De nuevo en el European Wine Bloggers. (Brescia, Italia)Back again on the European Wine Bloggers Conference (Brescia, Italy).

Bienvenidos a Franciacorta

Algo me pasa con el European Wine Bloggers. Siempre me apunto en el último momento, y tengo la suerte de contar con la comprensión y la flexible actitud de los organizadores para poder entrar en la repesca. El caso es que al final siempre estoy allí. Y ya van 3 ediciones.

Reunirse con amantes del vino tiene un punto muy especial. Este colectivo está formado por personas con varios puntos en común, pero quizá el más importante es que disfrutan y tratan de disfrutar como enanos de los eventos a los que asisten.

Cuando uno tiene 20 años puede que esto que acabo de decir no sea una cualidad muy a valorar. Es fácil reírse y disfrutar con 20 años. Pero cuando se van cumpliendo más, nos hacemos más exigentes y nos van pasando cosas que hacen que empecemos a tener en cuenta una clasificación algo distinta de la que uno hace a los 20, y es la de separar a las personas como auténticas momias vivientes a las que nada emociona, y  otro grupo de aquellos que se emocionan con las pequeñas cosas, que tratan de tener despiertos los sentidos para darse cuenta de que están muy vivos y que además tiene muchas ganas de vivir.

En el salón de actos

En los eventos relacionados con el vino excepto en contadas ocasiones te encuentras, casi exclusivamente, con gente que quiere disfrutar de la vida y buscan en actividades como ésta una manera de disfrutar. Y esto de querer disfrutar de la vida como del mal rollo es algo contagioso. Así que no hay nada como reunirte con gente que lo único que pretende es pasárselo lo mejor posible y transmitirlo a su entorno.

El European Wine Bloggers es esto, pero a lo bestia. Lo es porque es un evento que ocurre una sola vez al año, porque los lugares que visitamos son auténticamente maravillosos, porque se reúnen 250 personas las que acuden que están conectadas entre sí por la red ycon una afición en común: son auténticos locos por el vino y su entorno, por probar nuevos vinos, por leer y por escribir sobre vinos, bodegas, por encontrarse con viejos amigos y por hacer nuevos para luego mantener el contacto vía redes sociales. Y les gusta tanto todo lo anterior que están dispuestos a hacer  miles de kilómetros para reunirse con personas afines. Si además resulta que los organizadores lo bordan.Porque lo bordan (Muchas gracias Gabriella, Ryan, Robert). Y si además los colaboradores locales, en este caso, los italianos, se desviven, el resultado no puede ser mejor.

Dinner in Il Mosnel Winery

Me quedé encantado en Lisboa, me quedé encantado en Viena y ha vuelto a pasar en Brescia, Italia. Nos han hecho pasar 3 días inolvidables.

¿Cómo transmitir todo esto de una manera más gráfica? Dicen que una imagen vale más que mil palabras. Quizá con un par de videos.

En el primero se puede ver lo que apreciaba a través de la ventanilla del avión en mi viaje a Milán.  Me había levantado a las 3 de la mañana para poder coger el avión a las 6. Como comprenderéis estaba hecho polvo, pero a mí ya me empezaba a entrar el gusanillo de lo que me iba a encontrar en Brescia. Me quedé frito en el vuelo, pero en un determinado momento me desperté y pude ver algo que supongo que se puede ver muchas veces cuando uno vuela. Pero si uno va al EWBC la sensibilidad es distinta. El avión parecía que no necesitaba de las alas porque parecía que flotaba en algodón. ¿Me paso al decir esto? Bueno, mirad el video. ¿Esto empezaba bien no?

Tuvimos una jornada larguísima (desde las 3 de la mañana en pie), y venga charlas y venga catas, a cuál más interesante y divertida. Y llega la tarde y nos llevan a un evento que se anunciaba de la siguiente manera: Private Dinners at Secret Franciacorta Wineries. Uauuu!!!!!. Esto pintaba bien. Nos subieron a 4 autobuses cada uno con un destino distinto. A mí me tocó al lado una profesora experta en catas brasileña con una conversación animadísima, pero hubo un momento en que, en la oscuridad del autobús, tanto ella como yo, nos quedamos fritos (por segunda vez en un medio de transporte ese día). No sé cuánto tiempo pasó. Pero me despertaron, bajé del autobús como un zombi y me encuentro con esto.

