” Nos bailliages sont toujours très actifs. A l’initiative du Bailli de Grand Bretagne, John Cunynghame, 16 membres de ce bailliage plus 4 membre du Bailliage du pays de Galles, ont sillonné les route d’Espagne, particulièrement la RIOJA. Voici, en anglais, le récit que notre bailli fait de ce voyage.”
MEMBERS VISIT TO RIOJA
In June, 21 of us made a fascinating visit to Rioja. The trip started off with a sparkling wine reception and dinner in our hotel.
The following day, we drove to Bodegas Ondarre in Viana, where we were introduced to the company who supply a large quantity of wine to the U.K. Their Export Director, Candido Latorre, showed us the vines and explained that most of their production was of Reserva quality.
We then went into the town of Viana and were given a guided tour of the local Church, which was truly impressive. This was followed by a tour of the town, which is one of the staging posts on the route to Santiago de Compostela.
From there we went to the cellars of Bodegas Olarra – the company which own Ondarre. In its amazing cellars, which are built under 111 hexagonal ‘domes, their lie more than 25,000 casks, gently maturing.
Candido had arranged a tasting for us in their magnificent tasting room, to show the how the Reserva evolves.
It was now time for lunch! Unfortunately, Candido could not join us as he had to attend a Board Meeting, but he had arranged for lunch in a splendid restaurant from which we emerged at around 16.30. We then returned to the hotel, from which we were able to walk to the Chancela restaurant, for a magnificent dinner.
Saturday took us to the Monasteries of Suso and Yuso. This is a World Heritage site and we had a very well informed guide to show us around. The monastery started with Suso, but in the 1500’s grew and moved into Suso. It was here that the first written Spanish was established, and some of original books are still stored there.
Then on to the picturesque town of Ezcaray, where we had lunch in the Rincon del Vino. This turned out to be something of a feast, with no less than 6 starters!
We returned to the hotel, where again we were able to walk to a rather more formal restaurant, Los Caballeros, where we enjoyed another excellent dinner.
Sunday took us to Bilbao, where we visited the Guggenheim. This is a remarkable museum with everything from enormous steel structures to some wonderful paintings.
We then walked to the Markina restaurant, where we enjoyed a sumptuous range of food, before departing for the Airport. Sadly, the plane was about 1 hour late, but this was a small price to pay for an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable visit.