I hate you Rioja!

Viña Tondonia winery.

You´ve been mean to me and teased me that much that I from now always have to keep a bottle of a Rioja wine at home. Do you know how hard it is to spend a month in your best restaurant – or actually in four different restaurants all in one? Do you know how hard it is to travel around the best wineries in the region tasting amazing wines? Do you know how hard it is to live in a gastro hotel for a month? Or the fact that I had to eat what probably is the best croquettes in the conutry for staff lunch almost every day?

It have been a short but great period in Rioja with many new experiences and knowledge about the gastronomy. After I saw some of the innovative winemakers in the region I went to one of the real classic ones to get more knowledge about the differences between the modern- and the classic-Rioja. a visit a R. Lopez de Heredia – Viña Tondonia was one of the best experiences at a winery during my stay here in Spain. By walking in the old caves, to feel the atmosphere, the temperature and smell all the aromas from the mould to the wooden casks makes it so much easier to understand the process of the wines.

To finish the tour with a tasting of some rare vintages like a white gran reserve from -70 or red from -81 and then compare them to the younger ones from -01 and -05 gives you even more knowledge about how the wine will develop during the ageing process. Wine is a big pleasure but it also plays an important role in my profession. 2011 is food and wine in combination just one main thing of the complete dining experience so with this month in Rioja really developed my knowledge about their wines.

Chris working in Echaurren.

So Rioja! – I hate you because I want to have this every day, I want to see all your wineries and restaurants. I want to taste all your wines and produce but unfortunately its over and for the last time I´m packing my bags for Madrid before it´s time to go back home.

2011 ICEX competition is coming up. I´m putting up a plate under the name “Tour de Sabores de España” which means I´m going to show a plate that keeps emotions from my hole experience during this program. From the knowledge about the culture, the art and history to the food and wines. If you’re curious about this I truly recommend you to come and see us when we´re making our final impression on a gastronomy that made a huge impression on me.

Christofer Johansson
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