Cuando veáis el video veréis que tarda un poquito en enfocar con la oscuridad de la noche. Es un efecto que no buscaba pero que refleja fielmente cómo fue evolucionando mi estado, que se despejó en pocos segundos al empezar a escuchar una historia que en la oscuridad de la noche que parecía de cuento de hadas. En ella hablaba la dueña de la Bodega Il Mosnel, dándonos los primeros detalles sobre la visita que íbamos a hacer. 3 pinceladas de lo que nos cuenta. Se trata de una bodega que nace en 1836, una bodega familiar que pega un importamte estirón en los años 60 y que en la actualidad produce alrededor de 250.000 botellas.

   

La cena fue maravillosa con 9 productores de vino de la zona sentados cada uno de ellos en cada una de las mesas. La cena fue elaborada por el restaurante Due Colombe de Brescia. Se salieron. Su cocinero, Stefano Cerveni, al final de la cena, tuvo el detalle de salir a presentarse y nos hizo un pequeño speach, tremendamente emotivo en inglés. Y como tengo el Iphone a mano acerté, quizá demasiado tarde, en grabar el final de sus palabras en inglés. Muchas gracias Stefano.

Ir a descargar 

Y este es el resumen del primer día. Un día completito donde los haya en donde caí como un leño en la cama.

Fotos de este primer día  

(Continuará)

Post en inglés: Back again on the European Wine Bloggers Conference (Brescia, Italy).

 Bienvenidos a Franciacorta

I always join the European Wine Bloggers Conference on the last minute I have the good fortune to get it. This is my third edition.

To meet wine lovers is an especial experience. These people have a lot in common, but maybe most important is their attitude to have fun in every event they assist.

When you are 20, you may not appreciate this characteristic what is worth. To laugh and have fun then is easy. But when you get older you become more demanding. Besides many things happen around you.  These things that happen make you consider a somewhat different classification. On leisure the most important classification you do is wheter the people you meet are like living mummies to which nothing excites, and another group of those who get excited about little things, trying to have awakened the senses to realize that they are alive and also have a strong desire to live.

En el salón de actos

On the wine events except on rare occasions you find yourself almost exclusively with people who want to enjoy life and look at activities as a way to enjoy it.  Enjoy life or the bad feeling is contagious. So there nothing like to meet with people who only intention is to  ass his best and give it to the surroundings.

 The European Wine Bloggers Conference is all that but much more. It is because it is an event  that occurs once a year,  because the places we visited are truly wonderful, because they meet the 250 people attending that are connected  by Social Media, and with a hobby in common: they are completely mad  on wine and its environment, to try new wines, for reading and writing about wine, wineries, meet old friends and make new ones and then keep in touch via Social Media and Internet. And much like the above who are willing to make thousands of miles, to meet like minded people. If it turns out that the organizers do a pretty good job, because they do it (Thank you Gabriella, Ryan, Robert),  and if local partners, in this case the Italians in Franciacorta, do the best they can, the result can not be better.

Dinner in Il Mosnel Winery

I was delighted in Lisbon, I was delighted  in Wien. And has come to pass in Brescia, Italy. We have spent 3 unforgettable days.

How to transmit all this in more graphic way?. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe with a couple of videos …

On the first you can see what I appreciated through the window  of the plane on my trip to Milano. I was up at 3 in the morning,  to catch the plane at 6. As you will understand I was knackered. But something was happening inside me as I was approaching to Brescia. I got asleep on the plane, but at a certain time I woke up  and saw something that I guess you can see many times when you fly. But If you go to the EWBC your sensitivity is different. The plane seemed to not need wings because it seemed to float in cotton. Look at the video. Is this a good start no?

 The first day we had a very long time (from 3 am on foot), with many interesting tastings and conferences. Then evening comes.  On the program appears: Private Dinners at Secret Franciacorta Wineries. Uauuu!!!!!. This looked good. We went up to 4 buses each with a different destination.  I happened by a Brazilian tasting teacher, with very lively conversation, but there was a time when, in the darkness of the bus, she and I, got asleep. (for the second time in a conveyance that day) I do not know how long it took. But I woke up, got off the bus like a zombie and I find this.  

When you see the video you will  see that it takes a bit to focus in the darkness of the night. This an effect I did not look for, but that accurately reflects how evolved my state, which was cleared in a few seconds to start listening to a story in the darkness of the night seemed a fairy tale. The owner of Il Mosnel Winery, talked to us (this was the winery we were visiting). She gave us the first details about the visit we were going to do. In few words she said we were in a  winery that was founded in 1836, a family winery that strikes an important stretch in the 60s, and currently produces around 250.000 botttles.

The dinner was wonderful, with 9 winemakers of Franciacorta sitting each in echaof the tables. The dinner was prepared by the restaurant in Brescia, Due Colombe. They got out. His chef, Stefan Cerveni, at the end of the dinner, was so kind as to come to us and made a small speech, extremely emotional in English. As I had my Iphone at hand I recorded the finishing words of his speech. Thank you very much Stefano.

Ir a descargar

 

And this is the summary of the first day. A very complete day in which I fell like a log in bed.

Pictures of this first day on the EWBC

(It will continue)

This post in Spanish: De nuevo en el European Wine Bloggers. (Brescia, Italia)

 

 

Plan de Dinamización de Producto Turístico Ruta del Vino Ribera del DueroTourism Promotion Plan for Ruta del Vino Ribera del Duero

A la ribera del duero

Hay una serie de tendencias que son incuestionables aunque muchas bodegas aún no lo tengan muy claro. Y son:

Que con la globalización las Bodegas necesitan diferenciarse mucho más, de sus competidores.
Que la manera de diferenciarse más eficaz es aparte de por el propio vino y su presentación, de todo lo que rodea al vino. (las maravillosas historias que hay alrededor del vino).
Que, creciendo mucho la masa de consumidores que se interesan y profundizan sobre la cultura del vino, lo que más está creciendo, y con diferencia, son el número de personas que consideran muy atractivo el entorno del mundo del vino, el turismo enológico.
Que esto es una corriente que aún no ha arrancado en España con la fuerza con la que está sucediendo en otros países. (Italia, etc).
Cada vez hay más gente que huye del turismo de playa, cuyo principal defecto es el de haberse convertido el algo tremendamente homogéneo, frente a un turismo, mucho más atractivo y heterogéneo como puede ser el turismo rural y el turismo enológico.

Esto lo saben las Bodegas, y lo muestran con el tipo de visitas que ofrecen de forma regular a sus instalaciones. El tipo de lenguaje que utilizan es el que se usa para alguien que no ha visitado una Bodega anteriormente. Y por el tipo de preguntas, o de no preguntas que hacen los visitantes, uno percibe que los visitantes no están buscando tampoco un nivel más alto.

Tuve la suerte de coincidir con las responsables de “Consorcio Ruta del Vino” en mi reciente visita a Aranda con motivo de la reunión entre bloggers y Bodegas. Me explicaron su proyecto. Es este un proyecto muy bien planificado con un importante presupuesto en el que participan un buen número de organismos oficiales. Entre estos organismos: la Secretaría de Estado de TurismoDO de Ribera de Duero, las diputaciones de Valladolid, Soria, Segovia y Burgos, 44 ayuntamientos, 33 Bodegas, 11 Alojamientos, etc

Me preguntaba alguna Bodega sobre si debería de participar. Parece ser que el coste por Bodega es de no más de 2000 euros/año. Mi respuesta es que sin ninguna duda. Es este uno de los trenes en lo que, o te subes o te quedas perdido en el camino.

Es un problema de actitud. Algunas se centran en hacer un buen vino, pero se fijan poco o nada en lo que ocurre a su alrededor.

Y alrededor están pasando muchísimas cosas que hacen que una Bodega que tuvo éxito en el pasado y en el presente, posiblemente no lo tenga en el futuro.

