Archive for January 8th, 2018

January 8, 2018

Some news from Spain LVIIII

I am starting the second week of January 2018 with my beloved Spain news report. There have been lots of problems with the snow falling there and accidents galore along the AP-6 highway but things are beginning to be back to normal. The temps today at 45F or about 8C and cloudy , the rest of the week shows rain in Madrid.

However, the news are many to start:
Let me tell you a bit about the wines of my ancestry in the Canary Islands ; base on studies by Enomaq a fair in Zaragoza on the trade here:

Pushing for helping wines revive on the islands they have come up with a few worth seeing and my favorite will tell you too.

Bodegas Insulares, is one of the best one there if not the best , done at Viña Norte, in Tacoronte-Acentejo,El Ancón, and Ycoden-Daute-Isora. They are ready to launch a new vintage call Tágara Marmajuelo 2017, a white on lies with only 2000 bottles and an aroma of passion fruit, mint, jazmine, and grassy fields. It has 13,5 degrees alcohol and a wide mouth taste. The bodega is already famous for its sweeter wines under the brand Humboldt,in the Icod area. They are a cooperative with the help of the local government and 300 members in Tacoronte and 150 more in Icod. Their Gual 2013, a liquoreux sweet wines of 18 degrees alcohol and 130 grams of sugar with notes of citrics, laurel leaves quoing and good acidic with oxidic notes covering it is very good. More on them here:

You continue with the Bodega Comarcal del Valle de Güímar ,another cooperative with more than 130 members and 160 ha area where they process over 200 000 liters 90% of them white wines on vinyards going from 200 to 1500 meters altitude over sea level. At the highest areas especially at Las Dehesas and Los Pelaos,they do the wine Brumas de Ayosa Blanco on lies 2016, from the grape Listán blanco and aromas of leaves and apple very creamy on the taste; not try myself. More here:

Another one I know is the Bodegas El Drago, located in the area of El Boquerón,in the valley or Valle Guerra, in Tacoronte-Acentejo area. In addition to the bodega they have a wonderful complex for the production of palms as well as 20 ha of vineyards. Not long ago they only produce grapes for sale but coming to the program Enomaq they started winemaking producing about 4000 bottles of white wine and 2000 bottles of red wine. More here:

A newer bodega is the bodegas Buten (since 1998) with the brands Cráter and Magma, the first one from the grape listán negra and negramoll , and the second one with the grapes negramoll and syrah. THe newest one has been the white wine Cráter Blanco, with grapes malvasía and listán blanco, with three month on lies. A goulish wine with note of yellow prunes and peaches, citrics, grassy herbs. they do about 20 000 bottles on 15 Ha of land in the municipality of El Sauzal,where the bodega is and Tacoronte, at altitudes of 400 meters for the growing of the grapes right in the bio farm “El Pino”. Their red wine Cráter tinto 2014 is looking very good by the wine tasters in Spain, silky, ample, volcanic smoky, prune confit, black pepper and some saline overtone from the sea. More of them here:

Continuing with my Canaries, the Bodegas El Sitio de San Juan, with only 3 ha and several associate farms all over the islands is a very modern bodega and a leader on technology in Tacoronte. It provides 100% of the energy needed by itself with photovoltic plaques. It is the new DOP Islas Canarias,(denominacion de origen protegida)and brings the best grapes from the best sites. In its own lands has mostly the grape vijariego negro, at 313 meters above sea level, the Malvasia from the south of Tenerife, baboso negro and vijariego negro from El Pinar, in the nearby island of El Hierro, as well as forastera gomera, from Chipude, Gomera. It has established an export channel to Florida USA and produces around 25 000 bottles with five brands. More here:

Last but not least is another of my favorites from the vinicole group of Cándido Hernández Pío with different properties in different zones like Tacoronte-Acentejo and Valle de Güímar. The first one is the area of La Matanza with 10 Ha at altitude of 150-180 meters above sea level and the second at Candelaria (had to say my paternal grandparents are natives of Candelaria!!!) ,with 9 Ha at only 80-90 meters from the Atlantic ocean!. Amongst the best wines are the Calius Verdello 2015 with menthol notes of green tea and grassy herbs or the Calius Marmajuelo 2015 with 15% malvasia grape a fruity expression of the variety. Another sweeter wine is the Punta del Sol Blanco Dulce 2001, with malvasia and albillo grapes very nice citrical wine , as well as the Riquelas Negramoll 2016, sings to the Atlantic with seaweeds, forest fruits, raspberries and a volcanic identity with notes of minerals. More here

