Sherry Week in Portland

recapInternational Sherry Week could not have come at a better time to Portland. The week was so emotional leading up to the presidential election, and after with days of protest demonstrations. Without getting too political, I will say Tuesday and Wednesday were difficult days for me. I’ve never mourned for my country before now. Never before have I woken up feeling fearful of what lies ahead or how government decisions will impact the lives of my loved ones. If anything Tuesday’s results will not allow me to be complacent. In the midst of all this, my community paused to open its doors for healing conversations, good food and great sherry!

I know that my sherry journey has only been since 2013, but I really feel Portland is growing in its sherry interest, especially the cocktail scene. I kicked off my Sherry Week as a guest at the Super Sexy Sherry Party. John House of Ole Imports and Ovum Wines, bartender Angel Teta, and many industry friends piled into the Wine Cave on Monday, November 7 for old school vinyl, even older sherry, and karaoke. The Wine Cave was in an undisclosed location in northeast Portland, and certainly the coolest space for a private party. It was a balance of modern masculinity of wood and concrete with the softening touch of candles, lowly lit Edison bulbs and a cozy nook for those who want to sit and talk away from the crowd. The bar was stocked with amazing tapas. John and Chris Dorman, from Elk Cove, poured the drinks starting with glasses of Cava, then two Manzanillas, SacristĂ­a AB and Orleans, followed by a flight of Osborne’s Amontillado 51-1ÂȘ, Sibarita Oloroso and Capuchino Palo Cortado. I truly enjoyed meeting more people in the food and wine scene in Portland. The best part was finishing the night with “Sherry-oke.” Who knew these new friends had amazing voices?! I even belted a little Adele before heading home.

Thursday was a great day to recharge. I had the pleasure of finally meeting Jordan Felix and Kyle Sanders at the Green Room. The two of them have created an amazing space for those waiting to go upstairs to the Multnomah Whiskey Library. Downstairs, their classic prohibition style sherry cocktails prepare the palate for the full menu upstairs, including the 1600 bottles of whiskey. Jordan prepared me Louis Eppinger’s famous Bamboo cocktail while I chatted with Kyle about their sherry interests. Predominantly they’ve chosen sherry from Gonzalez Byass, not only because their staff was so well educated by Christopher Canale-Parola, but also because they’ve found that Tío Pepe Fino encapsulates everything they need; salinity, dryness, floral + green apple notes. They do carry Hidalgo La Gitana Mananilla, and are expanding their library of Lustau sherry. Overall, the cocktails are a mix of classic inspirations as well as house originals. They also enjoy pairing whiskey and sherry side-by-side like Highland Park 12 year Scotch and Oloroso. Another fun tasting I hope to try when I return is the Tomatin Cuatro Series – single malt scotch with sherry inspiration from Fino, Manzanilla, Oloroso and PX butts.

Shortly after my visit at the Green Room, I finally got to check out the newly opened Bar Casa Vale for their sherry pairing dinner. It was an intimate setting with one-on-one sherry education with Front of House Manager Bryon Adams-Harford. Each dish prepared by chef Louis Martinez was perfectly matched to a sherry. First course was tapas of anchovy stuffed Manzanilla soaked olives, Halloumi cheese montadito on a crustini with delicious pear jam, and Moorish spiced pork belly that melted in my mouth. This was all paired with Fernando de Castilla’s Fino Antique. The second course almost was reminiscent of an Italian dish of fried bay shrimp, calamari and fennel along side a brightly dressed octopus salad with cherry tomatoes, olives and capers. Valdespino’s Manzanilla Deliciosa was a great choice for wine.

Third Course was by far my favorite of the night! I barely saved room for it all. I completely devoured the locally sourced braised rabbit, chanterelles and cipollini onions. The Amontillado Antique from Fernando de Castilla was the perfect choice. The other two components also paired well, but for me it was the rabbit that soared above the charred brussels covered in romesco + manchego or the New York Strip with chimichurri. Finally the evening ended with the Crema Catalana. Essentially a lovely crĂšme brĂ»lĂ©e paired with Hidalgo’s Faraon Oloroso. This pairing surprised me. The contrasting flavors actually worked well together despite the sweetness of the dessert and the dryness of the sherry. I really cannot wait to go back and try some of the sherry cocktails Daniel Parker-Guidry has created. The Trident, which combines Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado with Krogstad Aquavit, Punt e Mes and bitters, just might be my new Negroni.