Se trata de ser inquieto. Y ante la pregunta de si había que estar en Winefuture, o en Finewine o en la 1ª Feria Internacional de Vino Ecológico en España (si elaboras vino ecológico), mi respuesta es en todos casos afirmativa. Porque hay que saber qué hacen los demás, y lo que harán. Para luego, decidir cada uno su camino. Pero es muy fácil decirlo desde fuera sin ser responsable de un presupuesto

Este negocio se va haciendo cada vez más complejo. Solo saldrán adelante aquellos que hagan muy buen vino, y/o tengan una gran personalidad, y/o sepan aprovechar las nuevas formas de comunicación y comercialización.

Quiero dar mi enhorabuena a todas las Bodegas que han decidido apostar por el proyecto. Este proyecto ayudará a las Bodegas de Ribera de Duero a definir su camino en los próximos años. Y con este proyecto pasa lo mismo que con las nuevas tecnologías. Le sacarán más partido aquellas Bodegas que apuesten más por el proyecto. A todo aquél que siembre recogerá su cosecha.

Gracias a Cristina Prat y a Sara García por haberme atendido como lo han hecho. Son dos grandísimas profesionales que harán de este proyecto algo que ya va tomando forma un éxito.

Para aquellos que quieran conocer el proyecto a fondo les animo a que entren en la página que se ha creado para dar información sobre el tema. Ruta del Vino Ribera del Duero

Post en Inglés: Tourism Promotion Plan for Aranda de Duero

A la ribera del duero

There are a number of tendencies that are evident today, even though many wineries are still questioning them, such as the following:

Wineries need to differentiate themselves from their competitors more than before, given the ongoing process of globalization
-The way to differentiate better (apart form the actual wine and its presentation) is by telling the story of the winery
-There are more and more consumers that are interested in learning about the world of wine, especially those who are interested in areas peripheral to, but related to the world of wine, such as wine tourism.
-This is a tendency that is not in Spain as strong yet as it is on the abroad, and it comes from there with a tremendous force.

There are more and more people that are rejecting typical beach-tourism which is boring and mass-marketed, and are looking for something more interesting and individual, such as rural tourism with a wine connection.

Wineries know this, and it shows from the type of visits and experiences they regularly offer at their installations. The type of language they use is directed to people who have never been to a winery before. And from the type of questions asked (and not asked) one can tell that the visitors are not looking for a particularly sophisticated or highbrow level.

I was lucky enough to meet the people from the Consorcio Ruta del Vino” during my visit to Aranda for the tasting organized for Bloggers and Wineries. They told me about their project, which has quite an important budget with many different public bodies involved.

A few wineries asked me if they should participate or not. At a cost per winery of about €2000/year, my reply would be that they should definitely participate. This is a ‘train’ that you either catch or get left behind!

It’s an attitude problem. Some wineries concentrate on making good wine, and don’t pay any attention to what’s going on around them.

And there are lots of things going on that can have a huge impact on whether a winery will be successful in the future, even it’s been successful in the past.

Like I said, it’s an attitude problem. In answer to a similar question of “Should I participate in WineFuture, or FineWine or the International Organic Wine Fair?” my answer is undoubtedly a “Yes”. Because it’s important to know what other wineries are doing and what they’re going to do. Then you can make an informed decision. But it’s easy to say that, when you are not the responsible of don’a limited budget to administer!

The wine business is becoming evermore complex. The only wineries that will survive are those that make really good wine and/or have a charismatic personality and/or know how to make use of the new means of communication and commercialization.

In summary, congratulations to the wineries that have decided to go along with the Ruta del Vino de Ribera de Duero project, which will be a great help for them in defining their future path over the next few years. The same applies to the new technologies: the wineries that have gone with Ribera de Duero will make better use of them. From a tiny acorn the might oak grows!

My thanks to Cristina Prat and Sara García for spending so much time with me to explain their project. They are very competent professionals who will ensure the success of the Ribera de Duero project.

For more details and information of the project, see the webpage here: rutadelvinoriberadelduero.es

Post in Spanish: Plan de dinamización de Producto Turístico Aranda de Duero

En Peñafiel. Cena en Restaurante El Molino de Palacios.In Peñafiel. Dining in Restaurante El Molino de Palacios.

