Skurnik Company Trip to Spain (July 16-27, 2014)
Spain is exciting in so many ways.
Our fastest growing region in terms of sales,
the treasures and diversity that is Spanish wine,
are still only beginning to be discovered by the
wine drinking public. Most wine consumers,
or even wine professionals, when they think
of Spain, think of Rioja and perhaps Ribera
del Duero. If they have more than a casual
interest, they may have an opinion about
Sherry or Priorat. But just like Italian wine is
more than Barolo and Brunello, Spanish wine
is so much more than Rioja or Ribera!
Other erroneous impressions of Spanish
wine, based on the plethora of cheap wines
being marketed in the past decade, is that they
are formulaic quaffable wines with pretty labels
that you can pound by the case, but aren’t to
be taken too seriously. Surely, much of that still
exists, and some buyers do not take the wines
or their “terroir” seriously. Surely, Spain is still a
country that without a doubt, offers incredible
wine value. However, there is also is a rich
history, culture and tradition of winemaking in
Spain that goes back to Roman times, no less
noble than those in France or Italy, and just
waiting to be discovered!
And discover it we did.
In addition to fabulous visits in the venerable
areas of Rioja and Ribera, where we reconfirmed
the greatness of estates such as La Rioja
Alta, CVNE, Mauro, Emilio Moro, Vina Real,
Contino, and Abadia Retuerta, the exploration
of the small family producers represented by
Ole Imports’ partners Patrick Mata and Alberto
Orte, was truly eye opening… especially our
exploration (for the first time) of Galicia, where
some of the most exciting and cliché-shattering
wines are being produced. Just north of the
Portuguese border, Galicia, a.k.a. “green Spain”,
shines in regions like Monterrei, Valdeorras,
Rias Baixas, Ribeira Sacra and Bierzo! Reds
and whites of balance and acidity, are being
produced here at high altitude and sometimes
impossibly steep slopes, that reminds one of
the Mosel or Rhine in Germany! And the native
varietals, whether Mencia in Bierzo, Albarino
in Rias Baixas, or lesser known varietals such
as Dona Blanco or Bastardo, have naturally
higher acidities, and thrive in the poor soil, and
sometimes rainy and cooler conditions (a good
thing for Spain!). Winemakers like the amazing
Raul Perez, or Jose Luis Mateo of Quinta da
Muradella, are rediscovering these ancient
terroirs and grape varietals, and producing
world class wines that are just waiting to be
discovered by the NY metropolitan area’s most
adventurous somms and wine shop owners.
Trust me they are worth discovering!
Ask your rep today to show you our
amazing portfolio from Spain!!!
– Harmon Skurnik
Click here to check out the photos from our trip on Instagram!