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Resturaunt and Winery Visit highlights of our trip to Barcelona, Logroño, and Madrid


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Just some quick highlights of a recent trip for anyone planning their visit. This list is largely just confirmations of recommendations from the folks at the WineBerserkers that we relied on and thought it would be good to provide an update for everyone.

- Can’t recommend this enough, we ate there our first night and last night of the trip. The wine list and wine director are great. On the last night, we chose an unusual wine and the wine director came over to have a conversation with us to ensure we understood the wine (in a really nice way) and how it would present so we were not disappointed - excellent approach.

Onia Cafe - great little coffee, Breakfast, and Lunch place in the Eixample, it was steps away from where we stayed at the Midtown Apartments Barcelona (which we loved as well) and we went there a bunch for morning coffee.

La Vinya del Senior - Great wine bar in the El Born, with 20 wines by the glass and a list of 3,000 wines to chose from. We hit it off with the Somm who lead the food and wine tour and met him here the next day and shared a bottle of the 2004 LdH Vina Tondino Gran Reserva Blanco.

Bodega La Tinaja - We went here with the Somm after finishing the 2004 LdH Vina Tondino Gran Reserva Blanco and had a great meal, but the stand out was the 2022 Kalamity Rioja from Oxer Bastegieta. The restaurant let me purchase a bottle of this and Oxer’s Kyushu which are now resting in the cellar.

Bar del Pla - While the restaurant Pla closed in April this year, the Bar is still going strong and serving great food and wine. Gotta love a place where all the staff where T-Shirts with the message F*ck Sangria, Drink Natural Wine”

Maitea - Go at your own risk, we had a horrible experience here where the poor food was only eclipsed by the poor service.

Logrono Resturant
- While Logrono is famous for the Tapas crawl, this is not our preference and we enjoy a site down meal and loved this place so much we ate here 2 of the three nights we were in Logrono! Everything was just amazing and the peas tasted like they were literally picked from the garden, cooked and brought to the table - just amazing.

Rioja Wine Producers
- Great tour with Jon the owner, 40K cases annually, all from estate grown fruit, no purchased fruit allow. There are 4 vineyards, 4 tanks for vilification (1 for each , and the barrels are named with the first letter representing the year the barrel was put into use for tracking. The barrels are racked out to a tank and back to the same barrel. Jon also will only make the Reserva’s and Grand Reserva’s when the quality dictates and the Gran Reserva Rosado will be released in 2025 for the 2020 vintage, the first time since 2016. We spent the majority of the time in Vinevards and had just a fantastic time!

Lopez de Heredia - We felt lucky to be able to tour this iconic place - so much history and tradition. It was interesting to learn that they originally raised the wooden tanks off the concrete floor of the winery on blocks to help start fermentation since the cold floor was making it hard to begin fermentation. Now they are considering putting the tanks back on the floor to help control the fermentation due to global warming and the increased temperature of the fruit as it arrives from the fields. Also intrigued to learn that they load bundles of vine pruning into the tank prior to loading with fruit to filter the wine.

Bohedal - Another small producer, 60K cases annually and again, all fruit from the estate. It was a real treat to be served lunch prior to the tour made by the owner, paired with their wines including a single varietal Graciano no less! The highlight of the tour was being able to taste Tempranillo harvested from the same plot, vinified together, and aged separately in Hungarian, French, and American oak. To be able to taste the difference in Oak was really enlightening and then doing some blending was quit fun. Finally, we were given the final blend and asked to guess the blend and I was not off by much!

Madrid Resturants
Berria Wine Bar
- Food was good but not memorable. The BTG list is impressive and allowed me to have a glass of 2012 Vega Sicilia Unico which was fun.

Sacha - Almost missed the reservation as this was super hard find (thank goodness for kindness of strangers), but it was worth it! Everything was just amazing and well balanced. The shaved asparagus salad was off the hook good, as was the Tortilla with Blood Sausage and Peppers to balance the richness of the egg and Blood Sausage. And the lamb chops - wow! All paired very well with a 2016 Remelluri Rioja!

Astor - Another place we ate at twice we loved it so much! The first time we ate at the Almendro location for lunch and then back to the Puerta Cerrada Square for dinner on the last night in Madrid. Great Food, great service, everything was so original and with a twist, just lovely. At lunch we just did glass pours, but for the dinner we enjoyed a bottle of the 2019 Cuentaviñas Alomado Rioja.

La Mi Venta - Beautiful Terrace, we ate there at 10:00 PM and feasted on Tempura Asparagus, Eggs Potatoes and Iberia Ham and a main of the 100% Iberian Acorn-Fed Secret Grilled Charcoal Grill Pork, that was the richest cut of meat I have had and surpassed even the Waygu I have had. An amazing setting to watch the Sun go down, see the palace and enjoy the cooling of the evening.

Toldeo Day Trip
Restaurante Coctelería Barrio
- Super Creative menu, not to be missed!

Thanks to all who have gone before to help make our trip amazing!
We too felt very lucky to tour Lopez de Heredia! They are so in touch with their vineyards, facility, and process and the wine shows it. We felt like we had entered a time warp, and their wines are simply the best example of classic Rioja. If you have not had their Rosado you must give it a shot. A blend of classic Rioja grapes, the wine spends 4 years in american oak and another 6 years quietly in the caves before release. The current vintage is a 2012 that will blow you away. Takes rosé to a whole new level.
Totally agree with you when it comes to eating in Logroño. The tapas crawl is worth the experience, but the best food can be found in one of the many restaurants in the town. We had an excellent meal and service at Wine Fandango right off the city park.

Luis Cañas winery is one to put on your list next visit. The wine is a personal favorite, but the tour was excellent.

Here are link to our blog on our 3 days in Rioja.



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