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Tag Archives: Spain

Wine Hotels in Spain: Charm and Luxury Along the Rutas de Vino

Finding the perfect hotel in the right location never ceases to be a challenge. Many of the villages along the Rutas de Vino in Spain have become home to some of the country’s (and world’s) most unique hotels. And what is the best thing about these hotels? They are part of a growing trend of wineries with hotels on site (many locally owned and operated by the winery itself). It is the perfect marriage for traveling wine lovers. However, to ensure the best experience one must consider a number of things. Wine country in Spain is vast and diverse. The scenery along the Rutas de Vino, especially during summer and fall, can be absolutely breathtaking and makes an incredible backdrop […]

Conservas de Peixe: The Tasty but Discernible Truth Behind Canned Fish in Portugal

I absolutely love Portuguese fish. Whether writing or speaking, I can go on and on about the quality, freshness and simplicity of a perfectly grilled piece of fish in Portugal.  It’s something I recommend everyone should experience at least once in their life. But if you had asked me not too long ago about Portuguese canned fish, I probably wouldn’t have been as enthusiastic.  I’ve had fluctuating experiences with canned fish over the last 5 years, especially from my random supermarket sampling.  It was like having a can of Spaghetti-O’s. Though tasty in its own way, I would still prefer having homemade meal. That said, as of recent, canned fish has gone gourmet in Portugal. Specifically in the major cities of Lisbon and Porto, […]

sailing in menorca spain

Best Wines To Bring On A Spanish Sailing Holiday

Spanish wines are some of the rewarding in the world, whilst Spanish waters offers some of the best sailing in the Mediterranean. How about we combine the two? Our friends at Get Sailing recently asked Catavino to recommend a choice wine for three of their favourite destinations in Spain… Menorca GS: Arguably our favourite of the three major Balearic Islands, Menorca is smaller and less touristic than Majorca and more peaceful than Ibiza – the renowned party island. One the one hand it has hardly any high rise developments and on the other it boasts more beaches than its more famous neighbouring islands combined, making it perfect for that relaxed sailing vacation. This being the Mediterranean, conditions are rarely too […]

Barcelona Wine Shops: A Comprehensive Guide to Find your Ideal Spanish Wine

Every wine-producing country has its own pride and tradition and Spain is no different. In fact, a well stocked bodega here in Barcelona is often as overwhelming as it is inspiring, and the enterprise of picking a wine often becomes more challenging than merely selecting a price bracket. One must take the notion of “price equals quality” and throw it out the window, as Spain encompasses more hectares of vineyards than any other country worldwide and produces some of the best values in fine wine today. The current state of affairs in the Barcelona wine world are bright, with just a touch of gray in the lining. The public has become increasingly wine savvy, and the myriad of local merchants […]

Natural Wine in Spain: A Fast Growing Trend Among Consumers or a Passing Fad?

The term ‘natural wine’ means so much to a few, and absolutely nothing to many, and no matter your feelings (usually love or hate) about the phrase, and the wines themselves, everyone can agree it’s a hot topic in the wine world and one that needs ever more explanation and exploration. But hold on, aren’t all wines natural? In as much as they come from nature – are made from grapes ripened by the sun and grown on vines nourished by the soil – yes, they are. However, the term ‘natural wines’ has been chosen to represent a specific set of methods for producing wine using as little human intervention, both in the vineyard and the cellar, as possible, and […]

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Ribera del Duero

The past few years have been good to the Ribera del Duero wine region in North Central Spain; but much like Sonoma in California wine country, it has had to contend with a more popular older sibling, Rioja. That said, given the region’s much deserved recent international notoriety, things are changing. On a recent trip to Ribera del Duero, I gained a new appreciation for this incredible region for which I’d love to share with you a few of my top highlights. Keep in mind, this is not a complete list, but rather several highlights that I think will most definitely pique your interest, and if we’re lucky, have you booking a trip to this region very soon! 1. World […]

The Almadraba: Netting Blue-Fin Tuna, the Phoenician Way

Editor’s Note: The article below is based on an experience had by the author. As the Almadraba is a traditional practice by the Andalucians, we felt that it was very poignant article to place on Catavino. However, we want to be very clear that we understand the controversial nature of the catching Bluefin tuna considering its current status as an endangered species. Hence, at the end of the article, we have provided several links to websites and films for you to further your own research. Additionally, we welcome your knowledge and feedback. Please add them to the comments below. The author, Anne Manson, ran her own catering and corporate hospitality company in London for fifteen years before deciding to head for Vejer. Her […]

Rioja’s Controversial Bid to Enlarge Unesco’s World Heritage List

This cold and rainy spring of 2013 has brought about a rare strain of fever to the D.O.Ca. Rioja. Instead of the usual buzz about how the uncommon weather will affect this year’s crop, today, swords are drawn between the three subzones (the Baja, the Alta and the Alavesa) because of the region’s exclusive bid to enlarge Unesco’s World Heritage list. Despite it being just a first step for the site to be nominated, the inclusion of the “Rioja and Rioja Alavesa Vine and Wine Cultural Landscape” in UNESCO’S  World Heritage Center Tentative list has gotten peoples blood boiling in this normally calm and amicable region. The origin of the debate is the geographical area proposed for protection in the […]

Interview with Seville Tour Operator: Shawn Hennessey

Editor’s Note: We’ve known Shawn for many years, one of the few bespoke tour operators who dove into social media headfirst. Having watched her fabulous efforts from afar, consistently hearing a stream of positive comments about her work – we finally decided to join forces and actively promote her through Catavino! We couldn’t be happier, and we trust you will be too! What is your background and how did you end up in Spain working in the tourism industry? After becoming disillusioned with my career in Toronto’s fashion industry, I came to Spain in 1993 (following a hunch that this was where I belonged) and spent the first 15 years teaching English. My involvement with the food and tourism industry […]

Schist: A Cultural Staple in the Douro Valley and Beyond

Editor’s Note: Fiona Lynch and her husband Jonathan, two passionate geologists, moved from Scotland to the Lima Valley in the Minho region in Portugal. We’re very appreciative of their willingness to share their experience, and hope this will be one of many we can expect from them in the future. Like most of northern Portugal, the geology of the Minho region is dominated by granite rocks. Rolling hills with massive round boulders cluster around peaks or are strewn about slopes and sandy river banks in the valleys. Every now and again, on my hikes through the forests or along the country lanes, I come across a ragged twist of dark orange schist called xisto. This thinly layered rock, ranging in […]