Back on the wine road – Madrid
July 10 and waiting in the Grand Junction airport for the first of my four legs of flight to Madrid while the fly boys from the naval air base in Fallon, Nevada buzz the airport at Mach 2.
It’s a press trip, and the disclaimer is it’s being subsidized by Freixenet, which claims to be the world’s leaders in making methode champenoise sparkling wines.
It’s not like I doubt they’re No. 3, considering how much sparkling and still wine has their name on it, since Freixenet has wineries in Spain (3 cavas, 8 still), Mexico, Italy, California, France, Australia and Argentina. Whew. This week I hope to find out just how much Freixenet puts in the bottle.
Getting out of fly-over country ain’t easy, pardner. I’m meeting several other wine writers in Madrid along with Megan Duran of the PR firm Janet Kafka and associates. It’s Megan’s daunting task to keep herd on the cats.
Except for Megan (Dallas), most of the others are coming from the East Coast, which means like one or at the most two flights from home to Madrid.
My itinerary reads like this: GJ to Denver; Denver to Franfurt; Frankfurt to Madrid. Elapsed time: about 13 hours, given that Madrid is about 8 hours ahead of home.
And those occasional trips to Vinitaly add another couple of hours of driving from Milan to Verona.
That’s life in the mid-country. Not complainin’, just sayin’.
Here’s the skinny on the trip.
Today (and most of tomorrow), arrive in Madrid (2045 hours on the 11th), late dinner, later bed.
12th – 800 hrs, desayuno (that’s breakfast, might as well get into the spirit now, eh?); 900 hrs, bus to Ribera del Duero and Freixenet’s Valdubon winery, meet with the winemaker, almuerzo (lunch), bus to Lagroño (Rioja), late dinner.
13th – Late breakfast, bus to Solar Viejo winery, lunch, catch the train to Tarragona, check into hotel, late dinnner (It’s Europe, dinner always is late);
14th – late breakfast, bus to Falset (Priorat) and the Morlanda winery, 1700 depart (bus) for Barcelona, wander around Barcelona (fantastic architecture) until bed time;
15th: Head to the Freixenet and Segua Viuda wineries for tours and tasting, farwell dinner (business dress) and one more late bedtime.
16th: Home again, this time the trip is cool, leave Barcelona on Sunday and get home on Sunday. Harry Potter would approve.
And Freixenet is pronounced fresh-eh-net, just in case you were wondering.
Nos vemos en Madrid (See you in Madrid).