Extraordinary Women of Spain: Chefs & Winemakers
BARCELONA, RIOJA and the BASQUE COUNTRY
10 Days in Northern Spain
June 16-25, 2012
Travel to three of Spain’s leading gastronomic regions: Barcelona, in Catalonia, the Rioja wine region, and San Sebastián in the Basque Country. Discover leading women making their marks and setting trends in gastronomy and wine. You will meet winemakers and chefs, and discover what makes them unique in Spanish gastronomy. One of the top professional culinary guides in Spain will lead you on a discovery of Catalan, Riojan and Basque cuisine and wine created by Spain’s leading women.
Arrive Barcelona. Free Morning to rest. Afternoon walking tour of the Barrio Gotico and the Mercado de la Boqueria. This evening meet for drinks at your hotel roof bar before dinner at the hands of a renowned chef and her daughter who give a modern touch to seasonal Catalan dishes. A lovely introduction to Catalunya and its cuisine.
Travel out to Penedes and Cava territory today where winemakers Marta Casas and Maria Elena Jiménez craft the wines in their family run winery. Since 1790 the family has produced cavas and elegant balanced still wines. The young women enologists have brought character and concentration into the mix since they took over winemaking responsibilities in recent years. Later we will venture down twisted country roads to a winery where the female winemaker is making one of Spain’s foremost natural wines with a blend of indigenous grapes and Granacha handpicked from 80 year old vines. Late lunch at Montse Estruch’s El Cingle outdoor garden kitchen, with views of Catalunya’s sacred mountain Montserrat.
Visit the Santa Caterina market with it’s colorful roof designed by Benedetta Tagliabue before a Catalan cooking class in the Gothic Quarter. Take some time after lunch to visit the nearby Picasso Museum, the fascinating textile museum or just wander the narrow streets home to some of Barcelona’s most interesting shops.
An early flight takes us to Bilbao for a morning visit to one of the first reknown female enologists who makes a light slightly fizzy txakoli wine (the local heritage variety hondarrabi zuri). Later on the coast of Vizcaya we will have lunch with a young woman chef who is stating to make waves.
Visit to a stunning contemporary winery run by one of the premier enologists in Spain. Tasting/lunch at winery. Walking tour of charming medieval village.
Tapas dinner and walkabout in Logroño.
Architectural tour of wineries en La Rioja Alavesa before crossing the Ebro river to visit an emblematic family run winery where two sisters make up an unbeatable team which has brought this classic Riojan winery into the forefront of the 21st century. Late lunch at Echaurren where Chef Marisa Sanchez (Spanish nacional prizewinner in Gastronomy) and her son have made a shared kitchen into a stunning success story. Coffee and dessert with Chef Marisa alter lunch.
Transfer to San Sebastián after morning winery visit. Free time in the early afternoon for lunch. Afternoon walking tour of San Sebastián. Dinner with the area’s most promising young female chef in her tiny but elegant dining room.
Relaxed mountain walk from San Sebastian to Pasajes, an enchanting village with one narrow street. Picnic lunch. A tiny ferry takes us back to civilization. Halfway up Mount Igueldo lies a family run restaurant with one of Spain’s best winelists. Chef and Sommelier Lourdes Redondo will show us her family’s award winning wine celler before a tradicional Basque dinner.
Coastal visit to Getaria/Txakoli territory and lunch at Iribar with Chef Pili Iribar, the 4th generation of female chefs in her family run restaurant. Visit a female owned anchovy producers and watch the ladies prepare the fish for processing.
Guided visit to newly opened Balenciaga Museum in Getaria.
Evening Pintxos Tour in San Sebastián.
Morning market visit and private cooking class in San Sebastián. Possible visit to a Basque cheese maker. Dinner at Michelin-starred Arzak. Kitchen visit with Elena Arzak.
June 16-25, 2012