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Mirador de Moncalvillo and Venta Moncalvillo. Daroca

12/01/2011 Deja un comentario

As I was telling you in my previous 2 posts, Visit to Bodegas López Heredia and Bodegas Campo Viejo, the trip through the process of wine production challenged my two senses, smell and taste.

But not all was about wine during our trip. We had the chance to continue this experience and have some rest time in a beautiful small village in La Rioja, Daroca.

This village has only 48 inhabitants and there is not much besides a restaurant and a rural house, both using the name “Moncalvillo”. But the proximity with many attractions of La Rioja (only 20 minutes from Logroño) makes it a perfect place to spend some days.

We went to have dinner to the restaurant Venta Montcalvillo. This restaurant has recently received a Michelin star. This star is an award given by Michelin Guide. This guide is the oldest and best known European hotel and restaurant guide. You can find out more information about this guide on Wikipedia.

Dinner was great and I must tell you that they even closed the restaurant for us.  And we were served by only two people, the chef and the sommelier. The two persons are brothers and together they own the place. Dinner consisted in 4 different dishes, each dish matches with a different kind of wine. The dishes were cooked with local ingredients, so it had a real La Rioja taste. But the best part of the dinner was that each time a dish was brought the chef explained us how it was cooked and the reason why they have chosen that combination of ingredients and that specific wine.

 - Restaurante VentaMoncalvillo (Daroca de Rioja)

When the dinner finished we were invited to the “cigar room”. The restaurant’s owners are using this room as a Smocking club. And here, we can taste some good cigars and alcoholic drinks. I think it was the first time I regretted that I’m not smocking. The most interesting of this room is the clock that is always showing the same time: 20:20. The chef told us that who enters in this room must forget about time, don’t rush and take the time to enjoy a good cigar and drink.

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We also had a surprise during our dinner: two desserts. ¡Yes! Right as you read here. And even in the experience in the “cigar room” was fool of surprises. But I can’t tell you if you want to find out you have to go there.

After dinner we were lucky to can rest and relax in an amazing rural house. It is incredible to get in this warm house with fireplace when outside is so cold!!

image from www.flickr.com

This house is also unique, not only because of the great view, but also for the colour of its rooms. Each room is painted in a different colour.

On morning we woke up with a great breakfast prepared by Maite, the owner of the house.

I recommend you to see this interview in Spanish with Maite even if you are not a Spanish speackers beacause you can see part of the house’s interior. This video was published on turismoenlarioja Youtube channel.

I also recommned you this entry and fotos that Tirso Maldonado published in travbuddy:

Restaurante VentaMoncalvillo Reviews

Bodegas Campo Viejo

06/01/2011 Deja un comentario

As I promised in my previous entry, Visit to Bodegas López Herredia, in this post I’ll describe my experience to the other winery, which we visited during our trip to La Rioja.

As I said in my previous post, Bodegas Campo Viejo is just the opposite winery compared with the traditional Bodegas López Heredia. And we can feel it as soon as we arrive in front of the modern architectural winery.

Bodegas Campo Viejo is the most modern winery in La Rioja, and is located just few miles from Logroño, capital of the region.

We had nice walk to the winery, because in order to get there you have to cross part of the vineyard. As soon as you enter in the modern building we get in touch with the smell of new, especially new wood.  When you enter in the winery you are welcomed by the person, who will join you in the tour. You can have the tour in English or in Spanish.

At the ground floor you find the reception and the restaurant. After finishing the itinerary through the winery you can have a great meal at the restaurant. And if you don’t go there in winter, as we did, you can eat on a nice terrace with great views to the vineyards.

 - Bodegas Campo Viejo (La Rioja)

Underground, you find the others areas of the winery. I was impressed by the modernity and the dimensions of Bodegas Campo Viejo. The winery can produce 21 millions litters of wine and can store 6 millions bottles of wine.

You can check my affirmations in this video made by Jimmy Pons.

For Spanish speakers I recommend to check out too the review and photos of Tirso Maldonado on Trav Buddy Bodega Juan Alcorta Reviews.

Visit to Bodega López Heredia

03/01/2011 Deja un comentario

During the 2 days trip we visit this two wineries. And I really recommend if someday you want to visit La Rioja’s wineries to visit this two because there are totally different and even opposite. Lopez Heredia is one of the oldest winery of La Rioja and it is the region’s representation for traditional way of producing wine. Campo Viejo is just the opposite; it is representative for modernity and the last wine technology.

These two wineries really challenged two of my senses: the smell and the taste, and in a second place the view (as I heard some interesting stories of the wine industry).

