Travel

San Martín del Castañar and Versos Microbodega

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The villages of Sierra de Francia’s are fairly a micro area for wine, and if there’s one factor I like to do whereas on the highway, that’s go to vineyards . . . and breweries . . . and distilleries . . . and, you get the concept.

On this go to to the Sierra’s I had my dad and mom visiting, figuring out in addition they love a drop or two of fermented grape, I believed it was a improbable alternative to go to Versos Microbodega in San Martín del Castañar.

The castle and vineyard in San MartinThe fort of San Martín del Castañar: Photograph credit score Versos Fb Web page

Ruta del Vino Sierra de Francia

Falling below the Denominación de Origen Sierra de Salamanca, vines have been grown within the area for hundreds of years, though primarily for private use slightly than wine productions. Many garages have a house styled Bodega signal outdoors, inviting guests to get pleasure from their home-made wines, particularly alongside the Ruta del Vino, you’ll be able to see

As with most Spanish areas, you’ll be able to look forward to finding lots of Tempranillo and Garnacha, however one grape that’s barely rarer and particular to this area is Rufete. It was on the verge of sliding of the wine map for good within the face of the extra common grapes, however a concerted effort to develop grapes which might be native to this area has seen it make a comeback.

Visiting the vineyards at Versos Microbodega in SpainWithin the Winery: Photograph credit score Versos Fb

Visiting Versos Microbodega

I contacted the winery a number of weeks earlier than visiting to examine they have been open and in the event that they operated excursions and to my delight, that they had two tasting choices.

The Wine Route – That is the total tour, it features a go to to one of many vineyards (they don’t seem to be on the identical website because the restaurant and tasting centre) with the sommelier who talks in regards to the terroir and vines adopted by a tasting session within the winery. After returning to the village, there’s a second tasting session, of their museum, adopted by lunch within the Versos restaurant. The value of that is €50 per individual and all the things is included (Transport, tastings and meals).

This to me sounded wonderful. A visit into the vineyards, tasting in a fort, wine geeks paradise! Nevertheless, my companion, Raquel, was 7 months pregnant on the time so though they assured me a clean drive, I didn’t suppose it’s the sort of factor she’d get pleasure from, particularly not having the ability to drink the wine.

In order that left us the second possibility, The Quick Tour. That is all on website, a tasting of their wines adopted by lunch of their restaurant for €30. This seemed like the very best concept so I booked 4 areas.

The Bodega bar

And a more in-depth view of the tapas

Our go to to the Microbodega

We arrived for our go to as a part of a day exploring La Peña de Francia and some of the villages within the Sierra de Francia foothills. We weren’t allowed to drive into the village so we left the car on the surface and walked into the centre passing many small allotments with native residents promoting containers of freshly picked cherries to passers-by.

Versos Bodega is on the prime finish of the village, reverse the fort and subsequent to the bullring which is behind the spectacular church (not dangerous for a village with lower than 300 inhabitants proper?).

The constructing stands out with its picket beamed facade. It’s a kind of that appears outdated, however nicely sorted . . . but additionally that it might fall down at any second!

Inside it’s a sublime wanting place, the picket beams proceed inside with loads of tall tables and trendy wanting shows of their wine. We have been greeted with a heat welcome and loads of handshakes as we launched ourselves earlier than being taken into the cellar to start out our tour within the museum.

Old barrels adorn the wallBarrels within the museum

The museum

Our information for the day was Justo, and whereas the museum shouldn’t be very massive, all of the gadgets they’ve on show are fairly particular together with certainly one of solely a handful of conventional barrel scales that also exist, an 18th-century bottling machine and medieval stills. Justo was blissful to elucidate each bit and had a superb stage of English, for any phrases that he wasn’t positive about I had my translator (Raquel) on standby.

The day continued into the tasting. At this level we have been fortunate that the proprietor of the operation, Jesus Herrero Valero, walked in and joined us for our tasting, speaking us via his wines and philosophies.