Saturday I had the privilege to partner with one of my favorite wine shops Pairings Portland. Jeffrey invited me to share my passion for sherry with his patrons. It was a steady flow of about twenty or so people. Nearly all of them were brand new to sherry and so willing to taste and learn. We selected a great line up with simple pairings to really make the sherry pop! Guests started with Fino en Rama from Equipo Navazos and Marcona almonds, followed by Manzanilla La Cigarerra with olives. I loved how the olives brought out the Manzanilla’s fruity notes with a a bit of a smoky finish. Of course I chose to showcase my favorite Amontillado La Garrocha from Bodegas Grant. Jeffrey sautĂ©ed up some yellow trumpet mushrooms to go with the wine. I feel both enhanced the other! The favorite for most customers was El Maestro Sierra’s Oloroso. This was classically paired with slices of manchego cheese. Jumping from dry to sweet, we paired Cesar Florido’s Moscatel Pasas with dried black fig and El Maestro Sierra’s Pedro XimĂ©nez with blue cheese. It really was a fun night and hope to do it again soon!

If I hadn’t had my tasting scheduled at the same time, I wanted to participate in the Sherry Obstacle Course at Bar Vivant! Judging from the Instagram pictures, it was a huge success! Cheryl Wakerhauser said it was really steady without chaos, just how she likes it! Tables were set up around the restaurant with different stages for sherry learning. Even a venencia challenge was set up outside on the patio! The real challenge of course was choosing the perfect pairing from the buffet in the kitchen. Guests had fun AND learned about sherry, so mission accomplished!

What better way to end sherry week than with the people who started it off with me! I joined my friends at Ataula for a paired brunch with Gonzalez Byass sherry. It was no surprise that the place was packed! It’s always a pleasure to learn about sherry from Christopher Canale-Parola when he is in Portland. Once again, Chef JosĂ© Chesa created amazing dishes to go alongside these delicious wines.

We were greeted with Angel Teta’s Welcome Punch (Gonzalez Byass Amontillado AB, Pampero Anniversario anejo, Grapefruit cordial, lime and Angostura). Since we were mostly seated in a family style, it was a nice way to end an emotional week eating and drinking with people from the community. First course was a lovely Sunday Salad of organic greens with a glass of Tío Pepe. Next was Spanish Tortilla with chorizo and a very large pour of Leonor Palo Cortado. The final dish was the fan favorite Sunday Brunch Paella of rice, chicken, jamon de bellota, bacon, and eggs on top. This was paired with Gonzalez Byass Matusalem Oloroso. To my shock, I was given seconds of that sherry without even asking. I happily accepted. Like all good brunches, we ended with something sweet with a little coffee. I love Chesa’s Xuixo de Crema. They’re so light and flaky and the cream isn’t heavy or too rich. Angel made a delicious Coffee Action using Gonzalez Byass Nectar PX, sous vide infused with cocoa nibs and espresso beans, strong brew coffee, Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Bitter Cube Corazon bitters, Banana brown sugar 2:1 and Matusalem 30 year Oloroso whip. I wish I could have that to start every day!

I am proud of my city and community. I love seeing it rally together. I love that Portland embraces culture and the sherry revolution! I wasn’t able to make it to every event listed for my city during International Sherry Week, but I’m making note of where to visit next!


A Special Visit with El Maestro Sierra

EMS sign

It’s so quiet.

All you can hear are birds.

So peaceful.

~ Excerpt from my journal April 24, 2015

Pilar PláI knew I wanted to visit El Maestro Sierra after reading their backstory in my “sherry bible.” Firstly, I loved that a master cooper, building barrels for Gonzalez Byass, founded it because he wanted to become an almacenista. (Sherry makers at that time typically earned their vocation out of a birthright and did not favor this start-up mentality.) Secondly, I love that in a very male-dominated trade, this bodega is run by women.

From the street, the bodega was pretty unassuming and just as humble inside. They don’t do tours, so I was glad Ana was available on short notice. Eduardo from Spirit Sherry encouraged me to visit, and I’m so glad I did. It was by far one of the most unique experiences I had while in the Sherry Triangle.

They are quite strict about maintaining their way of tradition down to the letter. The botas are the original barrels from 1830. Ana explained that there is a four-degree difference between the floor and the area above. Which is why they keep their barrels of Fino on the bottom rows of the solera where it’s cooler, with the Oloroso barrels stacked on top where it is warmer.