My travel experience has taught me that each person leaves differently his travel experience, as our past life experiences and also the places we visit before influence in our travel experience in the new destination. And that’s why for me the trip to this wineries was special because some smells, tastes and stories were totally new for me and at the some times other smells and stories brought to my mind some childhood memories.

But now I’ll start to describe you how was my visit to each winery. I’ll start with Bodegas López Heredia.

Bodegas Lopez Heredia (Haro – La Rioja Alta)

I specially enjoyed the visit to this winery. Mercedes, the person who owns the winery, received us and was our guide. She explained us all the process of the wine production and was a great driver of the time machine that took us in a travel which started back in time, at the origin of the winery and finished on 16th December (the day we made the visit). The way she storied the history of Lopez Heredia winery and the traditional process of the production of Viña Todonia, was transmitting her love to the winery and for the family wine tradition.  Viña Todonia is the most famous wine produced by López Heredia.

Those who are Spanish speakers can discover the origins of the name Todonia, exactly as Mercedes told us, in a video made by Jimmy Pons during our visit.

If you don’t understand Spanish, from Jimmy’s videos, you can found out how to open an old Viña Todoña bottle. But if you do understand Spanish I recommend you to watch the three videos made by Jimmy during the visit to López Heredia, that you can find in the Youtube channel turismoenlarioja .

The first thing that captures your attention when you arrive to López Heredia, is the architecture of the winery. Most part of this architecture is old but the shop is very modern and was designed by the famous architect, Zaha Hadid. So don’t forget your money, if you don’t want to pass the occasion of buying a good bottle of wine in this shop!!!

When I entered in the winery, the smell of wine melt with the smell of wood and a strange smell of old remind me the very small cellar, where one of my grand fathers kept his small production of wine in South Romania. It was exactly the same smell. In López Heredia the wine barrels are handmade, in the old Spanish manner. And I was quite surprise to discover in the winery’s carpentry workshop, similar tools used by my other grand father from Apuseni Mountains (West Carpathian Mountains) to make barrels and other handmade work on wood.

We had the lunch here, with Mercedes. Eating in a winery of Rioja is an incredible experience. You discover La Rioja’s gastronomy while you smell and taste a large variety of wine; as in this region to each dish you are given a different wine. I’ve never tasted and smelled so many wines as I did in this trip.

Tirso Maldonado, also wrote a review about Lopez Heredia in his TravBuddy Blog. You can discover here his post and photos Visita Bodega López Heredia.

In the next entry I will share with you my experience in the visit to Bodegas Campo Viejo.

Cheers

Previous related entry: My Trip to La Rioja: A challenge to my Senses

My Trip to La Rioja: A challenge to my Senses

02/01/2011 Deja un comentario

On 16 and 17 December of the year, that has recently passed, I made a wonderful trip to La Rioja, Spain. In my next entries to this blog I’ll describe my experience in this Spanish Region. If you don’t know much about La Rioja I think is better to check out other some sources, such as Wikipedia, as I won’t give much information about the geographic position or history of this region.

In this entry, I’ll give you a short picture of my trip itinerary:

First day 16th December:

 

  • Visit to Bodegas Lopez Heredia (Haro- La Rioja Alta)
  • Dinner to Restaurante Venta de Moncalvillo  (Daroca)
  • Spend the night in the Rural House Mirador de Moncalvillo (Daroca)

 

Second day 17th December:

  • Breakfast to Mirador de Moncalvillo (Daroca)
  • Visit Hotel Castillo El Collado (Laguardia – Rioja Alavesa)
  • Visit Bodegas Campo Viejo

I didn’t do this trip alone, but with some co-workers and some of them also shared their experience in different formats: pictures, video and posts. In my next posts I’ll tell you were you can find them.

I hope that you will enjoy my posts where you can found out why this trip was a challenge to my senses. I know that my posts can’t replace the real life experience but I hope at least I woke up your curiosity.

See you soon!!

My next entries about the trip:

Visit to Bodegas López Heredia

Bodegas Campo Viejo

Mirador de Moncalvillo and Venta Moncalvillo. Daroca

My photos on Flickr

What others published about the trip:

Photos on Flickr

Bodega Juan Alcorta Reviews (Bodegas Campo Viejo)

Visit Bodega López Heredia

Restaurante VentaMoncalvillo Reviews

Christmas dinner in our company

Youtube Channel turismoenlarioja

No vendemos camas, vendemos experiencias. Mi experiencia Turismo por La Rioja

  • Adrià Julia Lundgren (@xarop)

Turismo 2.0 en La Rioja

Mirador de Moncalvillo: Un rincón especial con gente especial

Photos on Flickr

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