The remote terraced vineyards we visited with Don Federico, accompanied by his friend and colleague, the area’s premier viticulturist, were an unexpected delight. Modest and filled with pastoral beauty, accesible only by foot down dusty winding paths, the terraces held secrets of 100 year old vines cultivated since the time of the Romans. We felt like very special guests of honor at the boutique wineries tasting full glasses of white and red wines while savoring jamón and chorizo. We savored detailed, earthly discussions about the wines; how to discern the smells and tastes of the granite, fruits and flowers found among the vines, and how to sip and taste the many layers the wines offered. Lunch at a Michelin-rated restaurant offered a wide variety of the best local roasted meats, accompanied by endless pourings of the local wines we had just become acquainted with.
Don Federico is a natural host whose kindness, warmth, and love of Castile and Leon, combined with his deep knowledge of the region’s wine varietals and winemaking techniques, are surpassed only by his Scottish wit and charm as a spinner of tales, told in Spanish, English and Scottish Gaelic. We look forward to our next visit with Don Federico as we explore more of Spain.