10.05.2010 70 °F
It seems there is always a specific time to do things in Spain. You eat lunch at a specific time, then you have ice cream. If you go out before 6:00 pm you can have coffee, a coke or beer, but you don't have wine and you are not eating dinner before 8:00 pm at the earliest. This regiment doesn't always work with our schedule so we have gotten in the habit of making sure we get lunch.
Today we actually ended up at Bodega Quinta de la Quietud in Toro vs the other wineries I mentioned. This winery tour was originally set up by the hotel. The wine maker is a Frenchman who came to Spain to make wine without all of the restrictions of France and he does a very good job. There are 6 employees including him self.
Since we got a good food recommendation yesterday we asked where to go for lunch. When we got to the recommended restaurant they of course were not serving :-(
So we headed back to Salamanca and at at a place (Casa Paca) which was recommended by the hotel. They had the most extensive wine list and Troy got his suckling pig. I wanted to match my meal to the Toro wine we were drinking and had an ox steak. Wait to you see the pictures you won't believe I ate the whole thing (almost).
Tomorrow we head over to Segovia to see the Roman aqueducts and then down to Madrid. We are going to meet up with the LA couple we met in Barcelona and then Thursday & Friday we will meet up with Troy's work friends. JP on Thursday and Javier on Friday.
10.04.2010 68 °F
Today was all about why we came to Spain (great food & wine). We had one wine tour today at 11:00 am (Cambrico) and were told to meet Alberto & Ulla at the square. When we got into town there were two people standing by a car, there wasn't really a square but we figured it must be them and we were right. We followed them up a steap hill and into the vineyard. We walked through the vines while Ulla (a German woman) translated for Alberto. We learned about two new grape varietals that Alberto has brought back into existence (rufete & calabres). We also learned the different leaves the grapes have and about the earth the grapes are grown in. Next it was up to the tasting room to see where they make & store the wines, and then of course to taste the wines. The wines were outstanding and we had a fun conversation even if we all couldn't understand what we were saying. We even taught Ulla the word "grafting" as this is the process being used to bring back some older grapes which are becoming extinct. In our conversation I found out that Ulla grew up 5 kilometers from the town of Herde where my family is from (go figure!). Ulla liked us so much that she volunteered to takes to a winery in Rueda (Bodegas Antano).
Here is a link that talks about the winery: http://www.mwines.com/producers/CAMB-%20CAMBRICO%5CCAMB-%20POS%5CCAMB-%20WEB%20POS%5CABOUT%20THE%20PRODUCER.PDF
And here I am at the tasting table:
Ulla & Alberto then recommended we stop into the town of San Martin del Castanar for lunch. No restaurant name was given just that it was in the plaza. After one misstep, I walked to a restaurant that clearly was not correct, we wandered around town and had a fantastic meal!
Here is a picture of Troy's first dish:
After lunch we walked around the town some more than drove to a town called Miranda del Castanar and walked around to work off our lunch. This country does not lack in churches and there are one or more to be seen in every town. We are definitely finding towns where tourists don't go as people will look at us funny since they don't recognize us and wonder why we are there.
Back in Salamanca now. It will be an early night as neither of us feel like eating. Tomorrow we will meet up with Ulla and then we have an appointment at 5:00 pm at Bodegas Arzuaga.