EMS wax sealEverything is done by hand, using no machinery. They stick to the old method of siphoning the wines from the barrels to aid the blending process. They use no chemicals or harsh filtration. If filtration is needed, it’s only using egg whites and gentle paper filters to catch any large particles. They even run off of well water to guarantee no chlorine touches their wines. Even their labels are applied by hand. It was certainly the quietest winery I had been in!

The conversation and tour with Ana was fast pace with little pausing for pictures. She left me alone with my cata, or tasting. I wished she’d share her thoughts with me on each wine. Since they are such an authentic bodega, I wanted to know the special nuances that set their wines apart from others.

I did my best to write down my own thoughts for each. I started with the Fino I’ve had in the past. It is dry, but mature for being only five years old. Due to the gentle filtration, it has a strong flor, or yeast influence. I loved it’s golden color in the sunlight. Next, I tasted the Amontillado. It’s aged twelve years, but still had a very salty Fino influence. I loved its butterscotch aromas and topaz color.

The flight quickly moved onto the aged bottles. The Viejos are only bottled once a year in September and only 20 to 70 bottles at a time. Because so very few are bottled in general, each label has the date and number written on the back.

Amontillado Viejo 1830 comes from a solera that started when the winery was founded. On the nose, I picked up a metallic brass note. On the palate, although it was dry, it was very round with nice toffee notes. The Palo Cortado had an amazingly clear amber color. I’m a lover of all Palo Cortados, and this one had such a nutty complexity, I couldn’t put my glass down. That was until I moved onto the two Oloroso VORS! The Oloroso 1/14 VORS hit my nose like a the smell of varnish and burnt caramel, but the flavor was intense and heated the sides of my tongue similar to a really smooth whiskey. They saved the best for last. The star of this show was certainly the Oloroso Extraviejo 17 VORS. It averages over 80 years old! It too had a smell of polished wood floors and caramelized bananas. The finish was rich and lingered on forever. It took a lot of willpower not to reach over and help myself to a second glass.

El Maestro Sierra BlissI didn’t stay long, but I certainly did not want to leave this silent sanctuary. It was like stepping back in time. I enjoyed having a moment to pause and take a deep breath. So much love and care goes into this place, and I could feel it extend to even to me as a visitor. I am so grateful for this unique experience.

An Afternoon with GutiĂ©rrez ColosĂ­a

GC botasI woke up to a tweet this morning celebrating the 70th birthday of Juan Carlos, the winemaker at GutiĂ©rrez ColosĂ­a for the past 55 years. Seeing his face reminded me of one of the best conversations I had this past spring. To think, my visit nearly didn’t happen.

GC Sangre y TrabajaderoI originally planned to visit this bodega because one of the first Olorosos I ever tasted was their Sangre y Trabajadero. I was nervous to go on my own by train from Jerez to El Puerto de Santa Maria. (FYI it is listed as El Puerto on the kiosk. You can purchase your ticket the day you plan to travel. It’s not the last stop on the train, so be watchful and don’t get lost in the scenery.)

Having never been to this town, I was thankful for my phone’s GPS to take me right to the little door on the boulevard. I mentioned to the woman in the storefront that I was here for my 12:30 appointment with Carmen. She asked, “¿Cuál Carmen?” I couldn’t remember if my email correspondence was with Carmen the mother or Carmen the daughter. What I soon discovered was Carmen the daughter was not available, and Carmen the mother had two large tour groups she was entertaining. Rather than apologizing and sending me away, they graciously invited me in and had Bertrand lead me through the bodega.

GutiĂ©rrez ColosĂ­a is located right on the banks of the Guadalete River. I mention this because I learned their location is perfect for keeping a healthy veil of flor yeast year-round. The bodega is a lovely cathedral style, shadowed to keep out the light and heat. Because they are so close to the river and sea, they don’t need to keep soil on the floors to regulate the temperature.

GC flightCarmen reminded me of my own mother; playing hostess, making sure everyone was taken care of and feeling at home, as well as not liking her picture taken. At her request, I promised not to post the one picture I convinced her to take with me.

She poured the standard flight of their Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, Cream, Moscatel and Pedro Ximénez, and treated me to a plate of cured meats and cheeses. I was left to sample them on my own. Sadly, the only tasting note I made was their Fino reminded me of Manzanilla for its salty nuances.

Carmen brought her husband Juan Carlos down from his meeting to sign my sherry bible. He took me by surprise by sitting down to take time to chat. Our chat quickly turned into an hour conversation!

Photo Author: Ralf Bender

Photo Author: Ralf Bender

Our topics were not at all what I expected. We talked about religion and how he is not a religious man. We talked about wine and climate change. He was quite matter of fact that climate change isn’t anything he worries about; it’s not anything that will impact his wines in his lifetime. When I mentioned that I focus on sherry, because the wine world in general overwhelms me, he assured me that it is quite small when it comes to where grapes can actually grow to produce good wines.

GC VORSAs we continued, Juan Carlos spoiled me with his bottles of VORS. The Amontillado, Palo Cortado, Oloroso and PX. He had me drink the Oloroso first because it’s the youngest of the group. Mind blown!!

At one point in our conversation, I mentioned whiskey and Carmen chimed in that my pronunciation was very Andalucian when I spoke. I was quite honored, not only by the complement, but also by how they treated me like a guest in their home despite all the other groups sitting right behind us.

By the time we kissed our goodbyes, I had already spent three hours with this lovely couple! The entire visit to Gutiérrez Colosía went above and beyond my expectations. I cannot wait to go back!

GC autograph

A Visit to Grupo EstĂ©vez

Grupo Estevez BodegaOne of my first sherry tastings was with Jaime Gil from Grupo Estévez. I remembered anything he poured from Valdespino agreed with me. Naturally, he was the first person I contacted when I planned my Sherry Odyssey back in April. I was curious how my visit would be, knowing how full his schedule was. It was a miracle with his travels that he was even in town! He arranged for me to join a tour of the bodega, then met up afterwards for our private tasting.

Grupo EstĂ©vez lobbyThe facility is beautiful and truly the largest I had seen – encompassing the wineries for Real Tesoro and Valdespino. La Guita is also under Grupo EstĂ©vez, but housed in SanlĂșcar de Barrameda where all Manzanilla is produced. Grupo EstĂ©vez is also one of the few wine makers who have their own vineyards in Jerez.

The Bodega Lola wine cellar, named for the iconic flamenco dancer Lola Flores, houses 12,000 barrels of Real Tesoro’s Fino Tío Mateo. Outside past the production plants are lovely horse stables and the carriage house. The larger, two-story space was like an art gallery with the cellar in back that holds 25,000 barrels of Valdespino and Real Tesoro soleras. The barrel room is only accessible to tourists from above for a lovely panoramic view.

Once back in the main building, I sat down to my private tasting with Jaime. He was soft-spoken and full of great details about each wine.

cataLa Cata (the tasting):

deliciosaManzanilla Deliciosa en Rama by Valdespino, bottled in 2014. Five days after my visit, they bottled for 2015. Grupo Estévez only bottles this Manzanilla in the spring, because they feel the flor has more character than in the fall. The flor, literally meaning flower, is the yeast growing on top of the wine. In the fall and spring, it is much more active and grows thicker, which adds intense flavor and aroma to the wine. Being en rama, or unfiltered, the color was a dense golden tone. Even though this had been bottled for nearly a year, it tasted super fresh and salty. Jaime explained that most manzanilla soleras have five criadera levels. Manzanilla Deliciosa has six criaderas, which helps age the wine just a bit further.

guitaLa Guita Manzanilla bottled in December 2014. Jaime told me the story that back in the 1800’s the bottles had no markings or labels. This manzanilla had the reputation for not only it’s high quality, but for having a winemaker that demanded up front la guita, the slang term for cash. You drink it you buy it. Guita also means string or twine. Today, every bottle of La Guita has a piece of twine attached as tribute to this story. Even though it’s more commercially produced, it has not lost its reputation for high quality. It would pair well with crudo, jamon Iberico, fried fish and anything salty.

inocenteFino Inocente by Valedespino. This is a very unique Fino. It’s only uses grapes from a single vineyard at the highest altitude and has the best Albariza soil. Grupo EstĂ©vez maintains tradition by barrel-fermenting the new wine, which goes into 400 barrels in a single solera with ten criaderas. The wine ages for ten years under the flor. Jamie explained that the wine is already very good at five years old and they could bottle it at that time. However, they want to go further to the end of the yeast’s life before it completely dies.

amontilladosAmontillados TĂ­o Diego by Valdespino. After the wine aged as Inocente for ten years biologically and the flor dies off, they age it another five to six years oxidatively to become this amazingly delicate amontillado. Even though the nose has the caramel notes of a typical amontillado, I could really taste the influence of the flor. It was dry with strong almond notes. It would be great with artichokes!