Hotel Convento Las Claras

Cuando uno visita Peñafiel, en lo primero que uno piensa es en visitar el Museo del Vino en el castillo de Pañafiel.

El castillo se divisa, según se llega a Peñafiel, ya desde muchos kilómetros antes, en lo alto de una colina. El espectáculo es impresionante. Es un castillo, perfectamente conservado, de los más bonitos que he visto. Te hace pensar que realmente has vuelto a la Edad Media.

Para llegar allá un buen alojamiento es el Hotel Convento de las Claras. Si se va en verano, se puede disfrutar de una espléndida piscina. Tiene además unas habitaciones muy majas, a un precio no exagerado y con una incomparable vista del castillo en todo momento. Ofrece además un servicio de masaje que nosotros probamos y nos sentó de vicio.

En el mismo hotel pedimos nos recomendaron un restaurante para cenar y acabamos yendo al restaurante El Molino de Palacios. La distancia entre el hotel y el restaurante no es grande por lo que decidimos desplazarnos andando. Supongo que este restaurante debe estar muy bien también para comer, pero la experiencia de ir a cenar es inigualableLa oscuridad que lo rodea por la noche y el emplazamiento encima del río hacen del lugar algo tremendamente misterioso y con muchísimo encanto. Para llegar hay que pasar un túnel peculiarmente iluminado que a uno le induce a pensar que se va a encontrar con un restaurante muy especial. Y vaya si lo es. El restaurante está decorado deliciosamente y la comida y el servicio tampoco desmerecen.

A la vuelta tuvimos la suerte de encontrarnos con un concierto que una orquesta local interpretaba para los vecinos.

 Fue una noche muy, muy especial. Las ciudades como Peñafiel no tienen nada que envidiar a la gran ciudad en cuanto a atractivo turistico. Para mí es con rotundidad todo lo contrario.

Continúa en: En Peñafiel. Protos

Post en inglés: In Peñafiel. Dining in Restaurante El Molino de Palacios.

Restaurante El Molino de Palacios

Hotel Convento Las Claras

When some body goes to Peñafiel, the first thinking is about visiting the “Museo del Vino” in the castle of Peñafiel.

As you arrive to Peñafiel you can see the castle, from several miles of distance. The view is great. The castle is over a mountain, perfectly maintained. You have a moment when you think you have gone through the time machine to the middle age. It is one of the nicest castles I have ever seen.

You can find a very good accommodation at the “Hotel Convento de las Claras”. The hotel has very nice rooms, an atractive swimingpool, a magnificent view of the castle and it is not very expensive. You have also a massage zone where you can relax after a hard day of walking and visiting.

As we arrived to the hotel we asked for a restaurant to dinner. They recommended us the restaurante El Molino de Palacios.

The restaurant was not far from the hotel so we decided to go walking. I suppose that this restaurant can be very good for lunch. But what it is really cool is going to dinner.

The darkness and the river that both surround it, makes the place with something mysterious and charming. We need to go through a dark tunnel, with indirect lights. Then we arrived and we could see that the restaurant is made with taste, very special. The food and the service are also good.

The way back to the hotel was also very nice. We met a local band playing for the neighbors.
It was a wonderful evening.

I live in Pozuelo de Alarcón, quite closed to Madrid. When I have an evening like this one I wonder what the great town has to offer. I prefer 1000 times what Peñafiel offered me this evening.

It continues on: In Peñafiel. Protos

Restaurante El Molino de Palacios

Viña Solorca. Víctor Balbás, an amazing businessman. (2)

It comes from Viña Solorca. Víctor Balbás, an amazing businessman.

Sala de Barricas

And I taste his wine (Viña Solorca 2004 vintage selected). The first thing that strikes me is the presence and the elegance of its bottle and label. He had mentioned previously how many problems this kind of bottle had caused him on the filling line and how he had solved it. I can say now that it was worth to do what he did. The result is a very elegant bottle with a storng personality.