Now moving into the arts in Madrid:
GEt up my friend and come this is the words in the tomb of María Zambrano. The theatrical showing of her work is coming at the sala Francisco Nieva in the teatro Valle-Inclán until February 11 2018. A women who together with Ortega y Gasset,is probably the best of the Spanish philosophy in the 20C . The presentation is entitled La tumba de María Zambrano» full of ideas,philosphical hymns but a work of theatrical dimensions with drama of two worlds. nice to see indeed. The theater is here:

Let’s stay with arts into the La Bohème.Composed in 1896 and shown first at Turin in 1896. The success is on the story of a young bohemians that live day in day out routines with little resources and find themselves the reality of life and maturity. The showing here comes from the Royal Opera House, in London and with some changes here on the scenery with decoration on background even snow falling during the entire presentation. See it at the Teatro Real, Plaza de Isabel II, s/n. Has to show it even if over by the time you read this post, see the lineup at the theater .

The dual expo on Goya and Buñuel. The dreams of reason or Suenos de la Razon, that can be visited until next march 2018 in the museum or Museo Lázaro Galdiano. LAter it will continue its journey to Zaragoza, México ,and the United States. Looking at about 55 Works from portraits engravings, books, postcards, photograms, etc coming from museums like the Lazaro Galdiano ,Prado, Reina Sofía, Thyssen, Filmoteca Española,etc pretend to show the works of these deaf artists, frenchisize and genious. Some of the works showing will be a Virgin and the Child by Goya that will be shown for the first time in public! Also works like the struggles of the war by Buñuel. The celebrated sefl portrait of Goya and a photography showing of Man Ray. Museo Lázaro Galdiano , Calle Serrano, 122.Until March 4 2018. More here:

Now something that we all need to know when driving in the snow and already fallen all over Europe. Winter tires/tyres.
There were tests done by Goodyear, driving at 80 km/h on snow a car with summer tires will need 112 meters to stop while the winter tires only 70 meters or a difference of 42 meters which can be critical in avoiding an accident if need to break suddently on snow. The winter tires are a solution each time the temperature is lower than 7 degrees Celsius ,and they are better than the tire chains typical sold in stores and avoid changing the chains on the highways with littel visibility and cold. The winter tires are better as the chain only goes into the moving edge and not on both as with the tires. Having on both allows for better traction and more security for the controls such as ABS, traction, stability in all advance systems of today. You can tell the winter tires by the symbols “M+S” together with a mountain icon and the snow star in the middle. Another test done with one tire for winter/summer is the Michelin Cross Climate, tested for temperatures up to less than minus 30 degrees Celsius and 40 degrees Celsius. Under 25C the breaking time is the same with most summer tires and in cold weather similar to winter tires. Of course, MIchelin are my tires/tyres ::) Here is the site in France:

And to eat good game meals delights in Madrid and we have plenty of goodies, my favorites are:
Restaurante Hortensio Calle Marqués de Riscal, 5, Tel +34 91 002 35 54). An exquisite menu on three servings of Hare. See it here:

Then, you have Arce Calle Augusto Figueroa, 32,tel +34 91 522 04 40 where you will have woodcock or teal duck in armagnac sauce or stag deer cured marinated and roasted accompany by red fruits and chestnut sauce ,superb!!! More here:

Last but not least another dandy Viridiana already 40 years strong. Calle Juan de Mena 14, tel +34 91 531 10 39. Wild pig balls from the Montes de Toledo amontillado with small potatoes and chestnuts to die for it. More here:

And now some historical news about a town of Castilla y Leon, of course Leon. The Cathedral here is awesome, many call it the «Pulchra Leonina» ( Beautiful lioness), a jewel of Gothic art. What many do not know is that next to the Chapel of the white Virgin that you reach by the western façade you arrive at the tomb of Ordoño II. Legends tell of ghosts at night walking all around it . Then the Church Collegiate of San Isidoro, considered by many as the Sistine Chapel of Romanesque art is here too. One of the treasures it keeps since the 11C is the Cup of lady Urraca or de Doña Urraca, call the fear one or la Temeraria. The cup is believe to be used for Jesus Christ in His last supper and has supernatural powers. It has two sides of ceramic type Qumran used in Palestine at the times of Jesus, united in the middle by a golden ball that lady Urraca ordered and gave her jewels to do it.

Another treasure of the Collegiate Church of San Isidoro is the figure of a golden copper rooster that for many years was not notice. It crowned the tower of the Church and legend says his sounds were to alert the town of the arrival of the Moors of Almanzor; it was put to the test of carbon 14 and found that it is from the 6C by Persian jewelers and fit with byzantine stories that the Persian King Kosroes II a contemporary of Mohammed and conqueror of Jerusalem made all the crosses of the rooftops of the Churches ere replace by precious stones encrusted on the eyes with a description that still has not been interpreted.