One of only a handful of barrique weighing machines leftOne among solely a handful of barrique weighing machines left

The tasting

Now, I consult with it as a tasting, but it surely might additionally qualify as a session. We tried 4 wines in whole, first their Versos white B15 adopted by a Rufete ‘La Barrera’ a tempranillo ‘La Piña’ and at last a Rufete dominated mix ‘La Torre’. If you wish to see the tasting notes I’ve included them on the backside of this put up.

I’m used to tastings being simply that, a small sip and the chance to spit. However not in the present day, noooooo, these ‘tasting’ pours have been virtually full glasses. By the third I used to be already feeling a little bit gentle headed. However it might have been impolite to cease the proprietor of a winery whereas in full movement.

Tapas and wine tastingOne among many glasses of wine consumed

As Raquel couldn’t drink the wine they have been blissful to supply her with no matter else she wished, on this case, she bought into the spirit of the day by consuming grape juice.

Whereas we sipped Jesus defined in regards to the winery, the grapes they develop and the way they work carefully with Salamanca College. He additionally instructed us about his efforts in vitality conservation. With their use of renewable vitality, they can run their winery and produce their wine whereas utilizing as a lot energy because it takes to run a family iron. It truly is wonderful what they’ve achieved by harnessing the facility of nature.

Keep the wine flowingJesus holding the wine flowing

In addition to the copious quantities of wine being served, the Director of the Heart, Soledad Ruiz, joined us bringing some scrumptious tapas dishes to go along with the wine. The cod cream on creamed potato with a pea puree (fish and chips in a blender as my mum known as it) was scrumptious.

Already a little bit tipsy and feeling properly nourished from our tapas, it was time for extra food and drinks within the type of lunch. We headed again upstairs to the bar after which up once more to their restaurant.

The meal

The menu sounded scrumptious however we have been all a little bit nervous that we wouldn’t be capable to end it, in any case, it’s 5 programs!

First up was the cherry gazpacho. An empty chilled bowl was positioned in entrance of us and earlier than we might crack the compulsory jokes about ordering the low fats menu the waiter was again pouring the chilled soup into our bowls with out spilling a drop. Not as straightforward because it sounds. Even my Dad, who can’t get his head across the idea of chilled soup, appeared to get pleasure from it.

The Cherry Gazpacho, chilled and scrumptious

Subsequent up was the Basque type cod, scrumptious, adopted by the roast suclking pig confit, juicy and at last combined berry cheesecake, refreshing, all served with extra wine and loads of water.

Three hours after arriving we have been carried out. Full to the brim with wonderful meals and beneficiant servings of wine. Jesus, Soledad and Justo all popped over for one remaining examine of how all the things was earlier than we have been left with the invoice.

The invoice

I used to be a little bit involved whereas consuming that the additional wine and water we had had with lunch would have skyrocketed the invoice however no, four folks, €30 every, extraordinary worth.

I’d wholeheartedly advocate a go to to Versos winery if you’re exploring the area. We solely did the quick tour however having met the workforce I’m positive the Wine Route Possibility may even be wonderful.

If you wish to see some images, Justo could be very helpful with a digicam and you’ll see extra images of the vineyards and excursions on their Fb web page.

Buying Versos wineThe wines of Versos

Tasting Notes

Versos White B15

Dry white with a light-weight to medium physique, flavours of stone fruit and a pleasant lengthy end. Was great with the cod tapas served on the identical time.

La Torre

90% Rufete & 10% Tempranillo. Aged 12 months in French oak earlier than bottling. Medium bodied with a beautiful mix of pink fruit flavours corresponding to strawberry and raspberry. Slight toasted vanilla on the end.

La Piña

60% Aragones (garnacha) 40%Syrah, aged 18 months in French oak. Extra toastyness from the additional 6 months in oak in comparison with La Torre. Darkish fruit flavours with a candy balsamic flavour, very elegant.

La Barrera

100% Rufete, it is a nice model of the normal wine from this area. Anticipate loads of pink fruit traits corresponding to strawberry and raspberry with floral touches.

FootnoteIt appears a little bit unusual having to place this in right here, however I really feel I ought to. Bloggers are supposed to disclose if their evaluation was paid for, or if their go to someplace was free. I wish to do the other and state right here this isn’t the case. I used to be a buyer, we paid our invoice, and it is a 100% real reflection.

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