But let’s talk about the wine. There is no doubt that it comes from Ribera del Duero, it takes a little time to open at nose, but when it does, it becomes extremely generous, with many shades. On the palate, full bodied, but extremely balanced and complex. Even better than at sight and nose. At the same time soft, very soft. I understand why all these prizes we had seen previously on the prizes room.

As I keep being in this wine sector I feel an increased pleasure in knowing the stories about wine, wineries and about people that are behind each wine. It is very exciting.

We ate this fantastic fish beautifully presented, accompanied of the forementioned Viña Solorca Gran Selección 2004. The chef of its kitchen joined us at the table, a polite, friendly and close man.

Sala de Convites

I actually enjoyed of a very special dinner. And I felt I was among friends, thanks to the good relationship that connects Pedro with Victor.

As I mentioned before, Victor told us about his plans, his projects, his inventions. This man has a brain full of projects. It is like a machine of making bright ideas and implementing them.

I really enjoyed his wine in his cellar. Today, several days after the visit, I opened at home other bottle ot this same wine. And I have to say that the experience has been as good as the first one.

Then I have a look at his catalog. They have quite a nice catalog.

Then, I visit his website. I have to say that I can help him on this subject…

Solorca Vineyard, a winery with two things especially remarkable. They have a fantastic wine and a very, very special owner.

Long life to Viña Solorca

Spanish version on: Viña Solorca. Víctor Balbás, un empresario sorprendente. (2)

Viña Solorca 2004 vendimia seleccionada y un buen pescado.

Viña Solorca. Ribera del Duero. Víctor Balbás, an amazing businessman.

Entrada a Bodega

There are different ways to visit a winery. The most usual is joining an organized tour.

There is another which is more attractive. It is when you are invited by the owner, the winemaker, or either the manager. When this happens you have the possibility to know many things about what’s behind a bottle of wine… its label, its colour, its flavour, the final product, the winery, the personality of the main actors.

Every time I am going to a tasting, I try to sharpen my senses in order to achieve to perceive what the wine I am tasting has special. «How difficult is to succeed in a blind tasting!». The game changes a lot if you know the wine and you have a lot of information about a concrete winery.

On the tasting I am trying to see how each piece of information that I have fits into that product I am tasting. How was the weather of this year, the type of grape, how it has been collected, how the vineyard has been worked, characteristics of the facilities, etc. I try to discover some details that perhaps I would not be able to perceive if I had not this additional information. This wine I am tasting is not any more one among thousands. This allows me to be a lot more sensitive about getting into more little details.

Pedro Hernández introduced me to Victor Balbas, owner and manager of Bodegas Viña Solorca. Pedro is the designer of the winery we are visiting and of some others. It’s an aditional pleasure to be also with him. Because I can see how he looks at, when he is front of his works. There is a twinkle in his eyes of pride and affection in front of his own work.

Sala de premios

Victor receives us very kindly, but he has a this moment some problems to solve that does not allow him dedicate to us all his attention. For this reason is Pedro Hernandez who makes most of the commentaries while we visit the different places in the winery. A very nice experience to listen to the winery designer!

Viña Solorca facilities are wonderful, much better than many other well known Ribera wineries. With a spectacular fill line. A beautiful barrel room has been built mainly for efficiency as the prioritary factor.

We visit the awards room in which we can see they have quite a good amount of them.

After the visit we went to the splendid dining room available to be used in feasts and meals with clients of the winery. We entered a small room. It is a this moment that I feel there is a great change in Victor´s attitude, now totally focused on us. His chef has prepared a delicious fish to be accompanied by a Viña Solorca gran Selección 2004.

This new Victor is someone mucho closer to us, exposing the many projects, ideas and inventions that he has in mind. Some of them already executed and some only on experimentation phase. He never talks about crisis but of solutions, alternatives, of trying new things. I can see now a very creative and executive man. I think he has most of the qualities that a true entrepreneur should have.

It continues on: Viña Solorca. Ribera del Duero. Víctor Balbás, an amazing businessman. (2)

Spanish version: Viña Solorca. Ribera del Duero. Víctor Balbás, un empresario sorprendente.

Fermentadores