Next Wine Trip – May 9 20223 Calatayud


Costa Blanca Wine Society

Wine Trip 2023 – DO Calatayud & DO Campo de Borja

May 9-12th, 2023

 

The wine trip team are delighted to announce that the next wine trip will be to visit the DO’s of Calatayud and Campo de Borja. We will depart from Javea, by private coach, on the morning of Tuesday 9th May 2023 and will return on the evening of Friday 12th May (3 nights).

We will be based in the ancient town of Calatayud and, during the trip we will visit 3 bodegas in the Calatayud DO and two in the DO of Campo de Borja. We will taste a good selection of both red and white wines. We will also pay a visit to the ancient Monasterio de Piedra.

It is anticipated the price will be around €425 per person sharing a double or twin room and €460 in a single room. The price includes accommodation and breakfast, travel, all tastings, 2 receptions and dinners and 1 lunch.

If you are interested in joining the trip please email Sandy as soon as possible (sandyfawle@gmail.com). As soon as we have final costs (by mid November) we will contact you again, confirm your place on the trip and ask for a deposit.

The trip is open to all members, regardless of attendance at tastings. If however we are oversubscribed we will use a tastings attendance criteria to allocate spaces.

John & Shirley, Tim & Sandy

The Wine Trip Team

It is 12 years since we last visited Calatayud and the Wine Society has never organised a visit to Campo de Borja.

Calatayud is a city in Aragón, some 90 kms west of Zaragoza and the second largest city in the Province.  The city was founded on the site of a Celt-Iberian settlement by the Romans but the modern town was founded by the Moors around the Ayyub castle around 716 AD.  The name Calatayud comes from the Arabic Qal’at ‘Ayyub – Ayyub’s Fort.

The cultivation of vines in this region goes back to the second century BC.  During the Muslim occupation wine production was ceased but began again after the Reconquista.  In the 12th century Cistercian Monks began growing vines and producing wine at the Monasterio de Piedra.

92% of the production today is red wine, principally from the Garnacha Tinta although other French and Spanish varieties are also grown.  White wine varieties include Garnacha Blanca, Viura, Malvasia, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

 

 

Like many inland Spanish towns Calatayud has seen some degradation of the historic centre over recent years whilst investment has concentrated on the modern buildings that surround it.  Fortunately there is a drive to regenerate the crumbling buildings that surround the plazas and mudejár churches that make up the historic centre.  This will be evident when we arrive at our Hotel, Meson de la Dolores, located in the heart of the Old Town.

Formerly a palace built in the 15th century the building underwent a full restoration when it opened its doors as a Hospederia de Aragon. The character and style have been well maintained so that age and history ooze from its ancient beams and tiled floors.

The saying goes:       

Si vas a Calatayud,

Pregunta por la Dolores,

Que es una chica muy guapa,

Y amiga de hacer favores!

Run that one through the translator!

We will be visiting 5 bodegas during our stay in this area: 3 in DO Calatayud and 2 in DO Campo de Borja.  Many of you will be familiar with the wine names of Borsao and Coto de Hayas from Campo de Borja.  We will visit Bodegas Borsao  and Bodegas Aragonesas both of whom have opened new bodegas in the past 2 years. As well as producing good value entry level wines both bodegas also produce top quality oak aged garnacha wines which we will be invited to taste.

Our visit to the town of Borja, about an hour’s drive from Calatayud, will be finalised by lunch in a local restaurant situated in a cellar complete with ancient vaulted ceilings.

The 3 Calatayud bodegas each have their individual stories.  Bodegas San Alejandro may be known to many of you if you have enjoyed their Baltasar and Gracian brands which have long been favourites with our members.

Bodegas Breca is a small winery with big credentials, being the project of famous wine maker Jorge Ordoñez.  We hope we might be lucky enough to meet Sr. Ordoñez but if not we will be in the capable hands of Jose Carlos Rios who until recently was the wine maker from Celler Masroig which some members will remember from this year’s trip to Montsant and whose wines we surely tasted whilst we were there!

Bodegas Raices Ibericas is a former co-operative now run by a dynamic Belgian family and Spanish partners who have exciting plans for the future of the bodega. 

We  have also arranged a visit to the famous Monasterio de Piedra which is just a short drive from Calatayud.  You will be able to spend a relaxed few hours at your own speed, strolling through the beautiful gardens with their grottoes and waterfalls or soaking up the history of the Dominican Monastery.