Amontillado del Principe by Real Tesoro. This was a classic amontillado style. It is aged eight to nine years under the flor, then another nine to ten years oxidatively. Compared to the TĂ­o Diego, this was darker like an Oloroso, and had more caramel notes.

palo cortadoPalo Cortado Viejo C.P. by Valdespino. This was the first Palo Cortado I ever had when I first discovered sherry. This Palo Cortado began either as a barrel in the Fino Inocente solera or one in the Amontillado Tio Diego solera. Because the wine was not reacting to the flor in the same way as the other styles, the barrel was removed from the criadera. It’s very delicate and the rock star of their wines. The nose was like Amontillado Tío Diego, but on the palate it felt a bit more like an Oloroso.

don gonzaloOloroso Don Gonzalo VOS by Valdespino. Jaime spoiled me with this bottle that represented soleras established over one hundred years ago. Jaime calls this one the liar; it smelled sweet, but was quite dry on the palate. It had a unique toasted character and a very long finish.

coliseoAmontillado Coliseo VORS by Valdespino. This Amontillado actually started as a Manzanilla in SanlĂșcar. Once the flor died, the wine was brought to Jerez to age as an Amontillado. It was concentrated and intense and averaged around 40 years old. As Jaime explained, the flavor cuts like a knife right down the middle of the tongue.

padlockPedro Ximenez El Candado by Valdespino. I love the story behind the name and the reason for the little padlock attached to the bottle. Many years ago, the wine maker had a client who loved the PX so much; he bought an entire barrel for his own consumption. It was set apart from the other barrels with a padlock, and the client could come and taste using his own key. The workers all referred to the barrel as el candado, or the padlock. Today, the cap on each bottle has a little hole to allow its owner to keep it locked. I loved the balance between its acidity and sugar. It’s aged for eight years to keep it nice and light.

jaimegilJaime Gil was the first to introduce me to Valdespino sherry, and this grand tasting was a clear reminder why the wines from Grupo Estevez have won me over!

GonzĂĄlez Byass – Part 2 The Private Tour

Gonzålez Byass Private TastingAfter my initial public tour at Gonzålez Byass, I was encouraged on Twitter to go back for a private tour with Alvaro Plata. After a few emails and texts on Whatsapp, the visit was set!

Seana + AlvaroAlvaro is young and very passionate about the sherry at Bodegas Tío Pepe. His green eyes shine even brighter when reciting all he’s learned from his mentor and wine expert, Antonio Flores. Alvaro is certainly a walking encyclopedia in rapid fire! Everything he knows was verbally regurgitated at me in the fastest Spanish – I was proud of myself for keeping up! (And relieved I recorded most of it before my phone died.)

Having already been on the public tour, he took me into areas that seemed familiar, but revealed new corners unseen by most tourists. My favorite moment was being led into the room of untouched bottles from the 1800’s, encrusted in dust and dirt. I had previously seen this only in pictures, so I’m sure I looked ridiculous bouncing up and down like a giddy school girl.

I also got to see special barrels not on the public tour – the famous Cuatro Palma, THE barrel of 2015 Tío Pepe en Rama, a barrel of Cuatro Palo Cortado (I’d love to know what THAT tastes like), the cherry wood barrels of Del Duque, and got to go down into the cellar for an up close look of the private barrels of the real Tío Pepe.

Sadly, my phone died before my private cata. Alvaro led me into a room full of mini bottles of sherry from over the decades. To the general public, it just looked like a glassed in display. But on the other side, was a large conference room full of natural light. Rows of tables and chairs faced a stage area with each bottle for the tasting. I sat at the front with my place all laid out with a placemat, folder of tasting notes and my own Tío Pepe pen.

It was beautifully orchestrated. Alvaro poured my glasses and then poured a glass for himself. Naturally, he was a great teacher. He did not lecture at me about the wines, but made me feel included as part of a conversation.