In front of the gate of San Isidoro there a black bronze statue on a square stone pedastal base. This represent the abbot of the collegiale and the mayor of the town commemorating an event that took place in 1158. Worry after a long dry season they took the remains of San Isidoro in a procession and it rains very heavely according to what was written in the «Chronicon Mundi» of Lucas de Tuy. Since ,then, every year the city offers a candle and two axes of wax to the city council that is shown in the monument. After a dispute all was resolve with bowing of the heads three times or known as the «Las Cabezadas» that are repeated the last Sunday of April.

The Casa Botines is one of threee works done by Gaudi outside Catalunia ; the others are in the El Palacio Episcopal of Astorga, and the El Capricho of Comillas in Cantabria. This is modern building that was used as a knitting fabric warehouse and private residence. Today it houses a museum dedicated to Catalan architecture. In the front of this building there is a bank with a statue of Gaudi sitting taking notes and next a pigeon. The place is known as the square of pigieons or Plaza de las Palomas, even if officially it is the square or Plaza de San Marcelo. Next to the Botines you have a renaissance building call the the Palacio de Los Guzmanes built in the 16C on orders of the bishop of Calahorra. Today is the home of the Provincial government. In its façade there a mysterious shield of the Guzmanes, a Calder pot from which it comes out seven snakes.

You cannot overlook visiting the archeological museum or Museo Arqueológico de León the ivory of 33 cm known as the Carrizo Christ or El Cristo del Carrizo. Romanesque lioness with eyebrows of coal on golden cord It reached the museum in 1874 coming from a monastery Cistercian in Carrizo de la Ribera, where they were guarded by sisters that sold it to help paid for the care of one of them. It is believed that was created at the end of the 11C but not much more is known of it. Above story on Leon taken and translated by me from ABC newspaper here:

And moving closer to me to my old Madrid , I take you to the castle and forest of Riofrio.

Very nice Riofrío by the Granja de San Ildefonso. Segovia. 80 km from Madrid. You take the road A-6 to San Rafael continues on the N-603 and SG-V.7212 road until the entrance to Palace of Riofrio.

It was in 1724 when king Felipe V rented the Dehesa of the Frio river from the Marquis of Paredes with the intention of having a hunting ground near the palace of La Granja (small Versailles where he was born) This way he kept it until his death. The second wife Isabel de Farnesio, decided to buy it in 1751,when the king was Fernando VI. Due to bad relations with the king she was sure to have a castle nearby. It is a perfect copy of the Royal palace in Madrid with a square architecture with three heights in a neo classic style ;before it was completed king Fernando VI died therefore Isabel de Farnesio did not needed to think of her refuge The complex without finishing it as only the palace and the entrance gate were built the officer’s quarters, the stables convent theater and gardens were left forgotten, You can still see the shield of Isabel de Farnesio in the front facade of the Palacio de Riofrío.

Symmetrical on all sides the interior of the palace preserves 18 rooms totally furnished that tell how life was at the times for the kings At the end of the residential area there is the hunting museum or Museo de Caza. Here you can take a tour of the hunting tradition of the kings from the time of the primitives ; even if the most interesting portion is that of the recent times Remarkable to see the natural state of different ecological niches with iberian fauna. The end you see the trophy rooms of hunters with numerous examples of animals horns, skin and skeletons without losing perspective that these were other times.

There is a road lateral to the palace that goes to the end of road in Riofrio and takes the whole of the dehesa or forest. Vehicules are not permitted here to go at more than 40 kph, you cannot stop and cannot abandon the road ; it is ,also prohibited to go on foot or give food to the animals. A simple walk can be done by the lookout road or Senda del Mirador,that allows you to around the palace, and it is worth it , very easy to do with good signage and allows you to see the deers etc at short range. The roundtrip takes about 1.5 km ,and here next to the palace you have an area of picnic with tables and shades, and the walk takes you to see the fountain or Fuente del Rey and a forest house. Takes about 30 minutes to do. The hours of the palace or Palacio Real de Riofrio are tuesdays to Sundays from 10h to 18h and the forest park is open from 8h to sundown. Admission to the palace is 4 euros and the forest with auto or bike is also 4 euros; if you go on foot to the forest or bicycle it is free.
Article taken and translated from El Mundo here:

Information on the Palace of Riofrio here:

And the forest here:

Enjoy Spain, is everything under the Sun and then some. HAve a great week y’all.Cheers!!

Tags: , ,
%d bloggers like this: