Skurnik Company Trip to Spain (July 16-27, 2014)
Spain is exciting in so many ways.
Our fastest growing region in terms of sales, the treasures and diversity that is Spanish wine, are still only beginning to be discovered by the wine drinking public. Most wine consumers, or even wine professionals, when they think of Spain, think of Rioja and perhaps Ribera del Duero. If they have more than a casual interest, they may have an opinion about Sherry or Priorat. But just like Italian wine is more than Barolo and Brunello, Spanish wine is so much more than Rioja or Ribera!
Other erroneous impressions of Spanish wine, based on the plethora of cheap wines being marketed in the past decade, is that they are formulaic quaffable wines with pretty labels that you can pound by the case, but aren’t to be taken too seriously. Surely, much of that still exists, and some buyers do not take the wines or their “terroir” seriously. Surely, Spain is still a country that without a doubt, offers incredible wine value. However, there is also is a rich history, culture and tradition of winemaking in Spain that goes back to Roman times, no less noble than those in France or Italy, and just waiting to be discovered!
And discover it we did.
In addition to fabulous visits in the venerable areas of Rioja and Ribera, where we reconfirmed the greatness of estates such as La Rioja Alta, CVNE, Mauro, Emilio Moro, Vina Real, Contino, and Abadia Retuerta, the exploration of the small family producers represented by Ole Imports’ partners Patrick Mata and Alberto Orte, was truly eye opening… especially our exploration (for the first time) of Galicia, where some of the most exciting and cliché-shattering wines are being produced. Just north of the Portuguese border, Galicia, a.k.a. “green Spain”, shines in regions like Monterrei, Valdeorras, Rias Baixas, Ribeira Sacra and Bierzo! Reds and whites of balance and acidity, are being produced here at high altitude and sometimes impossibly steep slopes, that reminds one of the Mosel or Rhine in Germany! And the native varietals, whether Mencia in Bierzo, Albarino in Rias Baixas, or lesser known varietals such as Dona Blanco or Bastardo, have naturally higher acidities, and thrive in the poor soil, and sometimes rainy and cooler conditions (a good thing for Spain!). Winemakers like the amazing Raul Perez, or Jose Luis Mateo of Quinta da Muradella, are rediscovering these ancient terroirs and grape varietals, and producing world class wines that are just waiting to be discovered by the NY metropolitan area’s most adventurous somms and wine shop owners.
Trust me they are worth discovering!
Ask your rep today to show you our amazing portfolio from Spain!!!
– Harmon Skurnik