I have extensive tasting notes from Gonzålez Byass if anyone wants to know specifics on these wines. Of course the first glass was the Tío Pepe Fino followed by the coveted 2015 Tío Pepe en Rama. I love the label and the new cap. It was so fresh and intense flor flavor, or as they say Pura Vida. For the Amontillados, I tasted Viña AB and Del Duque VORS. Both have a lovely dark golden color and that classic dry complexity. The Del Duque VORS has a nice lingering dried fruit finish.

natural light - love those colorsSimilar to my first visit, I was poured a lovely glass of Alfonso Oloroso and the Solera 1847 Cream. However, the rest of my tasting was a very special treat! Two Palo Cortados – the Leonor and a taste of the ApĂłstoles VORS. I’ve never been a huge fan of sweet sherry, but I clearly was won over by the Matusalem VORS Cream, the NĂ©ctar PX and the NoĂ© PX VORS.

If that didn’t make me feel spoiled already, Alvaro pulled out all the stops with a shot of the Nomad Outland Whiskey nearly impossible to find in stores! The label depicts the whiskey’s life story from Scotland to Jerez.

I am so unbelievably grateful for the two visits I had with Bodegas Tío Pepe. Two very different experiences, but both very informative. I certainly had my reservations about visiting such a largely commercialized bodega, but I’m glad I went with an open mind. Their pride in their history and excitement for their winemaking has not been lost.

Seana + Tio Pepe

One month from today…

Sherry Triangle…I’ll be up in the air and heading to Jerez.

One month from today – I’ll be renting an apartment.

One month from today – I’ll be visiting bodegas in Jerez de la Frontera, SanlĂșcar de Barrameda, el Puerto de Santa Maria and Chipiona.

I never thought back in 2013 I would have the chance to return do so something so important and exciting and completely selfish.

One month from today – Sherry Triangle or BUST!

Sherry Triangle Wish List

TradicionThis spring, with much support and encouragement from my husband, I will be traveling back to Jerez for the sole purpose of exploring the Marco de Jerez (AKA the Sherry Triangle).

Although my home base will be in Jerez, my Bodega Wish List includes small boutiques and larger establishments throughout the entire Sherry Triangle.

lightsAfter reading Peter Liem and JesĂșs BarquĂ­n’s Sherry, Manzanilla & Montilla, and Talia Baiocchi’s SHERRY, my bodega wish list only got longer:

JEREZ DE LA FRONTERA: Bodegas Gonzålez Byass, Bodegas Emilio Hidalgo, Bodega El Maestro Sierra and hopefully connect with Equipo Navazos.

Over the last year, I have enjoyed meeting Sherry Ambassadors in Portland and really hope to visit their bodegas: Bodegas Rey Fernando de Castilla, Bodegas Emilio Lustau, and Valdespino (Grupo EstĂ©vez). Based on a friend’s referral, I also hope to connect with a smaller boutique Bodegas Urium. (I volunteer for an urban winery in Portland and have a special place in my heart for smaller operations.)

I recently wrote about my only bodega experience with Bodegas Tradición, and have since met its Director Lorenzo García-Iglesias a couple times in Portland. However, I may or may not have time to squeeze in a return visit with so many others to explore!

SANLUCAR DE BARRARMEDA: I would like to take a day trip to visit Bodegas Barbadillo, Bodegas Hidalgo – La Gitana, Bodega Hijos de Rainera PĂ©rez MarĂ­n (La Guita), and especially Bodegas Delgado Zuleta simply for its history and age.

EL PUERTO DE SANTA MARIA: This may be a shorter visit, but based on recommendations I’d like to see Bodegas GutiĂ©rrez ColosĂ­a and Bodegas Grant.

CHIPIONA: I hadn’t planned on visiting Chipiona, but I was strongly advised to see the King of Moscatel – Bodegas CĂ©sar Florido.

spiritsherryIdeally, I want to return from my trip with a firm understanding about sherry from grape to glass! Thanks to a mutual sherry lover and blogger Criadera, I’m excited to connect with her friends at Spirit Sherry tours to go out to the vineyards.

I really want to balance having a plan with letting things happen organically. To be honest, I’m not even sure how far in advance I should reach out to all these bodegas to set up an appointment. I haven’t figured out the bus or train routes. I’m not even sure how things will happen day to day. I have my plane ticket and my apartment reserved, and the rest will fall into place. Like the proverb says, Todo tiene solucion menos la muerte.