It is with no small excitement that I am able to announce a new trip to vino heaven, once again this year. Navarra, Spain is both an autonomous region (Navarre) as well as an ancient wine region, whose wine roots date back up to 1,200 years. It was once a great and proud kingdom and sits between what is now the Spanish wine appellation of Rioja and the French wine appellation of Bordeaux. Consequently, it has grows an awesome mix of grape varieties from both regions that have been approved by the Navarra Denominación de Origen (DO): Garnacha Tinta, Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Garnacha Blanca, Malvasia, Moscatel, Viura, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. It also has a long history as an approved DO (the Spanish equivalent of a wine AVA or appellation that has strict, government-regulated quality control and approved grape growing and winemaking methods), celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2008. And it is to Navarra that I have the great fortune to fly, this coming Saturday!
Update: Post for Day 1.
The kind folks at Wines of Navarra (Twitter, Facebook, Blog) are sending myself and 4 other bloggers (we’ve deemed ourselves the #Navarra5) to their wine region, organized by Balzac Communications. It is there that we’ll learn about the aforementioned ancient kingdom that once dominated the landscape. That same region is now a wine industry reinventing itself for the new millennium, while still fiercely hanging on to its (considerable) vinous and cultural roots. Along the way we’ll visit their 5 sub-regions (one for each of us!), roam some very real castles, eat a fantastic mix of distinctly Navarran cuisine and stay the week in its famous capital, Pamplona, known for the Festival of San Fermin and its running of the bulls. You can even set up your own future itinerary to Navarra, incredibly similar to ours, using one they’ve recently posted to their blog!
The list of fantastic bloggers that I am be lucky to be a part is given below. Be sure to check out their top-notch vinopanion content throughout our travels, starting Sunday in Bilbao [Basque Country], 9/18. Until then…cheers!
Fearless Leader: Michael Wangbickler (Twitter, Facebook)