Purple Palate Blog

Day 4 – Road to Rioja

So I decided to drive, just a leisurely 4.5 hours on the opposite side of the road to which I normally drive.

The countryside of Spain is vastly different to Australia, more similar to Arizona rather than Italy.

The mountains are exposed rock, sandstone everywhere with vast tree plantings to prevent further erosion, from the high winds.

I do mean high winds, with wind socks along the route to warn trucks and caravans the direction and strength, like a landing field.  Windfarms abound, and solar farms dot the landscape.

With such high winds, some vineyards plant a wall of olive trees around the vineyard as a windbreak and secondary income source.  Others use directional vineyard planting, while others use valleys to protect from high winds.

The earth is dry, schistious, and more red rock than soil.  Vines areas are a mix of bush vines and trellis.

With the massive influx of money from EU wineries spent a lot of it on upgrading viticultural practices, replanting and stainless steel temperature controlled production.

We got into Logrono, the capital of Rioja, and wandered across the bridge straight into a medieval festival.  Great night and fun. You could have anything you wanted to eat as long as it was dead animal (cow, pig, deer or donkey…you choose) wrapped in white bread. If that that didn’t float your boat, you could have sugar in a hundred guises. We self catered at the apartment to get some much needed vegetables in to us.

Time for bed, big day tomorrow.

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