We cannot overestimate the role that Aragonês (Tempranillo) has played in the development of Spain’s burgeoning wine industry. Its approachable tannins, silky texture, and strawberry fruit profile have won over oenophiles from London to San Francisco. It was largely responsible for putting Spain on the international red wine map in the 20th century. It is universally adored […]
Sauternes and the Douro Valley have more in common than first appear. Despite the differences in terroir and climate, these two iconic regions are committed to broadening their appeal. Indeed, both Sauternes and the Douro Valley have diversified their offerings of late, producing a greater volume of dry styles. The catalyst for this paradigm shift […]
Although the name is undeniably colorful, Bastardo is not a red grape to be dismissed as ‘light-weight’ or trivial. On the contrary, it has been grown in western Europe for centuries, producing deeply colored wines that offer both finesse and rich concentration. After finding its way to Portugal via Spain, Bastardo became an integral part […]
Periquita, or Castelão as it’s also known, is one of Portugal’s most obscure red grape varieties. It is part of a stubborn set of traditions, prioritizing local grapes over imports. This was once considered a disadvantage, yet wine lovers from all corners of the globe are increasingly drawn to Portugal’s authenticity, desperate to experience new […]
The Iberian Peninsula offers a treasure trove of indigenous grape varieties and unique wine styles. Among the most exciting is Baga, the signature red grape of the Bairrada region in north-central Portugal. Think of it as the country’s answer to Nebbiolo – running the gamut from divine nectar to tannic dross. In its youth, poor […]
Spanish Cuisine Guide Traditional Spanish food is uncomplicated, flavorful, and based on the freshest regional ingredients made available by Spain’s diverse geography. The Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea surround most of the country, and Spain shares its eastern border with France. While mountains and valleys sprawl across the country’s vast and varied interior landscape. […]
The term ‘cross’ can occasionally invoke negative connotations in the wine trade. It implies something artificial, unnatural, and perhaps even unauthentic. Nothing could be further from the truth; vine crossings have occurred throughout history and are responsible for such noble grape varieties as Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Read more about Portuguese Red Wine You […]
Key French Red Grapes by Wine Region France is a conundrum. As the world’s viticultural map continues to expand and change at an unprecedented rate, the birthplace of fine wine appears to be sleeping. The global wine industry has witnessed a series of tectonic movements over the past 20 years: The rise of social media […]
The term ‘Bordeaux blend’ has become synonymous with the region’s iconic – and widely exported – recipe for making powerfully structured red wine. Every oenophile can recite the formula in a heartbeat: mix varying proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot to make something far greater than the sum of its parts. But there […]
Castilla y León is one of Spain’s most diverse destinations. The Cantabrian Mountains border the landlocked region to the north and Portugal to the west. Galicia, Rioja, and other Spanish regions surround Castilla y León, too. Geographically, the region is prime real estate for agriculture, as it’s mostly an undulating plateau with fertile soils. Yet […]
Loved by consumers everywhere, Malbec has become synonymous with cultural – or is that viticultural? – appropriation. Once prolific across several major French regions, this much-loved red grape was introduced to South America in the 19th century. The rest, as they say, is history; the area under vine exploded in Argentina in the late 1900s, […]
Is Mourvèdre a noble red grape variety or a dirty little secret? To some growers, this recherché varietal is an essential part of the viticultural landscape in the southern Rhone, adding structure and ‘fire’ to the quintessential GSM (Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre) blends that have made its reputation. Others loathe Mourvèdre and will happily list […]
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Cellar Tours is a Luxury Travel Specialist, operating since 2003 and offering exclusive Mercedes chauffeured Gourmet Vacations in Chile, France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, and Spain. We specialize in luxurious custom designed vacations, events and incentives related to food and wine. We are proud members of Slow Food, UNAV (Travel Agency Association in Spain), and the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals).