Just a short note about the two fabulous wine tours to Northwestern Spain (Galicia) and Portugal I joined you on this year. Having traveled with you since your tour of Alsace and the Rhine in June of 1991, I have come to expect great local food, wonderful regional wines, and convivial traveling companions and once again you exceeded my expectations.
I loved the tour of Santiago de Compostela on our first day and then the visit and dinner at the Pazo de Galegos winery. I was not at all familiar with Galician grape varieties, but this tour really opened my eyes to them and the fine wines made from them. Let’s hear it for Mencia and Godello! The visits that included barrel and tank samples were awesome. For example, on the visit to Forjas del Salnés, I remember (vaguely) seven barrel samples of 2018 Albarnios, and four red tank samples of about-to-be-bottled wines of varieties new to me (Espadiero, Caino, and Louirerio). I lost count of the number of wines we tasted in Galicia, but it had to north of 60 over the whole tour, although that is a drop in the bucket compared with your tour to New Zealand and Australia where I have notes on 304 different wines.
I had been to Portugal with you in 2005, but the revisit this year was completely new and fresh. I loved the tour concept of trying mostly the dry red and white table wines of Portugal this time. We did get just enough Ports though. The dinner you set up at Graham’s port house was great, finishing with a nice 10 year old port. The food was terrific too. The luncheon at the Luis Pato Estate (with the owner) was a real treat; with the whole roast suckling pig main course and about eleven wines accompanying the meal.
I am looking forward to traveling with you again in the near future.