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'I bought me a ticket, I took a plane to Spain...'

'Went to a party down a red dirt road..there were lots of pretty people there, reading Rolling Stone, reading Vogue...' Well, Joni Mitchell did paint a vivid picture of Spain, and since I was a child that song put Spain at the top of my list of places to go. The culture, the scenery and of course the wine.

Spain boasts a rich viticultural heritage with a diverse range of wine regions, each contributing to its vibrant wine culture. From the sun-drenched plains of La Mancha to the rugged terrain of Priorat, Spain offers a tapestry of terroirs and grape varieties. One of its most renowned regions is Rioja, situated in the north-central part of the country. Here, the winemaking tradition dates back centuries, with a focus on Tempranillo, Garnacha, and other indigenous grape varieties. Within Rioja, notable producers like Vina Cubillo have garnered acclaim for their commitment to traditional winemaking methods, crafting elegant and age-worthy wines. Another emerging region is Ribeira Sacra, nestled along the steep banks of the Sil River in northwest Spain. Known for its terraced vineyards and slate soils, Ribeira Sacra produces distinctive wines, such as Serrasague, which showcase the region's unique terroir. Spanish wines offer exceptional value and quality, with a perfect balance of tradition and innovation. Whether it's the timeless elegance of a Rioja Reserva or the adventurous spirit of a Ribeira Sacra Mencia, Spanish wines invite exploration and delight the palate with their diversity and character. With a history steeped in winemaking tradition, Spain continues to captivate wine enthusiasts worldwide, offering a taste of its rich cultural heritage in every glass.

This weekend come join me down at my 'mermaid cafe' while we taste producers that date back more than 130 years. From Rias Baixas to Rioja 'we'll laugh and toast to nothing' just don't slam the empty glasses down as Joni suggests, they are Riedel.

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