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Wine: The holy water of /Spain

Winemaking in Spain is an important element of the national cultural heritage. Smart people say that you can “taste” the country by the national cuisine. Those who wish to learn the essence of this sunshine paradise should direct their attention to the heady grape juices of Spain. The drink of the gods, filled with temptations, has its own unique character and moods in Spain. Groves of grape vines; well designed wineries; exotic tours of the wine cellars; a wine-orgy with the participation of thousands of people – wine is the true love potion of Spain and its variety is diverse and rich.

Welcome to the Grapes of Spain

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It’s a common saying that only two things determine the greatness of a country: the beauty of its women and the taste of its wine! The strong taste and distinctive bouquet make Spanish wines renowned outside of the kingdom. Modern wine racks full of bottles with strange names and labels. People strolling through the cellars during the tour do not realize how many secrets are kept for big-name brands. The southern feeling of chardonnay, fruity onslaught of Tempranillo, the freshness and simplicity of Irene – the country cultivates a variety of different grape varieties. French burgundy grapes gave Spain sparkling wine and the best results with a brief maturity. High quality grape “Loureiro” of Galicia gives the drink a noble flavour with sweet notes. By the way, sweet and dessert wines are commonly used for the impregnation of baking and cooking creams. One of the oldest local varieties of Rioja “Kalagrano” is almost extinct, but it’s saved by the love of the few. People from northern Spain choose wine with a wild mood, the Southerners prefer velvet drinks. Verdejo grapes, one of the best varieties in Spain, give full-bodied wine with a high content of alcohol. In this case, we can recall the Persian philosopher and mathematician Omar Khayyam, who wrote about wine: “a drink from the fountain of wisdom, which requires measures and reverent attitude”. The “star” of Spain Tempranillo deserves some specific words. “Aged” Tempranillo has the aroma of vanilla and red berries. However, people with subtle sense may be able to catch the faint smell of leather, tobacco and an oak-filled basement. One of the world’s leading wine critics Jancis Robinson advised to go to the men’s locker room, if you want to find a true association with the scent of the “king” of grape varieties in Spain. By the way, creating the familiar aroma of wines is a special art whose secrets are passed down from generation to generation.

From the Heart of Plantation

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Mediterranean countries are famous for wine trails and wine tasting tours. Traditional and exotic tours of the wine cellars attract tourists from all over the world. By the number of producing vineyards Spain exceeds all European countries. However, the Spanish wine industry is moderately conservative. There are about 40 wine regions, and each of them has its own tradition of making wine. Rioja is a region in the north of the country, famous for its soft wines, and one of the most popular regions in Spain. Sightseers can see the entire history of technology vintages as well as they can taste the best wines and a variety of snacks. The style of inspection of the winery is “copa en mano” – “with a glass in your hand”. There are modern wineries in the same place, raised with wooden steel structures. Wine and the gastronomic route in the Basque Country provides for the tasting of the best grape varieties of this province. A unique tour “Voyage by Helicopter” can take you to the local wineries of Ribera del Duero, where guests will be able to appreciate the taste of wine from the barrels of different wood. Tourist route “Roads of Wine”, which lies across the province of Cuenca, Ciudad Real and Albacete, is described by Cervantes’ in the novel “Don Quixote”. The medieval atmosphere, the national heritage – among other things, visitors will be able to get aesthetic pleasure from the culture of the Mediterranean. After the popularity of the routes between the regions of Somontano, Huesca and Zaragoza it was decided to put on a coach tour “Somontano Wine Route” up to the Catalan capital during the grape harvest (28 of September). Sightseers can visit the medieval castle, the cathedral church, an art gallery and several wineries. It would be unforgivable arrogance to visit the wine country, and do not go visit the famous «Torres» winery, which offers personalized wine tastings. The tour begins with a documentary film about the rich history of winemaking in this zone. Excursion train opens the “heart” of the plantation: the vineyards, cellars and production area. When you select any of the provinces of winemaking in Spain, even the most whimsical wine connoisseurs will be able to pick up a “solar beverage” with the right taste, strength and flavour.

The idea of enjoying wine wins the idea of Bacchanalian delight, mythological advocated in the culture of Dionis. Ernest Hemingway became the hero of the habit of pouring new wine into coffee for breakfast. Also note wine is not only one of the oldest alcoholic beverages, but in Spain it is an important part of the culture of the county.

Inset:

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1. French scientist Louis Pasteur claimed that a bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world. Plato also believed that the abuse of a dream was more harmful than wine, and said wine was a drink to promote reflection of harmony.

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2. History: As one of the oldest wine-producing countries in Europe, Spain has a long history of wine production. It is known that the ancient Iberians, Greeks and Phoenicians traded drink of the gods in the Kingdom. Malaga and Taragona were centres of delivery of wine by the Romans. The destroyed vineyards in the centuries-old war with the Moors were restored by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel. Spanish sherry became known through England. To this day, England is the largest importer of sherry. Napoleon’s army made a great exchange of “wine” experience. Phylloxera destroyed the vineyards of Spain and France in the 19th century, but soon resistant to diseases grape variety was brought from the United States. Only the Civil War interrupted for a while the “wine boom”. Spain annually produces more than four billion litres of wine.

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3. Wine festivals: Autumn is a special time in the “grape world” when the harvest takes place. Spain celebrates Vendimia in September – an annual national holiday of the grape harvest.

Holiday “Wine horses” takes place in May in the town Caravaca de la Cruz. There are horse races in the city, demonstration of design of equipment, sprinkling wine with holy water, decoration of streets with many flowers. History marked the beginning of the holiday. It was about 800 years ago. Muslim troops laid siege to a small town. The city had an epidemic, the cause of which was dirty water. Templar Knights made a sortie over wine. According to legend, a miracle happened. The Templars bathed the holy cross in wine. Dirty water cured Christians from disease.

There is a festival of sherry each autumn in the city of Jerez de la Frontera. Visitors can try the original drink, look at the best horses of the Royal school of equestrian art, and enjoy flamenco with world-class dancers.

Festivals and celebrations devoted to the local tradition of winemaking take place in Rioja in summer. There is a festival of St. Barnabas in Logrono in June 11. The holiday is dedicated to the patron saint of the city, and to the events of 1521, when the French laid siege to the city. The inhabitants were forced to eat fish and drink wine for several weeks. Mass celebrations in Logrono, accompanied by a ceremonial first pressing of the grape, happen in the second half of September. The famous “Wine Battle” of Jaro takes place at the end of July in San Asansio.