"Wine tours, tastings and other interesting visits...more than wine"
Valencian Cellar Tours
**DO Valencia - Winery & Xátiva City/Castle - Full day **
The Scenic valley with vines, almonds and olives
The Clariano in the south of the province is part of the D.O Valencia largely focusing around the town of Fontanars dels Alforins; Vastly dominated by black varieties such as monastrell, cabernet sauvignon, syrah & tempranillo but also offering fresh dry white coupages with recent planting of voignier, sauv. blanc muscat blanc á petits grains & barrel fermentation for added weight, richness and complexity .
We visit the area known as "La Toscana" in the Vall d´Albaida, a hidden valley with gently rolling hills with historic stone houses amidst vines & almonds. The town of Fontanars has an ancestral art of winemaking dating before the Moors whose low number of estates produce distinctive outstanding wines with an emphasis on organic winemaking. Vinum magazine chose a vintage red from a Fontanars estate as one of the top 10 organic wines in Europe.
In the past one mainly thought of Valencian wines as the sweet white Moscatel variety but as one wine critic wrote,
" Heres another organic red to show how far and fast things are changing. It is ambitious, richly flavoured and has voluptuous scents of ripe black fruits infused with the toast & vanilla of oak casks, this is the new face of the Med."
This tour offers much more than wine with great scenery and a chance to see Valencia´s other historic city.
DO Valencia Winery visit
First upon arriving in the valley we stop for a morning coffee, maybe try a carajillo....the local´s typical morning, flambe expresso with shot of brandy, lemon & floating coffee beans.
Our visit is to a leading organic winery where the bodeguero will explain the history of the bodega & family house and their non-interventionist approach to winemaking. Walking through the vines you find out about the varieties grown on the estate and their curious often low-tech techniques. We then tour the winery process; harvesting of the grapes; the fermentation processes; the art of oak aging, choosing the modern critique & not conforming to Crianza/Reserva nomenclature; final light filtration before bottling the wine !
We may taste the aging wines directly from the barrels or tanks if just after harvest...
You then have the pleasure of tasting the wines in the rustic house or in the garden with sunshine overlooking the vines ....and of course one may purchase a few bottles from the cellar & savour a tasting moment with friends at home.
They really are low volume bottlings with 90+ pt ratings given during a recent visit by Robert Parker !
Above Xativa run the ruins of a once grand castle of 30 towers. Home to General Hanibal in 218BC it remains an impressive fortification. Xàtiva capital of the Costera district is an elegant market town with wide tree lined avenues & shady cafes. The old walled town still retains an "old world charm" with its many pretty squares, fountains, churches and cobbled streets.
It was declared Historico-Artistico ensemble in 1982 due to the wealth of historic buildings & emblematic monuments.
The most notable include; the Castle with its 30 towers & 4 gates, the Collegiate de Santa Maria XIV- former cathedral rebuilt in renaissance style, the Hospital Mayor De Pobres XV-XVI, the ermitas de San Felix XIII, San José XVIII & Santa Ana XVI, the church of San Pedro XVII & San Francisco XIV, the Gothic Fountain In Plaza de la Trinidad, La Puerta Gótica de los Trinitarios XIII, house of Pope Alejandro XVI & numerous other palaces of noblemen.
On our visit to Xàtiva we have a chance to explore the old town, walking the historic streets before a well deserved lunch.
Lunch. We have a table reserved in a "Berasetegui award winning" restaurant in Xàtiva where you will be welcomed by the chef on arrival. It´s a 3 course meal of creative mediterranean cuisine accompanied by low yield, organic, artisan wine from the "Clariano area".
Relax with a coffee afterwards before the Castle visit.
We then make our way up to the castle, but don´t worry about the hundreds of steps as we drive to the main gate via a winding road. You then have time to explore the castle and admire the 360 degree valley views as the Romans once did. A charming café also serves refreshments on the terrace in the castle. In summer it´s simply magical ! We then finally return to Valencia city.
Price: Per person variable with number people. (Castle closed Mondays)
(Inc. 4 cse gourmet lunch, 90pt organic wine, morning cafe/pastries,wine tasting & Castle admission)
Itinerary: Meeting Valencia City 0845hrs
Morning Coffee in old plaza, vineyard visit with tastings
Panoramic vineyard drive to Xàtiva
Xàtiva medieval city walk, 4 cse Gourmet Lunch/DO Valencia wine
at Award Winning Restaurant, Xativa Castle visit
Return to Valencia city approx. 1900hrs or earlier on request
Duration: Full day - see photos below
*Sunday/Festive day tour supp. Euro25 per booking.
*Refund available up to 48hrs (weekdays) prior to tour date
+ 34 617 969 975