Ooooh I Could Crush a Grape* - A Couple of Trips to Valencia Wine Country
If you read our blog or check out our social media feeds you'll know we are definitely more craft beer people than wine lovers. It's not that we don't like wine, we do, as our regular trips to the glass recycling will attest to. We just don't know much about it other than we like to drink it.
Still that hasn't stopped us from enjoying fabulous wine from around the world and Spain has been no exception. Spain makes some fabulous wines, including in the Valencian Community. Utiel-Requena is the largest DO in this region and is named after two neighboring towns west of Valencia city.
We took two separate trips out to the area and unsurprisingly had a fabulous experience. Our first experience was an organized tour run by Valencia Wine Consulting & Tours. Their bus took us from the center of Valencia to Vera de Estenas winery where we got to pick some grapes and then stomp on them for fun. The grapes were the Bobal variety that are specific to this region and make delicious wines. Although, I can assure you that no wine was made with the grapes we squashed with our grubby feet. We enjoyed a tour of the winery, a tasting and then a fabulous meal on the terrace. The setting could not have been more perfect.
Our second trip out to the region was to the town of Utiel where each year they have a celebration of the regions food and wine at their Gastronomica. One weelend a year in a pretty park in the center of town they set up a number of stalls to sample wines accompanied by some tasty local dishes. In addition there is a Ruta de Tapas and a Ruta de Coctel where you can sample food and drinks at various places around the town and get your ticket stamped at each stop. More for the fun of the bragging rights than anything else. We just stuck with the tasting in town.
As with all Spanish towns we have spent any time in, the bar-life is amazing. After tasting great wines at the Gastronomica we wandered around town enjoying some of the local bars. They were filled with people just enjoying their lives, eating drinking and having fun. Whenever we find ourselves in a late-night/early morning bar like this we are reminded why we love this country so much - it's all about the people!
We ended the night at a bar which was part pub, part craft beer store but at midnight transformed into a karaoke bar. "Did someone say karaoke?" We couldn't grab the mikes fast enough. Unfortunately we didn't feel confident enough to sing in Spanish (apart from Despacito of-course) but we did knock out some cracking Abba to finish off a great trip to Utiel.
*Note on Blog Title: Sorry for non British readers - can't even try to explain! Ask a British friend who grew up watching 70's children's TV.