelier de l’Hôtel Mira (étoilé Michelin).

10. Pik Yee LO (Patti LO)
Sommelière du Nikko Hotel.

11. Casy CHAU
Sommelière du Regal Hotel Group.

12. Man Ting LAU (Katrina LAU)
Sommelière du Nikko Hotel*****

13. Xin LEE (Chris LEE)
Directrice des ventes de Padthaway Cellar
et Honesty Wines.

14. Yuen Ling YIP (Linda YIP),
Connoisseur Wines and Spirits (HK) Ltd.

15. Yu Gai ZHU (Jacky ZHU)
Directeur général de Padthaway Winery Group.

16. Chiu Yat Angus LI (Angus LI)
Responsable des achats vins pour les Casinos City
of Dream à Macao. Hacienda Monasterio

Bodegas Regajal
Antigua Carretera de Andalucía
28300 Aranjuez
Tél : +34 913 078 903

Bodegas Valduero
Ctra. de Aranda s/n.
Gumiel del Mercado
09443 Burgos
Tél : +34 947 545 459

Ctra. Pesquera-Valbuena, s/n

47315 Pesquera de Duero (Valladolid)

Tél : +34 983 484 002

Bodegas Matarromera

Carretera de Renedo Pesquera, 30

47359 Valbuena de Duero

Tél : +34 902 430 170

Bodegas Arzuaga Navarro

Ctra. N.122 Aranda-Valladolid, Km. 325 - 47350 Quintanilla de Onésimo (Valladolid)

Tel: +34 983 681 146

Sitios de Bodega

Carretera Rueda – Nava del Rey, Parcela 35,
Polígono 11

47490 Rueda – Valladolid

Tel: +34 983 103 223

Bodegas José Pariente Rueda

Ctra. de Rueda Km. 2,5

47491 La Seca - Valladolid

Tel: +34 983 816 600

Hacienda Zorita

Haciendas de España

Ctra. Ledesma km 12

37115 Valverdón - Salamanca

Tel: +34 902 109 902

Bodegas Muga

Av de Vizcaya - 26200 Haro - Rioja
Tel: +34 941 311 825

Bodegas Bohórquez

Carretera Peñafiel, s/n

47315 Pesquera de Duero - Valladolid

Tel: +34 915 643 751

Bodegas Franco Españolas et Paternina

Avda. Santo Domingo, 11

26200 Haro - Rioja

Tél : +34 941 310 550

Bodegas Beronia Groupe Gonzalez Byass

Carretera de Ollauri a Nájera. km.1,8 - 26220 Ollauri-La Rioja.

Tél : +34 941 338 000

Bodegas Riojanas

Ctra. Estación 1-21 C.P.

26350 Cenicero

Tél : +34 941 45 40 50

Bodegas Don Jacobo

Bodegas Corral

Carretera de Logroño Km.10

26370 Navarrete

Tél : +34 941 440 193

Mas d’en Gil

Km. 4 Ctra Falset a Bellmunt del Priorat

43738 Bellmunt del Priorat

Tél : +34 977 830 192

CRDO Priorat

Carrer Major, 2

43737 Torroja del Priorat

Tél : +34 977 839 495

CRDO Montsant

Plaça de la Quartera, 6
43730 Falset (Tarragona)

Tél : +34 977 831 742

Bodegas Mont Ferrant

Abat Escarré, 1 - 17300 Blanes – Girona

Tél : +34 934 191 000

Bodegas Roger Goulart

Carrer Major, 6
08635 Sant Esteve Sesrovires

Tél : +34 934 191 000

Bodegas Can Rafols del Caus

Lugar Masía Can Rafols Dels Caus,

S/N - 08793 Avinyonet del

Tél : +34 938 970 013

Bodegas Torello

Can Martí de Baix
Apartado de Correos 8

08770 Sant Sadurní d'Anoia (Barcelona)

Tél : +34 938 910 793

Bodegas Can Estella

Lugar Ca N'Estella, S/N
08635 Sant Esteve Sesrovires

Tél : +34 934 161 387

Bodegas Raventos

Carrer del Roure
08770 Sant Sadurní d'Anoia

Tél : +34 938 183 262

Bodegas Freixenet

Carrer Joan Sala, 2

08770 Sant Sadurní d'Anoia, Barcelona

Tél : +34 938 917 000